Politics

Mayor Greg Fischer discussed issues ranging from economic development to community-police relations on Monday during a WFPL News special.

In the interview hosted by WFPL’s Stephen George and Rick Howlett, Fischer expressed reservations about using tax incentives to draw businesses to Louisville. He said a pool of qualified workers matters more in attracting employers than tax breaks.

“It’s all about workforce talent and skills,” Fischer said.

The mayor also responded to the possibility of a soccer stadium being constructed in Louisville. He said he supports the idea and prefers a location near downtown, but he noted that funding may be an issue. The city is studying the stadium idea, which would be used for the city’s minor league soccer franchise.

Fischer addressed the disturbance that shut down Mall St. Matthews on Dec. 26, saying he was satisfied with the police response. He reiterated his perspective that the media’s reaction was overblown.

He was also asked whether he was comfortable with relations between the community and police in Louisville.

“I don’t think that any mayor should ever be comfortable with police-community relations because it’s extraordinarily dynamic and it can change on a moment’s notice,” he said.

Fischer also said he was optimistic about Gov. Matt Bevin’s budget proposal, which calls for cuts to most state agencies.

“Our total budget will be impacted to the tune of a million or $2 million out of a total budget of close to $600 million or so,” Fischer said.

He said he believes the the city will be able to handle the cuts.

Fischer also discussed the Ninth Street Divide, the traditional boundary between Louisville’s predominantly African-American and white neighborhoods. He said east-west movement was a priority and that projects such as the FoodPort and Waterfront Park Phase IV would encourage positive interaction.