Metro Louisville Politics

Louisville Metro Council met Thursday night for the first time in 2022. The body voted for new leadership for the Democratic and Republican caucuses, as well as a Council President.

Council President David James, who’s served in that position since 2018, was unanimously re-elected to a one-year term. James represents District 6, which includes the Algonquin, Park Hill and Old Louisville neighborhoods. He was first elected to Metro Council in 2010.

When James took the gavel he said, “Thank you everybody,” before quickly moving on to the next item on the agenda.

Prior to the meeting, the Democratic and Republican Caucuses held their own leadership votes.

Democrats, who hold a supermajority on the 26-member body, re-elected District 17 Metro Council Member Markus Winkler as caucus chair. Winkler will also serve as President Pro Tem, meaning he will lead meetings in James’ absence. District 3’s Keisha Dorsey will serve as the Majority Caucus Vice Chair.

The Republican minority also re-elected District 19 Council Member Anthony Piagentini to lead their caucus.

Metro Council’s first action in the new year was approving a $1.7 million contract with the non-profit Seven Counties to oversee the city’s 911 deflection program, which could allow for a non-police response to people experiencing a mental health crisis.

As part of the program, a behavioral health hub will operate within the MetroSafe 911 call center downtown, and dispatchers will assess whether a police response is needed. A newly created mobile response team could be sent to some crises to help de-escalate situations and provide resources.

Roberto Roldan is the City Politics and Government Reporter for WFPL.