Politics

Anthony Piagentini is the lone Republican freshman on the Metro Council this year. He won the seat for District 19 last fall, taking the place of retiring Councilwoman and former state senator Julie Denton.

Piagentini said he wants to encourage infrastructure improvements to keep up with development in his East End district. But he’s also interested in partnering with council representatives from other areas of the city. You can listen to our conversation in the player above.

What are some things that you think need to be acted on in Louisville?

For us, it’s development. Roads, traffic signals and other infrastructure issues have not kept up with the residential demand in District 19. More broadly across the city, I campaigned on a growth platform so as much as some of that development can be frustrating, I am pro-development. We just need to — as public officials and those controlling the strings of government — need to stay in front of that and I think we’ve done a poor job on that. We’ve seen some changes in the past couple years that have been good but I think very unfortunately Louisville, from a leadership point of view, has been okay with mediocrity, been okay, with slow growth, been okay with being average. This could be an extremely above average city.

As a member of the minority caucus, do you think that there’s a particular role you might play?

I think that’s still developing. I have some passionate positions about certain things. But there’s a lot to learn about how this system actually works. As part of what is now a super-minority caucus: local government is far less partisan than we see these other institutions. So there are plenty of independent-minded individuals — myself, but others that have been there for many, many years. There’s going to be a lot of partnership, a lot of sort of across the aisle working and I’ll call out Jessica Green as an example. She’s just a wonderful representative for her district.

Jessica Green represents District 1, which is in the West End. What opportunities do you see there? I can imagine that the issues you hear from your constituents may be different than what she’s hearing.

Obviously, the public safety issues in District 19 are very different from the public safety issues that impact District 1, but there is a tremendous amount of agreement on how to achieve those goals. There is a tremendous amount of ability to say, “Okay, what is good for this overall city,” because if we think too hyper-locally, we will also lose the big picture and people are not going to move into my district if they think there’s a crime problem generally across the city.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Amina Elahi is WFPL's City Reporter.