Republican mayoral candidate Hal Heiner and independent candidate Jackie Green have both responded to a questionnaire posted on the Ville Voice. The questions were culled from reader submissions.

Here’s an excerpt:

VV: Can you name five specific economic development ideas you have presented thus far during the campaign and provide references that illustrate how they’ll enhance Louisville’s economy?

[Jackie Green]: Yes. Consider the following. An out of state corporation flies a senior manager to Louisville to quietly explore a major investment in our local economy. She gets off the plane anticipating a world class public transit system to take her from the airport to her first meeting downtown. The first mental note she makes is: “No public transit system.” Minutes later she hears the taxi radio alerting the citizens of Louisville to the day’s unhealthy air quality. She makes a second mental note: “Don’t breath outdoors.” The taxi driver then tells her the big rain of the night before has flushed sewage into our creeks. She makes a third note. She then reads the Courier-Journal and learns that our children – her children – may be required to attend school an hour away from home. Mental note number four: “Kids may not attend local school.“ The next Courier-Journal article discusses the region’s dependence on petroleum and coal for 99.9% of our energy. Her fifth mental note: “No energy independence, no plan for energy independence.” At this point she picks up her cell phone and books a flight out of Louisville. These same factors that drive her out of Louisville, drive intelligent, educated, creative youth out of our local economy. If we do not get these basics right, we will not grow our local economy as we should. So, here are five specific economic development ideas, all of which address her five concerns. Begin building a world-class public transit. Replace the burning of coal with electricity generated by photovoltaic solar systems. Reduce the petroleum burned in the transportation sector with smarter development and improved non-automotive transportation alternatives. Reduce the flooding of our creeks with green roofs, rain gardens and using captured rain water to flush toilets. Create diverse schools based on diverse communities. Attractive, energy smart, neighborhood friendly, pedestrian friendly, green cities with educated, healthy populations will attract investment.

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VV: Can you name five specific economic development ideas you have presented thus far during the campaign and provide references that illustrate how they’ll enhance Louisville’s economy?

[Hal Heiner]: What must come first is leadership. I’ve built my life on growing and attracting business to our region. I want to take that experience into the Mayor’s Office, serving as the Chief Economic Development Officer for Louisville. Once there, I have made very specific proposals about how we can grow and attract jobs and investment in our city. First, we must update the jobs strategy that is guiding the strategic vision of our community to grow the economy. It has been fourteen years since Louisville put together a jobs strategy and it’s time to look forward to what is required of us to create jobs in the future. Second, we should create a “closing fund” that gives us a tool to help close the deal with companies that are looking to locate or expand in the area. Oklahoma City has a similar fund and it is an important component of their economic development strategy. Third, we must have a government that welcomes investment and eliminates red tape. The last thing we want is for procedures and a bureaucratic process to frustrate small business owners and entrepreneurs trying to get their businesses off the ground. Fourth, we should put into place a small-business friendly procurement process and provide enhanced local-vendor preferences to try to keep the local tax dollars we spend circulating through the community. Fifth, we must continue to enhance the area’s capacity to draw in research dollars, commercialize technologies and attract new convention and hospitality business.

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