Both major party candidates for mayor of Louisville released policy books Thursday.

Democrat Greg Fischer‘s book (pdf) includes plans for island parks in the Ohio River, bus rapid transit from the airport to downtown and several policies released earlier in the campaign. For more on Fischer’s plan, read the WFPL story.

Republican Hal Heiner‘s book (pdf) covers education, job creation and other issues, and also includes a paragraph on outsourcing some city services. The topic was briefly discussed earlier in the campaign.

Faced with huge shortfalls, cities across the country arelooking at ways to inject business principles into what havetraditionally been thought of as strictly government services.In 2008, Chicago competitively bid management of the city’s parking services and received $1.8 billion paymentupfront. In Pittsburg, the city is considering leasing parkingfor a $300 million upfront payment to shore up their pensionproblem. For years, cities have allowed private companies to bid for non-core services. Louisville has done some of these but we must think about expanding these alternatives.

But the larger campaign issue now is education. In a recent ad, Fischer says there should be changes to the JCPS student assignment plan. He said this on Thursday:

The community has asked for my views on education so I’m respecting voters for communicating them. I’m saying I’ll be helpful, a force for that. I’ll bring people together to have that discussion. I’m not dividing the community, I’m bringing it together for a discussion.

and also:

What I’m saying is, I want to help. I want to help fix. I’ll bring the community together. That’s a very different position than my opponent, who is dividing the community with his approach.

Fischer’s book does not discuss the assignment plan, but it does outline his proposed public-private partnerships and other initiatives to improve education.

Heiner’s book further clarifies his stance on the assignment plan.

Louisville we must have these as mutual goals. Educational excellence is reinforced by the benefits ofdiversity. A rethink of the student assignment plan cancertainly balance the need to keep our schools diversewhile substantially reducing, if not outright eliminating, theneed for mandated cross-county busing.