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Louisville Metro Council President Jim King is calling on the Ethics Commission to add the latest allegations against Councilwoman Judy Green to the existing ethics complaint against her.

Green allegedly asked the 100 Black Men organization to request more city funds than necessary, then allocate the surplus at her discretion. King has sent Government Accountability Committee Chair Tina Ward-Pugh a letter about the issue. He’s also calling for an audit of all discretionary spending over $5,000 in the past two years. LEO reports that council Republicans will ask Mayor Greg Fischer to reduce the amount of  discretionary funds in the next city budget. Fischer’s spokesperson Chris Poynter said today the mayor will consider it.

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The Merger 2.0 task force is coming together. The panel is responsible for reviewing the first eight years of merger and recommending changes and improvements to government and the state law that governs merger.

When Mayor Greg Fischer created the task force, he said he wanted four council members on it–two from within the urban services district (old city) and two from outside. Further, he wanted at least one of those council members to be a Republican (Republicans are the minority in the council).

The mayor got just that.

On Tuesday, Council President Jim King (D-10) announced the following appointments to the task force:

Inside the USD:

  • Dan Johnson (D-21)
  • Cheri Bryant Hamilton (D-5)

 

Outside:

  • Rick Blackwell (D-12)
  • James Peden (R-23)

 

Louisville Metro Council President Jim King has named the new chairs and vice chairs of council committees. The assignments were sent out in a press release Thursday, along with this statement:

The Government Accountability, Oversight and Ethics has been shortened to Government Accountability and Ethics. The word Bridges has been added to the title for Transportation and Public Works.

Some key appointments (among others) are Marianne Butler and Kelly Downard on the Budget Committee and Tina Ward-Pugh and Kevin Kramer on the Accountability and Ethics Committee.

The full list is below…

Read the rest of this entry »

The Metro Council’s majority caucus sent out the following statements about possible changes to the Ohio River Bridges Project:

“I am glad the Governors of Kentucky and Indiana along with the Mayor of Louisville are working together to take a realistic approach to this vital economic development project. It is now up to the Bridge Authority to move forward with the desires of not only the political leaders but the residents of these two states,”   Councilwoman Madonna Flood (D-24) Majority Leader

“These revisions are exactly what the Council requested with our resolution.  It’s gratifying to know we’ve been heard.” Councilman Jim King (D-10) Chairman, Budget Committee

“Clearly both governors and Mayor Fischer have been listening to the citizens and local elected officials about the negative impact tolling existing infrastructure would have on working families and businesses.  It appears they’ve also embraced the reality that the project as it currently is proposed is too expensive.  Calling for cost cutting measures such as scaling back on design and construction, employing creative solutions and focusing on alternative transportation (i.e., completing Big Four Pedestrian Bridge rather than adding lanes for peds to new I-65) is something that many of us have been urging for more than four years. This news is a welcomed surprise.”   Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh (D-9)

As King points out, the Council passed a resolution last year opposing tolls on existing infrastructure.

We’ll post additional reactions as we hear them.

This week, the Courier-Journal ran a front-page story on a restructuring in the Louisville Metro Police Department. The force will focus more on fighting drugs and gangs.

The Ville Voice says the plan sounds like the one Councilman Jim King pitched when he was running for mayor.

Your thoughts?

From WFPL:

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh will not seek the council presidency next year. That means Councilman and former mayoral candidate Jim King will likely win the office.

Ward-Pugh and King had both been discussing their potential bids for the leadership post with their colleagues. Ward-Pugh says King was able to secure more support first.

“It hasn’t been a contentious thing at all,” she says.

LEO is reporting that Metro Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh is seeking the body’s presidency. She sent a letter to her colleagues Sunday touting her bipartisan work. The letter also acknowledged that some council members are supporting councilman and former president Jim King‘s re-election bid.

In that message to colleagues, Ward-Pugh specifically mentions possible tension with mayor-elect Greg Fischer if King were elected.

During the May primary, King attacked Fischer in several campaign mailers andtelevision advertisements, and the two Democrats traded barbs in the final days of the hotly contested election.

“While I believe (Councilman) King could do the job and do it well,” Ward-Pugh writes. “I believe I am better positioned to ensure building a fresh, positive foundation with the mayor-elect and the new administration given that I don’t have a record of criticizing mayor-elect Fischer’s ability to lead, regardless of whether it was during a heated campaign or not. As I told (Councilman) King myself, while I don’t have any belief that he would not work well with Fischer, I do believe there is a dynamic that will be present with him as president that won’t be there with me.”

Ward-Pugh told WFPL last year that she was considering running for president for 2010. She did not seek the office, but deferred to Councilman Tom Owen, who is currently president.

Former Democratic mayoral candidates Tyler Allen, Shannon White and Lisa Moxley appear in the latest one-minute television ad from Republican candidate Hal Heiner. The three Democrats have endorsed Heiner in the race.

The spot paints Heiner as a change candidate, playing on the fact that there hasn’t been a Republican mayor of Louisville since the late 1960s. There has, however, been a Republican Judge Executive since then. Rebecca Jackson was the last Judge Executive before merger, and the last to have real power in government.

Other former Democratic candidates David Tandy and Jim King, and independent Jackie Green have endorsed Democratic candidate for mayor Greg Fischer.

Several members of the Louisville Metro Council are reviewing a resolution that would oppose the use of tolls on existing bridges as a means of paying for new bridges in the Ohio River Bridges Project.

LEO says Tina Ward-Pugh is leading the efforts (contrary to earlier reports), along with fellow Democrats Jim King, Tom Owen, Vicki Aubrey Welch and Brent Ackerson. Ward-Pugh has a history of opposing the Ohio River Bridges Project. She supported 8664 co-founder Tyler Allen in the Democratic primary for mayor this year, and she fought against the formation of the Louisville and Southern Indiana Bridges Authority. But the resolution does not take a stand against the actual infrastructure plans for the bridges project.

“I think tolls can be necessary to fund large projects, however, we don’t agree that we should pay for this project by tolling existing transportation infrastructure,” says Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh, who sponsored the resolution. “The other component that’s critical is this resolution does not take a position for or against one bridge or two bridges. This resolution affirms that the ORBP should be built in phases, beginning with the East End bridge.”

The bridges authority restated its dedication to the two-bridge project in their latest meeting.

While the authority has discussed tolling existing bridges, nothing has been confirmed. (For a look at the tolls being considered and how they might affect traffic if they’re imposed on existing bridges, click here.)

New Albany’s city council has passed a similar anti-toll resolution.

From WFPL:

Former Louisville mayoral candidates David Tandy and Jim King formally endorsed Greg Fischer Friday.

Fischer defeated the two Metro Councilmen in the Democratic Primary in May. Fischer finished with 45 percent of the vote, behind him were Tandy and King, each with about 20%.

Shannon White, who won about 2% of the Democratic Primary vote, endorsed Republican candidate Hal Heiner last week.

A spokesperson for the Heiner campaign criticized Fischer for welcoming endorsements from two Metro Council members after calling Heiner, also a councilman, an insider.

The four other Democrats who ran in the primary have not offered public endorsements of either candidate.

In addition to Fischer and Heiner, independents Jackie Green, Nimbus Couzin and Jonathan Mills will also appear on the November ballot.

Here is the Fischer campaign statement:

Saying that Louisville needs a mayor who can unite the city, create jobs and put people back to work, Metro Councilmembers David Tandy and Jim King today endorsed Greg Fischer for Mayor.

“Greg is the leader our city desperately needs,” said King, a Democrat who represents the 10th district. “He is the true job creator in the race – and he has the business experience to immediately step into the mayor’s office and lead our city towards growth and prosperity.”

“Greg will be a mayor for all of Louisville, from downtown to the suburbs, from the east to the west and the south,” said Tandy, who represents the 4th district. “He will put our neighborhoods first and will build a efficient government that is open, honest and accountable to the people.”

Tandy and King were primary opponents of Fischer – and, among the three, they garnered 85 percent of the votes.  Tandy and King said they, along with other Democrats, are united in their support for Fischer’s fresh vision and leadership for Louisville.

Fischer said he was honored to have their endorsement.

“David, Jim and I share a common belief that Louisville can be a better place – a place where our children and grandchildren can find good-paying jobs and raise their families,” Fischer said.

And the response from Heiner’s campaign spokesperson, Joe Burgan:

While spending the summer bashing Hal for  serving on the Metro Council, Greg Fischer runs to the arms of two democratic council members who have served the city just like Hal.  I guess this proves that Greg believes experience like Hal’s matters when running for mayor.


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