Tuesday January 6, 2004
Mayor Jerry Abramson today said in the first year of merged government great strides were made in laying a “foundation for a more efficient, effective government and a stronger, more vibrant community.”
Releasing a first-year progress report on the merged government today, Abramson toutedseveral initiatives while also pointing to plans for the second year of his administration.
“We have faced many challenges in this first year of merger – including the effects of one of the worst national recessions in decades,” Abramson said. “But we have come so far – and accomplished so much – because of the commitment of Louisville Metro employees, the Metro Council and citizens of this community.”
Abramson said major accomplishments from the first year of merged government include:
· Combining two governments into a more efficient, effective one and reducing the authorized government workforce by 10 percent without cutting services or raising taxes
· Attacking the most pressing drainage problems in the community with a $70 million initiative – Project DRI (Drainage Response Initiative) to address 350 neighborhood drainage projects within three years
· Investing more than $30 million toward the creation of the MetroSafe Communications System, a single network to link police, fire, EMS and other first responders
· Instituting sweeping reforms in the police department to improve public confidence and better protect both citizens and officers
· Improving government accountability and responsiveness in key areas such as police, planning and design, economic development and neighborhoods
· Increasing citizen access to metro government through initiatives such as the annual Neighborhood Summit, MetroCall 311 and monthly Community Conversations
· Continuing a 15-year renaissance in downtown with construction underway on more than $500 million in projects and launching a new program – Corridors Of Opportunity in Louisville (COOL) to stimulate economic redevelopment along major roadways
Abramson said during this coming year he will continue to focus on making government more efficient and responsive in the delivery of basic services and improving economic development and educational opportunities. Efforts will also be made to begin the consolidation of emergency medical services and adopting “best practices” policies and procedures to improve jail operations under the direction of a new director of the Corrections Department.
In addition, Abramson said he also intends to launch comprehensive plans regarding air quality, fitness, anti-litter and housing, particularly through the transformation of the Newburg and Clarksdale neighborhoods.
“We’ve come a long way in this first year, but we have a great deal of work still to do,” Abramson said. “I’m excited about our progress and about what the future holds for our hometown.”