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County Attorney says Governor wrong, Council resolution is legal

Thursday July 20, 2006

Majority Caucus
Louisville Metro Council
For More Information Contact:
Tony Hyatt: 574-4137/ 526-3622
For Immediate release:

Louisville – The Jefferson County Attorney’s office has rendered an opinion on the legality of a resolution passed by the Metro Council last Thursday night.

The opinion says the resolution which approved the Memorandum of Agreement with the Louisville Arena Authority does not violate Kentucky’s Procurement Code in preventing the issuance of $75,000,000 in state bonds for the Arena.

“The County Attorney has validated the Council’s action,” said Majority Leader Jim King (D) 10.

The opinion stated “….we have not been dissuaded from our original determination that the resolution is acceptable in form and free of legal defect.”

King requested the opinion on Monday when Governor Ernie Fletcher indicated that state bond money could not be used because the resolution which placed unions at the negotiating table would be an unfair advantage for contractors under the code.

The opinion went on to say “We have been unable to discern any substantial authority that transforms the PLA requirement from a policy question…. to a question o flaw….”

Mayor Jerry Abramson vetoed the resolution on Tuesday on the basis of the Governor’s statement.

“I’m disappointed in the Fletcher administration in light of this opinion. The Democratic Caucus worked tirelessly for three weeks to craft language to include everyone in the arena project,” said King.

“I am glad a determination has been made,” said Councilwomen Mary C. Woolridge (D) 3. “I never would have supported anything that violated local or state law.”

The vetoed resolution included a requirement that unions and non unions be allowed to work on the Arena project as well as these other goals:

  • *75 percent workers and contractors from Kentucky and Indiana
  • *60 percent of those workers from the Louisville SMSA
  • *20 percent minority workers and contractors
  • *5 percent women workers and contractors.
  • *project jobs open to both union and non union workers
  • *Prevailing wage to be paid for each trade involved in the project.
  • *Creation of a committee of the Louisville Urban League and the Justice Resource Center to work with the Authority to train and recruit minorities for in labor and contractors and provide verification of minority involvement.

The Mayor indicated a new Memorandum of Agreement would be sent to the Council. It reportedly includes the above mentioned items but leaves out the union involvement.

“It has been a hectic few days, but we are ready to move forward with the Arena project,” said Budget Committee Chairman Rick Blackwell (D) 12 “We stand ready to work with the Mayor, the Governor and the Louisville Arena Authority to move this project forward.”

Sponsor(s):
Mary Woolridge (D) 3
Jim King (D) 10