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Majority Caucus promises quick review of amended Memorandum of Agreement

Wednesday July 19, 2006

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

Louisville – Members of the Majority Caucus of the Metro Council have promised a quick review of a new Memorandum of Agreement announced by Mayor Jerry Abramson on Tuesday.

“I am disappointed in the Governor’s rhetoric and the Mayor’s resulting veto today because many hours were spent looking into this agreement,” said Budget Committee Chairman Rick Blackwell (D) 12. “The Governor and Mr. Host knew we were looking at the PLA more than three weeks ago. It would have been nice to have known of their legal concerns before we reached this point.”

On Tuesday, the Mayor vetoed a resolution that was passed 18 to 5 by the Metro Council.

“Make no mistake, building an arena has always been a priority for this Council as long as everyone had a chance to participate in the project,” said Majority Leader Jim King (D)10 . “I think it is important to note that much of what the Governor is proposing now would not even be in this new agreement if the Council had not raised these important issues.”

King pointed out some important changes that were realized when the council began it’s review.

“For example, the first memorandum of agreement sent to us required the city to pay up to $100,000,000 more for the new arena than what we ultimately agreed upon with the Arena Authority,” he said. “Further, the minorities and local jobs content was nowhere to be found in the original version.”

On Thursday night, the Council passed a resolution 18 to 5 that required the following:

  • *75 percent labor workers and contractors from the Kentucky and Indiana area
  • *60 percent of those workers are 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 vetoed agreement provided up to $100 million dollars saving for the city over the life of the bond project.

“The cost saving is something else we would not have realized if the Council had not done a thorough review of this Memorandum of Agreement. We trust the new agreement will include the revised financial arrangements” said King.

Other Caucus members will take a good look at what the Mayor has changed in the Agreement.

 “I will be interested to see what comes over from the Mayor’s office,” said Councilman George Unseld (D) 6. “I think there must be some thorough discussion on this.”

“I must be convinced that this new agreement will address all of local labor, women and minorities,” said Councilwoman Mary Woolridge (D) 3. “This issue is very important to this community and it should not be taken lightly.”

The Majority Caucus is still awaiting an opinion from the Jefferson County Attorney Irv Maze on the legality of the resolution that was passed on Thursday night. There has been no official legal opinion given from either the Kentucky Attorney General or County Attorney as to the Council’s action.

King noted the opinion may be “moot” given the Mayor’s veto today and he will discuss that concern with Maze.

There is no word on when the full Council will begin its review of the amended agreement.

Sponsor(s):
Mary Woolridge (D) 3
George Unseld (D) 6
Jim King (D) 10
Rick Blackwell (D) 12