Thursday January 6, 2011
Signs executive order creating the Merger 2.0 Task Force
View Executive Order (pdf)
Saying it’s time to review the first eight years of merged city/county government, Mayor Greg Fischer today signed an executive order creating the Merger 2.0 Task Force. The 23-member panel will make recommendations for improving merger for all citizens by October, 2011.
“It’s time we take a fresh look at merger, what went well, what hasn’t, and what can be improved upon -- to make sure all citizens are getting the services and response they deserve from city government,” Fischer said. The task force will also recommend ways to make Louisville an easy place to start, grow and attract businesses.
The task force will focus on complex issues surrounding services such as recycling, garbage and junk pick-up and fire protection, among others.
Citizens living within the Urban Services District, the old city of Louisville, currently pay higher property taxes and, in return, receive extra city services such as garbage collection and fire protection.
Those living outside the District have various forms of fire protection, from volunteer fire departments to fully-staffed and paid suburban districts. For services such as garbage and recycling collection, suburban residents often pay private contractors directly or pay fees to a neighborhood or condo association.
Fischer said the Merger 2.0 Task Force will be diverse and represent wide interests. It will be co-chaired by former Louisville Mayor and Jefferson County Judge-Executive Dave Armstrong, a Democrat, and former Jefferson County Judge-Executive Rebecca Jackson, a Republican.
The new panel will include four metro council members – two inside the Urban Services District and two outside the District – who will be appointed by the Metro Council President. One of those four will be a member of the minority caucus.
There will also be three citizen members who reside in each of the former county commission districts, plus one additional citizen at large. The council will represent broad interests including small cities, urban and suburban fire departments, the state legislature, Greater Louisville Inc. and the Greater Louisville Central Labor Council. Fischer emphasized that there will be multiple opportunities for citizen input into the process.
Fischer will make the appointments in the near future. After presenting its recommendations to Fischer by October 1, the task force will disband at the end of the year.
Once the work of the task force is complete, Fischer’s team will work with the Kentucky legislature, as necessary, to introduce any changes in legislation at the 2012 General Assembly.
“The Merger 2.0 Task Force will have plenty of exciting and rewarding work to do,” Fischer said. “The community is looking forward to the second decade of merger and this task force will play an important leadership role in making it happen.”