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Metro Newsroom

Metro Council’s Minority Caucus Votes Against FY09 Capital Budget

Monday July 7, 2008

Louisville Metro Council
Media Advisory
For Immediate Release                            
Stephen Haag, Jr.
574-1204 / 645-1752

Louisville, KY – Eleven members of the Metro Council’s Minority Caucus voted against the FY09 Capital Budget after an effort to protect previously funded projects was defeated. The debate focused on the proposed delay of $17.2 million in funding Metro Government would spend to purchase property for the Baltimore based Cordish Group’s Center City Project.

“It is improper for us to be asked by the Mayor to approve purchasing more than $17 million in land for a development that we know so little about.” – Kelly Downard (District 16)

During tonight’s debate, Minority Caucus members focused on the lack of accountability, openness and oversight.  Councilman Ken Fleming expressed his concern over the fact that documents requested by the council were delivered late or are still outstanding.  Councilman Fleming also noted the lack of communication between the two branches of government on the Museum Plaza and Center City must be fixed before he is comfortable with approving such expenses.

“The legislative body is supposed to be able to review the actual numbers and have the information they need to decide what items to support. Despite the best efforts of our Budget Chair and Vice-Chair, this practice of withholding information continued this year, and resulted in very few changes to the budget.” – Ken Fleming (District 7)

Despite the decision to move forward on the financing of the downtown entertainment district, Council members were able to correct some of the Mayor’s priorities, adding $1.2 million in funding for non-profit agencies that serve many of the communities most needy groups and increasing funding for the upkeep of parks and vacant properties.

Members of the Metro Council also worked together to address the Mayor’s decision to remove $1 million dollars for planning and design of a community-wide library system, while also increasing the size of the Newberg Branch by 40 percent from 5,000 to 8,000 square feet.

“There were bright spots within the budget process. Budget Chair Hamilton and Vice-Chair Downard managed to move the hearings along, getting to the questions quickly. Although we couldn’t find consensus on all aspects of this year’s budget, we were able to some changes that made the budget easier for everyone to live with.”  – Kevin Kramer (District 11)

Kevin Kramer (R) 11
Kelly Downard (R) 16
Glen Stuckel (R) 17
Julie Adams (R) 18
Hal Heiner (R) 19
Stuart Benson (R) 20
Robin Engel (R) 22
James Peden (R) 23
Doug Hawkins (R) 25
Ellen Call (R) 26