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Caucus Condemns Actions of Metro Council Majority

Friday November 16, 2012

Louisville Metro Council
Minority Caucus
Media Advisory
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                  
MEDIA CONTACT:      STEPHEN HAAG, JR.
574-1204 / 645-1752 (CELL)
 
Louisville, KY – In an unprecedented action, 15 members of the Metro Council, led by Councilman Brent Ackerson (Democrat) voted to change the rules of the Metro Council to potentially limit the debate on important issues with the vote of a simple majority of the membership of the Metro Council. This change, which was filed on election day, removes protections of any minority group against an overzealous majority by limiting the debate to as little as 90 minutes.

“The Democratic process suffered a severe blow by the actions of Councilman Brent Ackerson and 14 of his colleagues on the Metro Council. The actions by these members to silence the voice of dissent will have a chilling effect on the spirit of cooperation that had persisted within this body. His desire to get retribution will prevent open dialogue and well-intentioned discussion from taking place. In the history of the Metro Council, our meetings have only run longer than midnight on a few occasions. Each time, the debate was hotly contested, and in almost every one of those cases, all or parts of the law were challenged in court at a significant cost to taxpayers.” - Minority Caucus Chairman Ken Fleming (District 7)

“In the past years, the Metro Council has matured, putting petty politics aside, in an attempt to address the needs of the people we serve. The sponsors of this rule change have expressed their interest in making this body more like our brethren in Washington DC and Frankfort by imposing rules that sanction a dissenting voice, that is something that I, nor the people of this community should support. The move by members of the Metro Council’s Democratic Caucus has fractured this council and will only serve to damage our ability to serve this community.” – Budget Vice-Chairman, Kelly Downard (District 16)

“The members of the Minority Caucus would like to thank, Councilman Tom Owen (District 8) as well as Councilwoman Tina Ward Pugh (District 9) who had the courage to speak up in support of the minority opinion. Their efforts to preserve the rights of the minority voice on matters such as spending, accountability and transparency will not be forgotten.” – Minority Caucus Vice-Chairman, Kevin Kramer (District 11)

“While the work of the Council is conducted daily, the real results are front and center twice monthly during our Metro Council meetings. By a vote of 15-9 Democratic members of the Metro Council changed a rule that has been in place since the start of merged government. The change they passed will prevent members of the Metro Council from being able to debate issues such as the more than half billion dollar Metro Budget, overbearing regulations or out of control spending for as little as 90 minutes. I am disappointed that a council that has previously acted in such a bi-partisan manner, has been allowed to fall into the partisan mud.” – Councilman Jerry T. Miller (District 19)

Sponsor(s):
Ken Fleming (R) 7
Kevin Kramer (R) 11
Kelly Downard (R) 16
Glen Stuckel (R) 17
Jerry Miller (R) 19
Stuart Benson (R) 20
Robin Engel (R) 22
James Peden (R) 23