Heiner Says Mayoral Power Should Be Limited

by Gabe Bullard on September 8, 2009

Louisville Metro Councilman Hal Heiner says he’s disappointed with Attorney General Jack Conway’s opinion on the mayor’s economic development powers.

Conway released a decision Tuesday saying the law allows the mayor to negotiate and sign development contracts without council approval. It comes after Heiner and two others asked Conway about the legality of Mayor Abramson’s decision to re-allocate unused portions of a bond for a new project in 4th Street Live.

While this power is given to the mayor, Conway says the council can take it away. Heiner says several of his colleagues will soon begin taking such steps.

“Our goal at this point is to make sure in the future that this type of spending—without oversight, without transparency, without a check and balance, without any discussion in the public—that before we spend sums of taxpayers’ money that this community is involved,” he says.

The council is currently considering an ordinance that would increase the transparency of city-funded projects.

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