Mayor's Bridges Authority Appointments Confirmed

by Gabe Bullard on November 19, 2009

Four members of a bi-state bridges authority have been approved.

The Louisville Metro Council Thursday moved to confirm the mayor’s nominees. The appointees will sit on a 14-member panel. The panel will determine, among other things, how to pay for two proposed new bridges over the Ohio River.

Three council members voted against the confirmations because a council member was not nominated to the panel. Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh said she’s concerned that the authority will impose tolls on the bridges without explicit approval from the residents of Louisville.

“I just believe that we shouldn’t be giving our little bit of opportunity we have for say to an unelected, appointed body, and so I’ll be voting no on this and the others for those same reasons,” she says.

Councilman Kelly Downard voted for the appointments, saying representation was not an issue, since the authority will hold public meetings.

“We’re going to be able to weigh in on anything that happens and I suspect that we all will,” says Downard. “I mean, I certainly intend to. Having a vote on the bi-state authority doesn’t mean much when you’re one out of 14.”

Beshear and Abramson say the authority will hold open and public meetings where council members may offer comment. Governor Steve Beshear’s three appointments to the body are pending approval from the state Senate.

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