Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson is hoping area businesses will lead an economic recovery this year.
Abramson says the new downtown arena is already spurring some development, while national companies will step up their new operations in Louisville in the coming months.
“G.E. will begin to make some of those green appliances that will be made at the end of 2010, 2011,” he says. “Next year we’ll hear about the exact cars that will be built at the assembly plant with Ford putting in hundreds of millions of dollars. Right now in our pipeline of economic development, we have more businesses looking to relocate in Louisville than I have ever seen.”
The city budget has been repeatedly cut in the last two years as unemployment has increased. Occupational tax from local jobs is a primary source of income for Metro Government.
Abramson also says his lame duck year in office will not be a time for complacency. Abramson is seeking the Lieutenant Governor’s post in 2011 and will not run for mayor this year. Since he will be out of office for nearly a year before the gubernatorial election, Abramson says the campaign won’t be a distraction.
“The timing’s just right,” he says. “I’ve got a full year now as mayor where once and a while I’ll be going out in the state, but my 99 and a half percent if not 99 and three-quarters percent of my time, energy and focus is on my hometown as mayor.”
Abramson says he will be focused on economic recovery this year. That includes applying for federal stimulus grants and luring new businesses to Louisville.
The Mayor’s Race
As the first and only mayor of the merged government, Abramson says he spent much of his last two terms figuring out how to run the new, larger city. While he admits there were some difficulties, Abramson is confident that he will have paved the way for the next phase of Metro Government by the end of the year. Abramson says the next mayor will have to decide what that next phase will be.
“He or she’s going to have to lay out the vision in terms of how to take it to the next level as they define the next level and we as citizens that will vote will have to decide which vision is the one we most agree with,” he says.