Heiner, Fischer Square Off At Forum

by Rick Howlett on September 8, 2010

The major party candidates for Louisville mayor squared off Wednesday at the monthly meeting of the Louisville Forum

Democrat Greg Fischer and Republican Hal Heiner (pictured with Forum President Dot Ridings) outlined their positions on merger, the bridges project, and funding for libraries and the arts and other issues.

On the topic of the city’s relationship with state government, Fischer said if elected, he would invite the General Assembly to hold a session in Lousiville.

“If your biggest customer asks you to come and do a strategic planning retreat at their corporate headquarters, what would you do? You would say ‘I’m there.’ We’re the biggest source of revenue for kentucky, let’s hold a session of the legislature here so we can showcase our community, show them where they need investments here, and how that can help the state,” Fischer said.

Heiner says state lawmakers from Louisville should build a coalition with those from surrounding counties to try to get a better return on local tax dollars that go to Frankfort.

“The only thing Frankfort respects is the votes,” Heiner said. “It’s time for Kentucky to invest in cities again.”

You can hear the entire debate by clicking below:

Audio MP3

Comments Closed


Curtis Morrison September 8, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Ok, Mr. Fischer…That’s akin to New York City asking the U.S. Congress to have a session there. No, the state legislature wouldn’t agree, and if they did, we wouldn’t be able to afford it. Plus, it’s kind of against the Commonwealth’s Constitution.

If I was mayor of Louisville, I’d have an office in Frankfort. Because Louisville is within the jurisdiction of Kentucky. Kentucky is not within the jurisdiction of Louisville. Obviously, Greg is not the candidate to undo the damage Jerry Abramson’s arrogance has caused us with our partners across the state.

Curtis Morrison September 8, 2010 at 6:25 pm

FYI: Section 255. Frankfort is state capital. The seat of
government shall continue in the city of Frankfort,
unless removed by a vote of two-thirds of each House
of the first General Assembly which convenes after the
adoption of this Constitution.
TEXT AS RATIFIED ON: August 3, 1891, and revised September
28, 1891. HISTORY: Not yet amended.

Steve Magruder September 9, 2010 at 8:57 am

I think Heiner is more realistic in terms of how to get more respect for Louisville and other Kentucky metro areas in Frankfort, but you have to give Fischer some points for saying something provocative, especially because it may be his first.

To be fair, I don’t think Fischer means to say an entire legislative session — but rather a session in the corporate retreat sense.

Eden Springs September 9, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Here’s how I see the two candidates in this race:

1. Heiner: Worked his way up from janitor to business owner.
Fischer: Had his daddy hand him a going enterprise

2. Heiner: Has served on the Council
Fischer: Hasn’t served (or even attended a single Council meeting), says he’ll just “watch them on TV” because he’s too busy.

3. Heiner: Made several trips to visit mayors other cities that made a turn-around after economic disaster, has studied extensively on urban issues and policy.
Fischer: No trips or study, too busy brushing the dust off his “Entrepreneur of the Year” trophy

4. Heiner: Committed to bettering Louisville, has no political aspirations beyond that post
Fischer: Committed to getting elected, will use Mayor’s post as stepping stone to even higher office

Need I continue?

This is an easy decision to make, especially as Fischer’s campaign is infested with Abramsonites who’d love to spend 4 more years with a pompous, politically ambitious and self-serving administration running this town (or what’s left of it).

This Dem’s jumping the party queue in November!

Dave Thomas September 9, 2010 at 2:39 pm

When the candidates were asked to provide a “30-second commercial” for attracting business to Louisville, I was somewhat aghast at their responses. Heiner immediately cited the arts, and after claiming to have created jobs; Fischer launched into a disjointed diatribe about infrastructure quality of life.

Understanding that “thinking on your feet,” is difficult, and that hindsight is 20/20; they are both necessary traits for a mayor. The arts, infrastructure and quality of life are important to the Louisville community, but as a business manager, I hoped the candidates agenda for attracting business to Louisville would have included: 1) availability of skilled labor and sources for education & training, 2) average labor rate in comparison to other Midwestern cities, 3) geographical proximity to customers and markets, 4) low cost logistical support via UPS, interstate and river transit, 5) availability of raw materials, 6) federal, state and local tax incentives, 7) speculative development of distribution facilities, 8) available and affordable real estate, 9) local financing through banks, venture and business development initiatives, 10) academic and commercial studies favorably comparing Louisville to competing cities, 11) assistance and support by Greater Louisville, Inc (GLI), etc.

While the bridge debacle is a boondoggle, it truly is one topic that doesn’t ever need to be brought up when trying to attract business to Louisville. The Speed Art Museum didn’t attract UPS, city infrastructure didn’t attract Brown Forman, and trolley hops surely didn’t attract Humana. Businesses are attracted by the availability of land, labor, capital, raw materials, financing, and markets for their goods and services..

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