At a ceremony in Metro Hall, Fischer outlined some of the challenges of his first 100 days, from lingering union disputes to industrial accidents in Rubbertown and Butchertown.
Fischer’s next major challenge will be to draft the city budget for the coming fiscal year. Fischer says revenue will likely show little or no growth, and he’ll have to deal with a $22 million shortfall.
“Right now I’ve asked the Office of Management and Budget to develop several scenarios for us to take a look at so that work is well underway. We’ll be collaborating with the Metro Council before the budget is announced publicly,” he says.
Fischer says layoffs and several other measures are on the table. He previously told WFPL that tax increases were unlikely, though some fees may be increased to create additional revenue. He’s also talked with city unions about possible cuts.
“We had lunch with them, I think it was about two weeks ago, and they presented their ideas on how to do that, then we’ll have individual conversations with them as well,” he says.
Fischer’s administration brokered a deal in federal court with developer Todd Blue, who owns Whiskey Row, that would allow Blue to demolish the seven buildings at First and Main streets in early May. Preservationists cried foul, saying the deal bypasses the local landmarks commission and will lead to the unnecessary destruction of the historic buildings. The city later sought to find a buyer for Whiskey Row who would save five of the seven buildings. Fischer says an unnamed group of people is putting together the funds to make an offer.
On Councilwoman Green, Fischer says it’s best to wait until the Metro Ethics Commission issues a ruling after hearing the case against her later this month. Green has been accused of misusing city funds. When asked if the councilwoman should resign, Fischer says asking her to do so would be “premature.”