Fulfilling a campaign promise to bring Metro Government closer to residents, freshman Councilman David Yates, D-25, has spearheaded the opening of a new Southwest Regional Metro Council office.
The office will open Tuesday in an effort to better serve citizens and to connect them directly with their city representative, particularly for those unable to make it downtown to City Hall.
The branch will be at the Southwest Government Center at 7219 Dixie Highway, which has been adapted to provide a place for residents to meet with council members and their staff.
“One of our goals and ours jobs is to make Metro Government more accessible to southwest Louisville,” says Yates. “The office in of itself and the reason behind it is just making it easier for constituents to meet with us and to set up and get their ideas.”
After taking office earlier this year, Yates reached out to council members Rick Blackwell, D-12, Bob Henderson, D-14, and Vicki Aubrey Welch D-13—who also represent the area—with the idea to combine efforts.
Th four council members plan to have rotating office hours, including extended operations on Wednesdays.
Since city and county governments merged in 2003, residents in southwest Louisville have said they are often left out. Yates says this branch is the beginning of larger effort, including a coming library expansion.
“I think it’s a start. I think that that’s something I’m going to have to work on continuously. Merger’s here. It’s happened. Now my job is to help my district and Metro Louisville benefit best from it and work with my other council members to do that,” he says.
The office will be staffed by their office and run mainly by Nicole Venhoff Candler, a public relations consultant from the Pleasure Ridge Park neighborhood, who has served as a member of the Southwest Dream Team and Mayor Greg Fischer’s transition team.