Arts and Humanities Local News Next Louisville Politics

Fischer Meets With Both Sides of Orchestra Dispute

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has now met with both sides in the Louisville Orchestra labor dispute.

The management and musicians have been in talks over a contract for the next season for more than a year. In that time, the orchestra has entered and emerged from bankruptcy and the previous season’s contract has expired.

“I think it’s important that we have an orchestra in this city and if I can help solve a problem of this magnitude, I think it’s part of my role,” says Fischer.

Both sides are in mediation with the Louisville Labor Management Committee, but Fischer joined the talks this week, meeting with management yesterday and musicians today.

“Our goal this week was to listen to both sides and reflect on that tonight and over the weekend and we’ll probably go back to them through the mediator Henri Mangeot and ask them for some additional information and see if we can provide a few suggestions,” he says.

The management is seeking to sign the musicians to tiered contracts, with some players being paid for as few as ten weeks. The musicians have offered to shorten the season and cut 11 full-time players, but the management says it can’t afford that. Fischer says it’s too early for him to judge either side’s proposal.

Orchestra concerts for September and October have been canceled.

Local News Politics Uncategorized

Mayor Will Sign Fireworks Ordinance, Budget

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer says he will sign the fireworks ordinance passed by the Metro Council Thursday night.  The ordinance will allow the sale of fireworks permitted by state law, but says they cannot be set off by minors or within 200 feet of another person or building.  Mayor Fischer says the new state law that loosens restrictions on fireworks has put them in a tough spot.

“This ordinance that was passed last night is tighter than state law,” he said.  “So if that ordinance doesn’t pass, it defaults to the looser state law.”

Mayor Fischer says he will sign it for that reason, but is heartened that the council will study the ordinance further to see how to improve public safety.

The mayor also announced he will sign the budget approved by the council.  The 500 million dollar budget adds about 2.5 million in spending for various agencies to the original plan submitted by Mayor Fischer.  He says he can go along with the changes.

“The metro council looked at our revenue, and they thought they found a few spots where the additional 2.5 million dollars could come in,” the mayor explained. “It’s one-half of one percent of our revenue forecast, so I’m fine with that.”

Local News Next Louisville Politics

Fischer Takes Oath Of Office

Greg Fischer took the oath of office as Louisville’s new mayor during a private ceremony at his home Sunday evening. Fischer officially becomes mayor at 12:01am Monday.

The private swearing-in ensures there is no vacuum of power between then and his public oath of office at noon Monday. The Sunday evening oath was administered by Jefferson Circuit Judge Olu Stevens.

A full day of inaugural activities begins with a breakfast early Monday.

Local News Next Louisville

Poll: Many Voters Undecided In Mayor's Race

By Rick Howlett

Democrat Greg Fischer and Republican Chris Thieneman hold narrow primary leads in a Courier Journal/WHAS11 Bluegrass Poll of voters in the Louisville mayor’s race published today, but many of those surveyed say they’re undecided about the election.

Twenty percent of Democratic voters surveyed said they would cast their ballot for Fischer. Metro Councilman David Tandy is second in the poll with 17-percent followed by Jim King, also a Metro Councilman, with 12-percent. Tyler Allen is fourth, with eight percent, followed by Burrel Farnsley (4%), Lisa Moxley (3%), Connie Marshall (2%) and Shannon White (2%). The Democratic poll has a 3.9-percent margin of error and 32-percent of the voters say they’re undecided.

On the Republican side, 34-percent of those surveyed said they would vote for Thieneman, a Louisville developer. Metro Councilman Hal Heiner is second with 30-percent and business owner Jonathon Robertson is third with six-percent. The GOP poll has a 4.7-percent margin of error and 30-percent of those surveyed say they’re undecided.

The poll of 656 likely Democratic primary voters and 449 likely Republican voters was conducted by SurveyUSA.

Local News Next Louisville

AUDIO: GOP Mayoral Candidates At Louisville Forum

The three Republican candidates for Louisville mayor discussed the issues during the monthly Louisville Forum Wednesday.

Jonathon Robertson, Hal Heiner and Chris Thieneman (pictured, from left) fielded questions about the Metro Government budget, library funding, ethics and other topics.

(Photo by Steve Haag, Louisville Forum)

Arts and Humanities Local News

Mayor Unveils Public Art Plan for Louisville

Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson today unveiled a detailed master plan for public art in city. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer reports. (To listen to the audio of the announcement, click on “Listen to the Story.”)

The plan was developed through the mayor’s office with diverse groups of artists, educators, government officials and property developers. One main achievement was pinpointing a funding stream that does not create new taxes or fees.

The plan modifies a current law that that requires developers who have projects exceeding 100,000 square feet to contribute to use a percentage of their construction budget for public amenities.

Abramson says, under the plan, developers would have an alternative.

“Under the new plan, however, developers would have the option to instead contribute those dollars to a new public space art fund,” Abramson says.

The public art plan’s authors consulted with developers to create this option.

Chuck Kavanaugh is president of the Home Builders Association of Louisville.

“It was very easy to put this together and get back to our commercial council,” Kavanaugh says. “The commercial council at our association is really the largest retail office in industrial developers in town. These people embraced it. They’re very interested in it. They liked the option.”

The plan also includes policies for creating new public art and outlines how artists can participate.

Chris Radtke is co-chair of the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Public Art and worked on the plan.

“One of the innovate aspects of the plan is it moves the core of creative thinking for public projects off of the committee table and into the artist’s studio,” she says. “Artists not only from Louisville but anywhere in the world will be the ones that create ideas for proposals.”

Artists would work with community and non-profit groups to obtain funding.

Metro Council must approve the plan to establish a Commission on Public Art and set up the funding mechanism for projects. The city spent $50,000 to create the plan with New York-based Creative Time, which has worked on public art projects nationwide.


Audio of Mayor’s Announcement

Mayor Abramson Announces Effort to Create Public Art Plan (Sept. 2008)

Feature: Louisville Invests $50,000 for Public Art Master Plan (Sept. 2008)

Feature: An Inventory of Louisville’s Art and the Care It Needs (July 2009)

City Plans to Apply for New Federal Art-Related Grant (Jan. 2010)

Local News Next Louisville

Mayoral Candidates Speak To Real Estate Group

Eight of the announced candidates for Louisville mayor took part in a panel discussion Thursday organized by the Louisville Real Estate Group.

The forum focused on commercial and residential development and other economic issues.

The participants were Republicans Hal Heiner and Chris Thieneman; Democrats Tyler Allen, Greg Fischer, David Tandy, Jim King and Shannon White; and independent candidate Jackie Green.

The discussion was moderated by WDRB-TV’s Bill Lamb.

Local News

Jackie Green Says He'll Run For Mayor

Louisville transportation activist Jackie Green says he’ll be a candidate for mayor in next year’s election.

Green is the former executive director of the Coalition for the Advancement of Regional Transportation, or CART, and operates a bicycle courier business.

He says he’ll run as an independent candidate.

“We’re setting up staff right now.    Our fundraising plans are on hold.    We’ve been offered money.    I’ve said thank you to those who have offered money but we’re not ready to spend money in any significant way,” Green said Tuesday.

Green says transportation will be the main plank in his campaign platform, particularly the need for improvements in the city’s public transit system.

Six Democrats, two Republicans and one other independent candidate have announced they’ll seek the mayor’s office in 2010.

Incumbent Democrat Jerry Abramson won’t seek a final term in order to run for Lt. Governor in 2011.

Local News Next Louisville

Jim King To Announce Candidacy For Mayor

Louisville Metro Councilman Jim King will announce Wednesday that he’ll run for the office of metro mayor next year.

King will be the third Democrat to formally announce his candidacy, following fellow councilman David Tandy and businessman Greg Fischer.                     Jim King

He was first elected to the council in 2005 and is currently chairman of the budget committee. He’s also a former council president.

King, a Louisville native, is founder and CEO of King Southern Bank.

No Republicans have formally announced for the race.    Louisville coffee shop owner Nimbus Couzin is running as an independent.

Current Mayor Jerry Abramson announced last month he wouldn’t seek a final term in office in order to run for Lt. Governor on the Democratic ticket with Gov. Steve Beshear in 2011.