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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Owens to Receive MLK Freedom Award

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced Thursday that state Rep. Darryl Owens, D-Louisville, will be the recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Award.

The longtime public servant and civil rights advocate is as a former Jefferson County Commissioner who is currently serving his fourth term in the state legislature for the 43rd district.

Owens has also been a chief critic of city and county merger, who called for a review of the consolidation after accusing the mayor’s task force of failing to look at critical issues such as economic growth, Metro employee costs and urban services.

Fischer will present the award during a ceremony at the Kentucky Center’s Whitney Hall on January 15, during the “Keepers of the Dream” community arts celebration, which is free to the public.

“I am honored and deeply humbled to receive the 2012 Louisville Metro’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Award. Dr. King set the standard for true public service and he inspires me to continue working on issues that reflect his passion—justice, peace, and equality for all. I am fortunate to live in a community that allows me to pursue these goals every day,” says Owens.

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

U of L Report Finds City, County Merger Has Largely Failed

Louisville Metro Government has failed to bring economic growth and more cost efficient services to the city, according to a stinging report by the University of Louisville.

The study was requested by state Rep. Darryl Owens, D-Louisville, for Mayor Greg Fischer’s Merger 2.0 Task Force. Owens has been a longtime opponent and critic of merger and called for the review after feeling the mayor’s task force wasn’t looking at critical issues such as economic growth, Metro employee costs and urban services.

The report says the consolidation of the city and county in 2003 has failed on key pledges that merger proponents promised such as creating jobs and cost savings to city services.

From the Courier-Journal:

The report claims economic development “has not accelerated but moved downward” and that the decline cannot be blamed on the economy.

“The decline is not just a product of the national recession that began in 2008, but had beset post-merged Louisville while the nation was in the midst of economic growth,” the report says.

Another criticism the report highlights is one that Metro Council Republicans have complained about for a number of years, and that is information about the cost of services in the old city limits have never been released, which prevents accurate accounting.