A Louisville Metro Council member hopes the public isn’t losing trust in city lawmakers after a series of spending controversies, and expects reforms will be made to the council’s discretionary spending accounts as a result. Reports in the Louisville Courier-Journal and LEO Weekly uncovered that council members have spent thousands of taxpayer dollars on food… Continue reading Fleming Anticipates Changes Following Spending Controversies
Freshman Louisville Metro Councilman Jerry Miller, R-19, is continuing a call to cut neighborhood funds to help fill a $22 million shortfall in the city’s budget, despite vocal opposition from council Democrats. For the past few months, council discretionary spending has come under scrutiny after it was revealed that Councilwoman Judy Green, D-1, was implicated… Continue reading Miller Faces Backlash After Recommending Discretionary Fund Cuts
Calling the potential for abuse obvious, the Louisville Courier-Journal‘s editorial board is calling on the Metro Council to drop or drastically cut its discretionary funds. In a stinging editorial, the newspaper said that while the process isn’t necessarily a re-election “slush fund”, the two hefty accounts used by council members to finance projects and organizations… Continue reading C-J Ed Board: Council Should Drop Discretionary Funds
Councilman Jon Ackerson says outgoing council members have, in the past, exhausted their $75,000 neighborhood development funds before leaving office, giving the incoming councilmember no money to spend on neighborhood projects until July, when the next fiscal year begins.
At least one council member has asked the mayor to cut the $175,000 total that members can allocate each year. However, other council members have pushed to give the Office of Management and Budget oversight of each grant rather than cut the funds.
Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh supports the latter option. She says her colleagues who hope to cut the funds represent wealthier districts that can function without city grants to pave sidewalks or fund community groups.
A Louisville Metro Council panel discussed ways to improve the oversight of grant money that could significantly change the way non-profit organizations receive city funds if the new policies are adopted.
On Thursday, the Louisville Metro Ethics Commission will hold a hearing on a complaint against Metro Councilwoman Judy Green. Green is accused of using a city-funded summer jobs program to benefit members of her family. The commission could also take up other charges related to the misuse of Neighborhood Development Funds.
The accusations have led the council and the mayor’s office to take a new look at how those funds are monitored.