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Republicans Propose Sweeping Changes to NDF and CIF Rules

Friday August 16, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Stephen Haag:
574-1204 / 645-1752
DATE:   August 15, 2013

Louisville, KY – Members of the Louisville Metro Council’s Minority Caucus held a press conference today to announce their support for “sweeping changes” to the rules and policies governing the use of discretionary funds. The proposal, which is attached to this release, calls for discretionary funds to be used on Capital that have a clear public purpose. The proposal allows for up to $15,000 annually to be used for non-capital programing costs to non-profits so long as the most strict reporting guidelines and prohibitions on using public money are accepted.

“The following proposal is one that we as a Republican Caucus will agree to follow, even if our proposal isn’t voted into place by our Democratic colleagues. The policy is simple and guarantees that taxpayer funds are held to the highest standards of accountability. We are prepared to meet with all members of the Metro Council to explain these changes and work to gain enough support to make these “SWEEPING CHANGES” a reality. We have heard from one Democratic member of this Council of his commitment to this type of change – we are hopeful he and others will join us in support.” – Jerry Miller, District 19

“For about a year, the Council has incrementally moved toward changing the policies and procedures of members’ discretionary spending. However, members of our Republican Caucus feel the progress has been slow and with the recent ethics trail, we are taking a more aggressive stance. The public’s trust and confidence, which we treasure, needs to be elevated to a higher standard and this proposal is a strong step towards meeting these expectations. ” – Ken Fleming, District 7

“Some members of this Metro Council will talk about bringing real reforms to discretionary funds. This policy is our effort to lead by example. As a new member of the Metro Council, I ran against using these funds for parties, giveaways and gaining political favor. I am proud to have the opportunity to help author these much more stringent rules, and look forward to doing whatever is possible to bring greater accountability to the process.” – Marilyn Parker, District 18

“The people of this community are looking to us to make real changes to the way business is done. Our dedication to investing in capital projects and prohibiting the use of taxpayer funds to market council members should show that we are serious about real reforms in the use of discretionary funds.” – Kevin Kramer, District 11

For more information on this policy announcement, please contact Stephen Haag, Jr at (502) 645-1752.

Republican Plan for Reform

August 15, 2013

Focusing on Capital Projects

Metro Council NDF and CIF Funds will be spent on capital projects where there is a definite public purpose and where the funds are used for the greatest impact for the people of our community. Our goal will be to invest in items that have a life expectancy/use of at least five years.



Members will be permitted to use up to $15,000 annually (out of their cumulative discretionary fund of $175,000) annually to cover the operating and other non-capital requests made by non-governmental non-profits.

Recognition

Council members should not get specific name recognition for providing funding to organizations with Metro tax dollars for any purpose. Organizations receiving funds shall acknowledge on promotional materials using this specific language (as appropriate): “(Partial) Funding Provided by Louisville Metro Council”.

Higher Level of Accountability

Metro Council member must disclose any person who is related by marriage or blood of blood or closer that is involved via employment or participation within the board of any organization that is receiving Metro Council funds. . (Examples include, but are not limited to Uncle/Aunt, Niece/Nephew, Unmarried Parent of a Child, Grandchild, or Great Grandchild) They must also disclose the relationship of anyone living within the household of the member of the Metro Council who is supporting such a request. This disclosure must be signed by both the applicant and the Metro Council member(s) who is sponsoring the request/ordinance.

Additional Ineligible Expenses

Metro Council Funds SHALL NOT be used to pay for

1. Constituent meals, excluding snacks and refreshments, unless as part of an event whereby volunteers are performing a public service.

2. Cash payments/incentives to individual program participants or for scholarship programs for individuals to receive funds for higher education

3. Employee Bonuses or Severance Pay

4. An organization shall not be reimbursed for Rent, Depreciation or Allocations of cost on Property Owned by the organization.

Reimbursements

Reimbursement SHALL NOT be made for expenditures prior to the NDF Application date.

New Requirements for using Taxpayer funds for Property Maintenance

Metro Funds shall not be provided to Neighborhood Associations, Homeowners Associations or similar citizens groups for lawn maintenance or mowing private, non-governmentally owned property unless all of the following criteria are met:

1. The property has been assigned or referred for cutting by either Department of Codes and Regulations or Metro Public Works or a lien has been or is in the process of being filed.

2. Anyone paid for mowing grass or maintaining property must provide: proof of insurance directly from their insurance agent, proof that they are registered with the Louisville Revenue Commission and their workers are legal and documented.

3. Must keep records of all properties maintained, service dates and person(s) paid for work for entire year. Documents must be available for review by Metro Government and its Internal Auditor and must be part of any future grants requests sought from Metro Government within the next four years.

Inter-fund Transfers

1. Funds may not be transferred from CIF into NDF.

2. Allow transfer of up to $15,000 to Office (cost center) Accounts per year from NDF. This proposal reduces amount allowed from $25,000 per year to $15,000.



Share of Funding Rule

Metro funds SHALL NOT provide more than 25% of an organization’s total budget, if the organization's budget includes salary for employees or payments to individual workers. If the organization does not pay for employees or other workers, Metro funds SHALL NOT be used for more than 49% of their budget, unless the organization’s total budget is less than $10,000. These percentages are not applicable for capital expenditures or non-recurring (e.g. only once within a four year period) costs. Operating budgets contain all operating expenses including but are not limited to personnel costs; office supplies; program expenses; celebrations, fundraising expenses, etc.; but exclude the value of volunteer time.

Sponsor(s):
Ken Fleming (R) 7
Kevin Kramer (R) 11
Kelly Downard (R) 16
Glen Stuckel (R) 17
Marilyn Parker (R) 18
Jerry Miller (R) 19
Stuart Benson (R) 20
Robin Engel (R) 22