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Metro Council Minority Caucus Responds to Political Bullying

Tuesday June 3, 2014

For Immediate Release

Date: June 3, 2014

Media Contact: Stephen Haag

574-1204 / 645-1752

Louisville, KY: The nine Republican Members of the Louisville Metro Council’s Minority Caucus, in a private meeting, have asked current Metro Council Budget Committee Chair Marianne Butler to step down from her position as chair and allow President King to name a replacement. Yesterday, after concluding a day of Budget Hearings, Minority Caucus Chairman Kevin Kramer met privately with Councilwoman Butler to deliver their concerns and ask for her consideration, in hopes that this issue could be resolved quietly.  
(Copy of letter attached)

It has been the practice of the Council and the Chair of the Budget Committee to deliver the budget priorities of the Council to the Office of the Mayor in advance of the Mayor’s budget presentation. It has also been the practice of the Mayor to listen to the concerns of the Council and try to address them. Members of the Minority Caucus were disappointed that the Capital Budget, with more than 50 projects costing in excess of $10 million, would include no investment for more than 1/3 of the population (approximately 300,000 people).

After questioning what seemed to be an obvious oversight, Republican members became aware of the fact that their priorities had not been received by the administration. Councilwoman Butler initially denied receiving this list, then denied that the request was received on time, and finally denied that the list was intended for the administration. (Each of these claims was disproven through copies of electronic mail).

The failure of the Budget Chair to convey priorities of her Republican colleagues and her refusal to acknowledge the damage has called into question her ability to serve as chair in a fair manner.

The members of the Minority Caucus will continue answering the needs of all parts of this community, including the fastest growing areas, and pledges continuing support for those projects that address the basic infrastructure needs of constituents. It is our hope that other fair minded members of this Council will work to correct this obvious oversight and help put together a budget for everyone in this community.

Attached to this e-mail is a document that supports all claims made within this release. Information included: 1) a spreadsheet of FY15 Capital Budget Projects that are specifically identified as well as a map showing the location and detail of each project. 2) E-mails showing the request for budget priorities (sent April 28) with a May 4, 2014 deadline, the Minority Caucus’s reply (sent May 1), and a WFPL article on the subject. Additional e-mails showing dialogue between the Minority Caucus and Budget Chair in previous budget years is also available upon request.