For the latest news, resources and government response to the coronavirus crisis, please visit these local, state and federal websites.
Yesterday (5/19) was supposed to be Kentucky’s Primary Election Day. Of course, the coronavirus had other plans, so we changed ours. Governor Andy Beshear, by executive order, rescheduled the primary election to June 23. Now that we’re getting closer, preparation is ramping up. This week, the State Board of Elections will mail a postcard to registered voters with the information you need to cast your vote. The deadline to register online to vote is Tuesday, May 26 at 4:00pm. According to the Governor’s Order, you should use absentee voting by mail if you can. Registered voters can go right now to the Jefferson County Clerk’s website to request a ballot. The deadline to do so is Monday, June 15 at 11:59pm. If you can’t vote absentee by mail, the Clerk’s office (701 W. Ormsby Ave., Ste. 301) will open for in-person absentee voting by appointment beginning June 8. Days and hours are TBD. Call (502) 574-6100 or email [email protected] to schedule an appointment. June 23 is the postmark deadline for mail-in absentee ballots; and the Kentucky Exposition Center (937 Phillips Ln) will open for in-person voting 6:00am - 6:00pm. The KEC is currently Jefferson County's sole in-person primary voting site, which concerns me. I have asked the Mayor’s Office to request multiple additional (safe, accessible) polling sites and was answered that Metro’s intergovernmental team is actively working on it. (As of this writing, it doesn’t look good, though.) When we know more, you will know more.
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This Friday (5/22), under government guidelines, restaurants will be permitted to reopen at 33% capacity plus outdoor seating. In anticipation, I welcomed new District 8 resident and restaurateur Ryan Rogers (bar Vetti, Feast BBQ & Royals Hot Chicken) to the Eight More Miles Podcast last week to talk about his business’s response to the coronavirus crisis and how local government can help. Two days later, I worked with the administration and my Metro Council colleagues to pass an emergency ordinance granting temporary regulatory relief for restaurants. We enabled restaurants to use private parking and other open areas for dining space, expanded access to sidewalks, waived fees for same and extended alcohol sales outdoors as of right (again, all subject to additional safety and accessibility guidelines). We continue to explore other opportunities, as well. From closing down parts of streets for seating (think: Douglass Loop, not Bardstown Road) to extending “food truck” license and permit renewals, we can and should do more to support our local food economy. That includes buying local as a matter of procurement policy, which is why I am thrilled to share this Request for Proposals for the city’s COVID-19 Senior Meals program. Can your restaurant produce and deliver five frozen meals per week for up to 500, 800 or 1,000 clients? If so, then stop reading and start proposing! The bidding closes May 25 at 3:00pm and the program begins June 1. For more restaurant industry and other local small business resources, please click here.
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The Metro Council Budget Committee is halfway through its FY 2021 hearing schedule. I don’t serve as a member of the committee but still I attend virtually all of the meetings… virtually. Over the next two weeks, hearing highlights include the Louisville Free Public Library (5/26) and Louisville Fire (5/27). The full schedule, budget documents and a comment form are available at the Metro Council Clerk’s page. Watch or listen to the hearings live or archived here.
For breaking news and information, please follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you have a question or comment, please call me at: (502) 574-1108 or email: [email protected] (and copy [email protected]). If you have a service request, please call Metro 311 or visit Metro 311 online. Visit the District 8 Strategic Plan page here.