It goes without saying that the coronavirus crisis has changed everything. However, this newsletter will go on serving its original purpose. It is not the best resource for the government response. Please visit, bookmark and return often to these local, state and federal websites for the latest news and information relating to health and safety, financial assistance, community support and more. Here, also, is a webpage dedicated to small business resources.
So far as the Metro Council and District 8, we are adapting to change, working from home and reworking our plans – just like you and your family or organization. Last Thursday (3/19), the Council held our first virtual meeting (with a shortened agenda) and reallocated $2.7 million from future pension payments to present emergency food and housing relief. We canceled committee meetings this week but I expect to return to our regular legislative workload soon. If for no other reason, the FY21 budget is now looming – you can forget this – and we need to build capacity and practice e-lawmaking to ensure the integrity of the process. Not to mention, it is going to make for extremely difficult policy decisions, logistical issues aside.
City Hall is closed and locked but Jasmine and I are answering office phones (call forwarding), returning missed calls, responding to emails, overseeing the continuity of city services and works projects, maintaining daily communication with Mayor Greg Fischer and his team and mitigation planning within our control. For example, I have revised our neighborhood development and capital infrastructure budgets and am freezing discretionary spending until the district’s critical needs are assessed, in conjunction with Highlands Community Ministries and others. That means postponing phase two (detailed traffic analysis) of the Bardstown Road Safety Study and other corridor-related initiatives, canceling our spring litter abatement program and limiting the scope creep of our Barret Avenue streetscape project. After accounts payable and receivable, we will have $136,677.34 cash on hand, some or most of which may be needed to keep folks sheltered and fed until additional aid arrives and the economy starts to get back up. As to when that is, I’m waiting and watching (and wishin’ and hopin’) – again, just like the rest of you.
The news can be overwhelming, though, so we’ll be part of the solution by keeping it short. There is no planning and zoning activity to report or District 8 events scheduled for the next two weeks. Construction will advance, sanitation workers and the police will do their jobs (for the most part) but by and large it is going to be quiet around here for a while. We should be so lucky that Metallica wakes our kids up come September.
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.