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Greater Louisville Inc. The Metro Chamber of Commerce 2019 Chamber of the Year
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May 18, 2022 4:40pm

2022 Metro Council Candidate Survey Results

Greater Louisville Inc. is a nonpartisan organization and does not endorse or support candidates running for office at any level. However, with many important local races coming up we compiled a short survey to help educate our members on where each candidate stands on business-related priorities. Each major party primary winner running for Metro Council was given the opportunity to respond to these questions. The answers from each question are published verbatim as received from the candidate. Answers are organized numerically by district. Find your district here.

You can view a printable pdf version of these results, with a table of contents, here.

District 1:

No candidates for District 1 submitted answers to this survey

District 3:

No candidates for District 3 submitted answers to this survey 

District 5:

No candidates for District 5 submitted answers to this survey

District 7:

No candidates for District 7 submitted answers to this survey

District 9:

Question 1: Public SafetyLouisville has seen an alarming increase of violent crime and homicides over the past three years. What investments will you prioritize for violence prevention? How will you work with LMPD to improve officer retention and attraction, while also increasing accountability and trust with the communities they serve? Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Alexandra Martindale: Our LMPD officers have historically been underpaid, which suggests they do the job out of passion rather than financial gain. LMPD officers should be among the top paid LEOs in the state due to our crime rates, cost of living and to be competitive with our safer, neighboring communities. With higher pay, Louisville can attract the highest skilled officers and therefore hold them to a greater standard of care and professionalism. All officers should have body cameras and the best training and resources available. I will be an advocate to our new mayor and police chief for the importance of standing by and supporting our officers. Other initiatives like drones, cameras and other technologies will work in crime prevention. The installation of additional ShotSpotters in high-crime neighborhoods, will target illegal gun activity and inform officers the type of gun and the exact location where the gun was shot.
  • Andrew Owen: Public safety begins and ends with the community having trust and faith in the police department and officers who are given the critical task of enforcing the laws that enable a civil society.  And the community having trust and faith in the police department and its officers begins and ends with accountability.  Of course, we need to hire the best and brightest recruits and we need to train them well using the accepted best practices of 21st century policing.  At this moment, our police department is down approximately 200 officers and this should be seen as a short-term challenge but a long-term opportunity.  We can embrace this moment as the pivotal time when we commit to a new way of training that will ensure we are molding the department leaders of the future.  But as a government we also need to make sure our officers know we are all in this together and we need to encourage our rank-and-file officers to be members of the community they serve.  To me, that means Metro Police officers should be incentivized to live in Jefferson County.  It means the police force should reflect the social and racial diversity of the community.  It means officers should get out of their cars and walk or bike a beat for at least part of their shift.  And it means that part of their week should be spent performing community outreach at schools, churches, parks and neighborhood events.

 

Question 2: Business RegulationsA predictable and flexible regulatory environment allows businesses to grow and thrive. How will you consider proposed legislation to ensure that the impact on the business community is not overly burdensome and comes with clear and accessible guidelines? Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Alexandra Martindale: Deregulation of our small businesses is critical to rebuilding the Louisville economy. Greater regulations make the barriers to entry, starting, maintaining or growing a business far more difficult. An example of this would be the diminished activity of food trucks. They have left or were sold to other neighboring cities because we regulated them to death. As we get past the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to take a long look at many of the regulations Louisville Metro put into place and discuss which have been helpful and which have been harmful. Government needs to be careful not to legislate based on hope or emotions. Instead, it should get involved only when a law or rule is needed and well researched, and discontinued when the unintended consequences outweigh the intended good.
  • Andrew Owen: I still believe in “good government” — that through integrity, transparency and common-sense decision-making, government can be smart and efficient in its stewardship of public money and efficient in its operations.  So, when markets don’t work efficiently, and they often don’t, government can and should step in to make the lives of its citizens better.  Along those lines there is certainly a place for government to have an active role in the planning and development of the neighborhoods and communities within its boundaries.  Particularly when there is a critical project or a societal need that is not being met, government can organize, facilitate and incentivize a particular type of development project.  For example, government can use tax increment finance districts and municipal bonds to incentivize critical, large-scale infrastructure improvements and developments.  Government can seed affordable housing trust funds and revolving loan funds and facilitate the use of low-income housing tax credits to help create more affordable housing options.  Government can facilitate the use of loan interest revolving loan funds and assist in providing immunity from future liability in order to help clean up and reactive contaminated brownfields.  And government can emphasize and incentivize the adaptive reuse of older buildings by funding historic tax credit programs and approving and promoting historic preservation districts.    While we need to encourage sustainable development and be smart about planning and zoning cases, as a government, as a planning commission, as a 26-member Metro Council, our goal should always be to get to “yes” on a development proposal.  That doesn’t mean that after going through the extensive review and due diligence process, after incorporating significant discussion and suggestions from neighbors and other stakeholders and doing our best to work with project sponsors to make necessary changes, we won’t ever end up at no.  But our goal should always be to get to yes.  And if a project gets approval, we have to make sure the Department of Permits and Licenses is timely, fair and efficient in processing the required paperwork and inspections.  When you are a small business needing a certificate of occupancy to open your barber shop, time is of the essence.  When you are doing an adaptive reuse of a downtown office building and you need to get an electrical permit issued, time is of the essence.  And when you need a health inspection to open a new café, time is most certainly of the essence.

 

Question 3: Economic DevelopmentWhat changes will you support to ensure that our region’s economic development efforts are well-positioned for our city to grow and compete with peer cities? Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Alexandra Martindale: We already have an incredibly appealing local culture; amazing food and restaurants, drinks, cool hotels, bourbon tourism, sports teams, horses, world-class trade shows and more. We must support the infrastructure to make travel easier, with direct and frequent flights to Louisville. Within the state of Kentucky, we are not fully capitalizing on our bourbon tourism. We are still competing with Lexington and Bardstown that have made great strides in the last few years to support their distilleries and tourism partners with national advertising, grant programs, and community investment. I am a big fan of the work done by GLI and Louisville Forward to attract, support and retain our local businesses and other organizations that will help support our tourism to host larger tradeshows and events. I will support changes in Frankfort as well as in Metro that will make Louisville and our state more competitive in terms of taxes, regulations and an educated workforce to fill jobs.
  • Andrew Owen: A conversation about “growth in Louisville” must include a discussion about broad-based, healthy economic development and the growth of quality, high paying jobs in dynamic industries. I have always thought that governments spend too much time and money competing against one another, trying to lure the next big industry to their city or state — giving away the farm to lure the Amazon headquarters or providing extensive tax breaks and building a brand-new stadium for an NFL team, only to have that team leave for another city when a better deal can be had. That is not to say we should ignore a large company looking to make an enormous investment (i.e. the $5.8 billion investment by Ford in battery technology and production in Elizabethtown) but such instances need to be only a small part of the focus of fostering economic development.  The larger focus should be on providing resources and support for local startups and small, local companies that are trying to grow their business.  Over the years, I have heard way too many stories from small business owners and entrepreneurs in Louisville that requests for additional resources and support have fallen on deaf ears at Metro government and, ultimately, the business owner chose to move or invest in a city that was willing to provide support.  That should never, ever happen in Louisville.

 

Question 4: Diversity, Equity & InclusionInvestment and inclusive growth in historically marginalized communities are critical for progress and the long-term success of Louisville. What policies and investments will you support to improve equity in our community? Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Alexandra Martindale: A foundation for building wealth in any community is a well-rounded education, teaching future adults money management, basic life and social skills and providing on-the-job experience. Family Scholar House, for example, helps individuals access financial assistance to pay for classes and books for a post-secondary certificate or degree. I will support policy and programs that encourage strong family units and community like the Center for Women and Families. I will support programs like LHOME, Habitat for Humanity, Louisville Urban League, who assist individuals and families prepare for first-time homeownership. We should focus more on home ownership rather than establishing never ending funding of rental programs. KentuckianaWorks’ investments in workforce development have been and will continue to be integral to building skills in manufacturing, building trades and small business startups.
  • Andrew Owen: We have many complex and difficult issues to tackle in Louisville, and there is no simple solution that will broadly eliminate all of those problems.  As a start, however, we must finally begin to invest in the people and places that have the least social, political and economic capital.  To me this essentially means equal access to government services throughout Louisville’s 26 metro council districts, equal access to quality public schools, equal access to childcare and healthcare and equal access to the opportunity and dignity that comes with a job that pays a living wage.   As part of our push for social equity throughout Metro Louisville, to improve the relationship between the LMPD and the community, and to make sure people of all colors and creeds feel safe in their communities, the Metro Council, as a body, has to make social and racial justice a core tenet of its decision-making process.  We must clearly express our support for marginalized people and people of color not only in words, but also in action.  And the most impactful action we can take is to make sure that when we approve the annual Metro budget, a moral document that outlines our priorities as a community, we insure we are investing in the people and places with the least social, political and economic capital.

 

Question 5: Downtown RevitalizationThe recovery and continued growth in Downtown Louisville is essential for the success of the entire city and the economic impacts affect every district. What will your priorities be to encourage businesses and residents to embrace downtown and revitalize Louisville’s urban core? Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Alexandra Martindale: Just a few years ago, Louisville was known for its bourbon, bachelorette parties on Fourth Street Live, concerts, and its bustling foot traffic. Currently, Downtown Louisville is recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic and the variety of protests that damaged many businesses and deterred tourism in specific areas. We must insist on public safety and enforce the laws regarding the destruction of private property and camping on public property that make people feel unsafe, and therefore unwilling to spend their weekends in Downtown Louisville. We need buy in from all areas of Louisville to support Downtown, as far too often, policies are written with only a few perspectives in the room. But Downtown is not just Main and Fourth St. Jefferson County Technical College has great plans to develop several crucial blocks of and around South Broadway with additional classroom buildings, parking and greenspace. This investment they want to make, along with making the area safe for their faculty and students, will incentivize students to come back downtown, and perhaps more fresh food options will be available with that additional population and safety.
  • Andrew Owen: Cities that are the most vibrant, and therefore the most competitive in drawing new businesses and bright young minds, all have interesting and dynamic downtowns.  With that in mind, as a government, we must continue to focus resources and energy on revitalizing Downtown Louisville, adding more residential options to the mix, and reimagining how large scale commercial and office buildings function and what they look like.  In a post-covid world, where workers will continue to work remotely and companies are rethinking their footprints, we must be creative and prepare ourselves for a glut of vacant office space.  We will have to look at non-traditional uses for certain types of structures.  In other words, we may have to be more flexible with traditional setbacks and we may have to be open to allowing for more density and less required parking.  Primarily because all of the infrastructure is already in place, we absolutely need to focus our resources to encourage development more toward the city center, and in our old urban services district.

 

Question 6: HomelessnessThe prevalence of homelessness in our community has never been more visible, with encampments springing up in underpasses and sidewalks all over our city. What programs and partnerships will you invest in and support to prevent and address the causes of homelessness in our community? Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Alexandra Martindale: Mental illness, drug abuse and insufficient education are three key contributors of homelessness. Greater mental health resources, like psychotherapy, are needed in our jails to accommodate those individuals struggling with mental illnesses out of their control. I will support programs that would require addition treatment as an alternative to incarceration. Better partnerships between Louisville Metro and JCPS will help our students become more workforce-ready and financially literate upon graduation. Students who graduate with a 3rd grade reading level are more likely to struggle with keeping a job and handling other necessary responsibilities like paying bills, or getting a post-secondary education. As councilperson, I will encourage more community support for the Academies of Louisville, with business partnerships to facilitate more hands-on learning, field trips, and the practicing of sharp skills by interacting with people outside of their immediate family and community. Those in need of stable housing may apply for the residential program with Family Scholar House, one requirement is enrollment in a post-secondary education program, and they will help with that enrollment.
  • Andrew Owen: The problem of homelessness is one of the most complex and critical challenges we face as a community.  It is my firm belief that capitalism is the best economic structure because of its dynamism and because its reward structure encourages entrepreneurs to take risk.  I also believe, however, and I think most of us would agree, that capitalistic society can be incredibly unforgiving to the people who inevitably fall out of the bottom.  In the end, our society is only as strong as the weakest among us, and we, therefore, have a moral imperative to take care of those who have the least.  Allowing families more authority in requesting “third party” mental health diagnoses and authorizing hospitalization, if necessary, would be a small, positive step.  Opening up shelters to addicts that are having a difficult time staying clean (while providing mental and physical health support) would be another step forward.  And finally, investing in more broadly available affordable housing options in the Metro Budget, and when disbursing American Rescue Plan funds, is an absolute must.

 

Question 7: Infrastructure InvestmentLouisville Metro’s spending on local infrastructure, including local roads, technology, and public transportation has not kept pace with the need for further development and modernization. How will you prioritize spending that ensures that Louisville’s roads and technology infrastructure are maintained, and that public transportation can be made more efficient and accessible? Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Alexandra Martindale: Local investment in better road conditions and reliable public transportation is vital to a healthier economy. I will prioritize TARC, as many Louisvillians rely on this transportation to get to and from work, school and access to other daily needs. Within District 9, I will prioritize greater safety and walkability along Lexington Rd, the sanding of sidewalks along Frankfort Ave, and greater care taken for the elderly and visually impaired’s experience in Clifton, Irish Hill and other high-priority neighborhoods.
  • Andrew Owen: Because of my keen interest in cities and urban planning, I have spent the last three decades reading and observing–focusing on what makes neighborhoods and cities function well to promote a high quality of life for their residents.  With that in mind, I approach neighborhood and community improvement not primarily through the lens of legislation, but from the perspective of the built environment.  I think we can really improve the functionality, look and feel of streets, neighborhoods and cities by leveraging public resources to invest in the details, like the public infrastructure that makes our residential neighborhoods more livable and commercial corridors more functional and inviting.  This includes investing in improved lighting, curbs, sidewalks, roads, crosswalks, benches, signage, trash and recycling receptacles, bicycle lanes, public art and plantings.

 

Question 8: Land Development & Affordable HousingLouisville’s development community has expressed the need for greater flexibility and incentives to improve the quality of life, revitalize and spur investment in underdeveloped areas, and meet the city’s demand for increased housing stock, including affordable housing. What changes in the Land Development Code will you support to provide more flexibility for development that will drive economic growth and employment? Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Alexandra Martindale: I will support diverse housing options to serve persons of all economic situations, with access to high performing schools, safe and clean parks, and a variety of grocery stores and restaurants. I will support the reduction of regulation to make it easier for people to start or grow their businesses near newer developments in all neighborhoods throughout Louisville. These businesses will give more access to food and activities outside of the immediate downtown/Nulu. Many people value neighborhood walkability that includes retail and commercial space. Louisville Metro government can help update zoning codes to accommodate such development.
  • Andrew Owen: We absolutely have to make more affordable housing units available in Louisville.  The lack of quality, affordable housing is not unique to Louisville, but as a community we are at a critical juncture.  During the most recent budget cycle, Metro Council was able to make a significant investment in the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.  Prioritizing affordable housing during budget negotiations, and through decisions about how the American Rescue Plan funds are used, needs to continue.  I think we also need to be creative with property tax abatements or property tax freezes.  For example, we could designate certain neighborhoods or certain zip codes where property taxes can be abated or frozen for the property owner for a period of 10 years if a certain amount of money is invested in the improvement of that property.  The property taxes could then recalibrate slowly over the following 10 years to bring them closer to market rate.

 

Question 9: Workforce Development Louisville’s labor force participation rate was 63% in 2021, an all-time low for our city. What policies will you support to address labor shortage and remove workforce barriers, such as access to childcare and training opportunities, in the short-term and long-term? Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Alexandra Martindale: Organizations such as KentuckianaWorks, Louisville Urban League, GLI, Leadership Louisville, etc. are all having conversations about the workforce barriers such as childcare and training opportunities. Most of these training opportunities to learn skilled trades (Kentuckiana Builds, Code Louisville, Kentucky Manufacturing Career Center, etc) have high-enrollment and are highly successful, in terms of job placement after graduation. All of them, free, except for the participant’s time. More skilled workers means greater opportunity for higher paying jobs. Childcare, just like transportation, is a very complicated barrier. With the Covid-19 pandemic coming to a close, we are seeing fewer issues with private childcare facilities closing with little notice, or closing all together. Incentivizing more childcare facilities with tax-breaks will create more options and drive the costs down for working families.
  • Andrew Owen: In a competitive global economy, we must continue to invest in our local work force and make technical education and training scholarships available to not only qualified graduates of JCPS schools, as Evolve 502 is currently doing, but to mid-career professionals that need to transition into a new job or industry.  We also need to focus on reducing the barriers to opening new childcare facilities so working parents have more options for quality, affordable childcare.  The Metro Council is currently working on streamlining that process and I would enthusiastically support that endeavor.

 

Question 10: Relocation Incentives The pandemic has caused a huge disruption in traditional working environments and precipitated a national shift toward remote work. Would you support local relocation incentives to attract new talent, including remote workers, to Louisville? Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Alexandra Martindale: The ultimate incentive for remote workers is having a good reputation for safe neighborhoods, good schools, diverse housing options, and general community events. We are a smaller city, compared to Nashville and Indianapolis, so we can compete based on our cost of living. We have the space available so housing, residential and multi-family, can be built to accommodate demand, without overpopulating certain areas. Our community events such as Waterfront Wednesday, parades, and concerts are all coming back so our primary focus should be on improving public safety and working with JCPS to provide the best possible education for students in all neighborhoods. These, together, are enough incentive for any remote worker to move their family to Louisville and stay.
  • Andrew Owen: In my experience, Louisville is one of those rare cities that people around the country don’t have a strong feeling about, positively or negatively.  We are also an affordable and extremely livable city that tends to surprise people by how much they like it, once they visit.  In the current environment, where people can work from nearly anywhere, I would very much support investing in relocation incentives to bring more bright young talent to our city.  In fact, I think this would be one of the best uses of economic development funds we could choose.  Investing in people is always a good idea.

 

Question 11: Top Priorities Describe what actions you will take during your first year in office to address your top priorities. Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Alexandra Martindale: My top priorities will be to address safety and reduce crime by recruiting and retaining highly skilled and trained officers, to keep all Louisville residents safe. I will invest in infrastructure and advocate for tax incentives for our entrepreneurs and small businesses to start, rebuild or expand in all neighborhoods. I will work together with Dr. Polio and the JCPS Board to ensure the city is providing all resources that our students, K-12, need. Ultimately, in the words of JCTC President Dr. Ty Handy, “There’s a lot of people that want to be heard and need to be heard. I want to reserve judgment as much as I can.” As passionate as I am about certain topics, I am running in District 9 to represent their interests and those that want the best for our Louisville.
  • Andrew Owen: My top three priorities in office will be to make sure the Metro budget promotes social equity throughout our community; to ensure that community trust is restored between our residents and the Louisville Metro Police Department (the essential first step toward improving public safety); and to invest in and improve the public infrastructure in District 9 and throughout Metro Louisville. My vision for Louisville is to truly make it a more compassionate, more equitable, and more united city where everyone feels like we are “all in this together” for everyone’s benefit–a place we are all proud to call home.

 

District 11:

Kevin Kramer* is running unopposed and did not submit responses to this survey

District 13:

No candidates for District 13 submitted responses to this survey

District 15:

*Jennifer Chapel is running unopposed in the general election.

Question 1: Public SafetyLouisville has seen an alarming increase of violent crime and homicides over the past three years. What investments will you prioritize for violence prevention? How will you work with LMPD to improve officer retention and attraction, while also increasing accountability and trust with the communities they serve?

  • Jennifer Chappell: We need more community-based policing to bridge the gap between LMPD and the larger community, so people feel like they can rely on the police when they need them. Part of the solution is to prioritize and designate more District Resource Officers who are responsible for connecting with residents and neighborhood organizations to build a better relationship between the police and the community. Police need to have their boots on the ground, interacting with those they are sworn to serve and protect. These positions are usually passed off to a new recruit, although they often sit vacant for months or even years. When these positions aren’t prioritized, it widens the gap between officers and the community, tarnishing trust and decreasing police legitimacy. We keep losing police officers to smaller cities within Metro Louisville and surrounding counties. Police not only need to be competitively paid, but they also need to know that the city’s administration is adequately working to find solutions to the many issues plaguing our police department. Louisville is often too reactive instead of proactive, leaving us scrambling. We can support our communities and our police department through investment in racial equity, mental health resources, and youth development.

 

Question 2: Business RegulationsA predictable and flexible regulatory environment allows businesses to grow and thrive. How will you consider proposed legislation to ensure that the impact on the business community is not overly burdensome and comes with clear and accessible guidelines?

  • Jennifer Chappell: We need to make the processes within Louisville Metro more transparent and operate more efficiently. Departments across the board within city government, especially Planning & Design and Codes & Regulations, don’t have the resources or workforce they need to effectively do their jobs. I’ve encountered this firsthand and I’ve seen many projects fall by the wayside due to a long, arduous approval process from the City.

 

Question 3: Economic DevelopmentWhat changes will you support to ensure that our region’s economic development efforts are well-positioned for our city to grow and compete with peer cities?

  • Jennifer Chappell: More unique, mixed-income housing in both new and rehabbed historic buildings that attract young professionals to Louisville, especially in neighborhoods in need of investment within our urban core. Grow our arts and culture, including public, literary, performing, and visual art. Think beyond bourbon and broaden our tourism outreach to include families by creating/investing in attractions that appeal to visitors and locals of all ages alike, such as the Waterfront Botanical Gardens, Louisville Zoo, museums, and a new aquarium. Expand our airport to include more international and domestic destinations and more frequent flights. Help small businesses recover from the pandemic, especially restaurants and venues.

 

Question 4: Diversity, Equity & InclusionInvestment and inclusive growth in historically marginalized communities are critical for progress and the longterm success of Louisville. What policies and investments will you support to improve equity in our community?

  • Jennifer Chappell: Louisville made a great step toward equity by allowing for landowners to build more accessory dwelling units on their property, which allows for more affordable housing, increases urban density, offers an avenue for generating additional income, and allows the ability to age in place, further decreasing the chances of someone being displaced from their community. We need to look toward making additional changes to our zoning laws, such as assigning zoning to businesses instead of buildings and allowing for more incubator spaces for small business development, to keep improving community equity. Above all, there is still a lot of investment that we need to make in classically underserved communities, especially those who have borne the brunt of redlining and divestment over the last many decades.

 

Question 5: Downtown RevitalizationThe recovery and continued growth in Downtown Louisville is essential for the success of the entire city and the economic impacts affect every district. What will your priorities be to encourage businesses and residents to embrace downtown and revitalize Louisville’s urban core?

  • Jennifer Chappell: Our downtown was destroyed in the ’70s under the farce of “urban renewal.” We erased much of our history and architecture and replaced them with sprawling parking lots and blandly designed buildings. Instead of curbing suburban sprawl, it led to vacant lots, lower property values, and lesser living standards. So we need to start by developing a clear vision for what we need and make sure we have progressive urban planners at the table. Our downtown needs to increase its urban density, providing mixed-income housing and expanding retail options, especially increasing the number of grocery stores within our urban core. Density will create itself organically if there is clear investment being made in infrastructure, public transportation, walkability, small businesses, and arts and culture. Initiatives like Broadway All the Way, NuLu streetscape improvements, and the West End Waterfront Park are major players in growing our urban core. In addition to making an investment in our urban core, we need to uplift neighborhoods along the fringes of downtown, such as Smoketown, Old Louisville/Limerick/SoBro, California, Russell, and Portland.

 

Question 6: HomelessnessThe prevalence of homelessness in our community has never been more visible, with encampments springing up in underpasses and sidewalks all over our city. What programs and partnerships will you invest in and support to prevent and address the causes of homelessness in our community?

  • Jennifer Chappell: More investment needs to be made in our local homeless organizations, such as the Coalition for the Homeless, The Hope Buss/Village, and Up Center for Women and Children that are able to help the current homeless population and restore dignity to those who are sleeping on our streets. That investment also needs to stretch to resource centers that provide support for those who are on the brink of homelessness or may be experiencing situations that may catapult them into homelessness, such as domestic abuse situations. Programs that provide financial literacy, work skill development, mental health resources, child care assistance, healthcare assistance, etc. are also vital to addressing the root causes of homelessness.

 

Question 7: Infrastructure InvestmentLouisville Metro’s spending on local infrastructure, including local roads, technology, and public transportation has not kept pace with the need for further development and modernization. How will you prioritize spending that ensures that Louisville’s roads and technology infrastructure are maintained, and that public transportation can be made more efficient and accessible?

  • Jennifer Chappell: In order to be a major player in the technology sector, we need to invest in broadband and fiber internet, as well as provide accessible wireless internet for everyone. A portion of ARP funds should be allocated to fix lagging and crumbling infrastructure We need to work with the state government to find more opportunities to raise revenue and make sure the state is upkeeping its roads.  Public transportation options need to be diversified and we need to create a network of multimodal solutions that connect to make traversing the city easier and more efficient. Investment needs to be made in our existing bus system and its infrastructure, especially by means of bus stops, and transportation hubs need to be created at our busiest bus stops. Support initiatives to connect national rail systems to Louisville, especially AmTrak services to other cities.

 

Question 8: Land Development & Affordable HousingLouisville’s development community has expressed the need for greater flexibility and incentives to improve the quality of life, revitalize and spur investment in underdeveloped areas, and meet the city’s demand for increased housing stock, including affordable housing. What changes in the Land Development Code will you support to provide more flexibility for development that will drive economic growth and employment?

  • Jennifer Chappell: There are many changes to the Land Development Code that I would like to see that will provide more flexibility to development, such as reducing barriers to creating high-density housing. The City holds neighborhoods and communities hostage when they aren’t cooperative or eager to move projects forward, such as the renovation of the former Louisville Gardens or the old government center on Barrett Avenue. There needs to be more transparency in these back-room deals so that the public can advocate on behalf of the development they want to see. With that said, the Land Development Code is in place to ensure the holistic needs of our communities are being met. It is the responsibility of our government to support projects that work within the bounds of existing neighborhood plans and create community benefits agreements that ensure new developments are giving back to the communities they inhabit. The Land Development Code should ensure that we are preserving our historic architecture and existing natural environment through phases of development. This means more environmental protections, an emphasis on sustainability, and the implementation of more green space.

 

Question 9: Workforce Development Louisville’s labor force participation rate was 63% in 2021, an all-time low for our city. What policies will you support to address labor shortage and remove workforce barriers, such as access to childcare and training opportunities, in the short-term and long-term?

  • Jennifer Chappell: An analysis by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce found that nearly 100,000 Kentucky women left the workforce during the pandemic due to childcare issues and school closures. If we truly want to close the gender pay gap, we need to quit penalizing women for being caregivers. The pay gap isn’t as much about being a woman, as it is about being a mom. We need policies like paid maternity and paternity leave that benefit our children and prevent hiring bias. We also need Metro Council to spend money, such as the ARP funding, to expand access to childcare. We need to expand vocational schools in Louisville and make sure people know that vocational schools are viable options for continued education beyond a traditional college trajectory. As we have seen the rise of higher education over the last few decades, blue-collar workers have been painted as a lower, uneducated caste when, in reality, are a highly skilled and educated workforce contributing greatly to our economy.

 

Question 10: Relocation Incentives The pandemic has caused a huge disruption in traditional working environments and precipitated a national shift toward remote work. Would you support local relocation incentives to attract new talent, including remote workers, to Louisville?  

  • Jennifer Chappell: We don’t need incentives for people to move to a growing city with a relatively low cost of living and ample opportunity. I know several people who have moved to Louisville that have been impressed with the housing costs here and made the choice to move to Louisville. Investments that I have referenced in my other answers are the best “incentive”.

 

Question 11: Top Priorities Describe what actions you will take during your first year in office to address your top priorities.

  • Jennifer Chappell: 1) Create strong, safe neighborhoods by investing in our infrastructure, growing our urban tree canopy and expanding our parks, creating spaces for youth development, promoting community policing, supporting programs like the Complete Streets Initiative, and strengthening the land development code to further protect our natural resources and assist in reaching our sustainability goals. 2) Bring quality mental health services to the community, especially in light of pandemic stresses and violence in our communities as evidence of the record number of gun crimes. Many Louisvillians need mental health services that they cannot afford or access. I would like to see mental health care services funded directly in our neighborhoods. 3) Overall, as a communications professional I believe Metro Louisville can vastly improve how it communicates with residents so that the many excellent Metro and non-profit programs that already exist are made available and accessible. Many programs are not used to their full potential because residents are simply unaware of their existence.

 

District 17:

Question 1: Public SafetyLouisville has seen an alarming increase of violent crime and homicides over the past three years. What investments will you prioritize for violence prevention? How will you work with LMPD to improve officer retention and attraction, while also increasing accountability and trust with the communities they serve? Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Kent Hall: Fully staff the LMPD police department with wage and benefit packages that stop our most experienced officers from leaving the police force to work for surrounding cities.  The Mayor needs to FULLY stand behind and support the police. Of course, serious mistakes can be acknowledged and should be acknowledged and addressed but whoever is Mayor and his or her administration has to do a much better job at addressing crime and violence within our community.
  • Markus Winkler*: This is a complicated and multifaceted issue.  I am proud of the work I have done on MC to fund an ‘all of the above’ approach to public safety.  From increased pay and recruitment incentives to officers to upstream violence prevention initiatives, I have helped ensure funding for all available options to address the issue.  What is needed at this point is time (for the salaries and recruitment incentives to increase force strength) and execution (by the executive branch).  Additionally, recent community/police outreach programs are showing promise but a dedicated focus is needed on improving trust.  That needs to happen through community patrols, clearing more homicides, and additional outreach efforts with key leaders across our community.

 

Question 2: Business RegulationsA predictable and flexible regulatory environment allows businesses to grow and thrive. How will you consider proposed legislation to ensure that the impact on the business community is not overly burdensome and comes with clear and accessible guidelines? Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Kent Hall: What’s good for our business community must be good for all of us.  Our regulatory oversight process must be easy and efficient to navigate and it cannot be overly burdensome.  And we cannot be harder to work with than our peer cities.
  • Markus Winkler*: My focus has been on common sense regulation and ensuring that proposed legislation takes into account the opinions of all stakeholders.  As an example, when the mobile food vendor ordinance was proposed, I championed sending it back to committee and then worked with the sponsor and the industry group to find a compromise solution that met everyone’s needs.  When we overshoot the mark we should be willing to admit our mistake and correct the issue (for example, I am currently reviewing the tree ordinance as it may have had some unintended consequences on industrial development).

 

Question 3: Economic DevelopmentWhat changes will you support to ensure that our region’s economic development efforts are well-positioned for our city to grow and compete with peer cities? Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Kent Hall: Private sector developers and companies that are looking to bring jobs into our city need to find the right mix of incentives, tax structure and local legislation.  We need to court businesses that are the right fit for our community.  And recognize that we need to make investments to improve our local education system so we can keep up with a challenging and dynamic economy.
  • Markus Winkler*: I support stronger alignment between Louisville Forward and GLI, and approach to regionalism, tax reform, a more predictable planning and zoning process, and strategic planning in our approach to business attraction.  Our primary focus should be on workforce development and attraction – through stronger partnership with JCPS and our technical colleges as talent is a key driver of business attraction.  Additionally, I am pursing using ARP funding to create the infrastructure that allows Louisville to be a leader in job creation for the next several decades.

 

Question 4: Diversity, Equity & InclusionInvestment and inclusive growth in historically marginalized communities are critical for progress and the longterm success of Louisville. What policies and investments will you support to improve equity in our community? Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Kent Hall: Educational disparages have existed in this community for far too long.  This needs to be addressed as a priority.  More economic opportunities need to be fostered in all areas of the County that have been historically left behind; any barriers to economic mobility must be identified and eliminated.
  • Markus Winkler*: Workforce development is a key pillar to addressing inequity.  We should be focused in our approach and work with JCPS.  I would ask the next administration to champion partnership with JCPS that uses our school assets as community centers, after school care centers, and adult education centers.

 

Question 5: Downtown RevitalizationThe recovery and continued growth in Downtown Louisville is essential for the success of the entire city and the economic impacts affect every district. What will your priorities be to encourage businesses and residents to embrace downtown and revitalize Louisville’s urban core? Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Kent Hall: Just like the City of Louisville is the economic engine for the rest of the state; in many ways our downtown is an economic engine for our county. Our downtown is not doing well. Public safety has to be improved.  We must reduce violent crime. We have to clean up some of our messes that are being left behind by the previous administration. Our downtown area should be an area that is attractive to those that don’t live there.  THE first place people look to go live, work, be entertained and educated should be downtown.  After the last four years, we need stability and an image makeover.  It needs to be returned to when it was a creative and energetic beehive of activity.
  • Markus Winkler*: We must build out a residential core downtown.  Without people living downtown, we do not have the weekday evening traffic needed to sustain the retail/restaurants we need.  To support this I will continue to vote in favor of TIFs and provide other regulatory assistance to growing the downtown.  A strong and vibrant downtown is critical to attracting young workers and young workers are critical to attracting new investments from companies.  Downtown is the heart of not just our city but our entire region and its vitality is critical.

 

Question 6: HomelessnessThe prevalence of homelessness in our community has never been more visible, with encampments springing up in underpasses and sidewalks all over our city. What programs and partnerships will you invest in and support to prevent and address the causes of homelessness in our community? Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Kent Hall: There has been an explosion of homelessness all over our country and all over our county.  Whereas they used to be concentrated downtown, many of these people are now living outside all over our community. Not all people that are experiencing homelessness are permanently homeless and they are homeless for a variety of reasons. I believe a lot of our homelessness is from the opioid crisis.  It’s not humane to do so little for people who are addicted and/or in need of mental health care or programs that will enable them to overcome their addiction. Many of our previous efforts have not been coordinated, concentrated and outcome based. Faith based organizations provide food, clothing, tents and sleeping bags.  A lot of it gets wet and dirty over time. These camps become unsafe and eyesores. The City comes along and periodically clears out camps and it all goes in the waste stream. I see some plans for some permanent housing downtown. It might accommodate hundreds but we have thousands and they are scattered everywhere. We must recognize that this is going to require a major sustained effort, buy-in from all the stakeholders and it’s going to require more than local governments, this is a community issue that requires a community response.
  • Markus Winkler*: We need to see execution of our safe outdoor space program.  We also need to expand the Another Way program which addresses visible need.  We need to continue to invest in affordable housing, ideally through a targeted home ownership/skills development/neighborhood revitalization initiative (where vacant and abandoned properties are rehabbed by the people who will live in them while they learn a trade).  We could work with a financial intermediary to accept federal rent vouchers and design a program to convert rent payments into equity to build wealth.  However, we need a partner in the executive branch who can work with us on ideas like this and effectively manage their implementation.

 

Question 7: Infrastructure InvestmentLouisville Metro’s spending on local infrastructure, including local roads, technology, and public transportation has not kept pace with the need for further development and modernization. How will you prioritize spending that ensures that Louisville’s roads and technology infrastructure are maintained, and that public transportation can be made more efficient and accessible? Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Kent Hall: Keeping our roads maintained and safe should be a priority of the Metro Government.  Infrastructure also includes adding bus routes, stop lights, turn lanes, curbing, sidewalks, striping, sidewalks and broadband internet access throughout the county.  More people are working from home, taking classes from home, etc.  This is an important issue for those that do not yet have it.
  • Markus Winkler*: This is a major challenge.  Federal infrastructure money should help with some of the broadband and paving work that is needed (along with sewers).  We will need to continue to fully fund the paving budget.  But we will also need to have an honest conversation as a community about the type of city we want to have.  MSD has fallen to the back burner over the past few years, but they still have a multi-billion dollar infrastructure shortfall.  TARC cannot adequately service our employers as its routes stretch further and further out and density is lacking.  We need a comprehensive strategy to addressing these needs but this cannot be managed from the legislative branch.  I stand fully ready to help develop and champion ideas to solve these problems and commit to funding the solutions.

 

Question 8: Land Development & Affordable HousingLouisville’s development community has expressed the need for greater flexibility and incentives to improve the quality of life, revitalize and spur investment in underdeveloped areas, and meet the city’s demand for increased housing stock, including affordable housing. What changes in the Land Development Code will you support to provide more flexibility for development that will drive economic growth and employment? Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Kent Hall: The Land Development Code is a guide but the City Leaders in partnership with developers need to work together to find creative solutions for underdeveloped areas.  We need a diversity of housing options all throughout our community.  People should be able to find housing options and means of transportation to and for that fit their budget reasonably close to wherever they live – apartments, single family houses, multi-family units, condo’s, patio homes, student housing, retirement living, etc.
  • Markus Winkler*: I am not the expert on the LDC and what is needed but stand fully ready to work with the Development community to understand their needs and implement changes that help drive growth.  One of the key changes I think we could make is speed the time to approval and improve the predictability of outcomes.  One change I am working on to accomplish this is barring the public from initiating a landmarking request once a development plan has been filed.

 

Question 9: Workforce Development Louisville’s labor force participation rate was 63% in 2021, an all-time low for our city. What policies will you support to address labor shortage and remove workforce barriers, such as access to childcare and training opportunities, in the short-term and long-term? Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Kent Hall: One idea that shows promise is the cost of living in Louisville is lower here than our surrounding peer cities – we should aggressively be recruiting them to live here since many people are finding they can live here and still be working for companies based in other cities.  Our local delegation needs to be working closely with the State Legislature to address Day Care regulations that need to be revised and updated.  We need to recognize that the COVID pandemic has really hit the Day Care industry hard, many of them need financial assistance, tax breaks, loans or some kind of financial relief or they are not going to survive.  And lastly we need to address the fact that many of those people out of work don’t have the right skills for the jobs of the future.
  • Markus Winkler*: I support the expansion of child care access through deregulation.  We don’t directly control TARC but that’s a key player in this problem.  One area I do think we can directly impact is people who are reentering the workforce with criminal records.  I have championed the Another Way pilot that provides daywork to people panhandling.  Almost 75% of those served report having a criminal history.  I think this is a key finding that merits further solutioning.

 

Question 10: Relocation Incentives The pandemic has caused a huge disruption in traditional working environments and precipitated a national shift toward remote work. Would you support local relocation incentives to attract new talent, including remote workers, to Louisville? Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Kent Hall: Absolutely but they should have a requirement that in order to qualify they have to live here a certain amount of time.
  • Markus Winkler*: Absolutely!  This is something we should be doing in a meaningful way.

 

Question 11: Top Priorities Describe what actions you will take during your first year in office to address your top priorities. Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Kent Hall: Get the police force fully staffed and better trained. Safe and healthy neighborhoods, all over the city. Our economy needs to be jump started.  For far too long, our city leaders have either been content to allow Louisville to sit still and resist change and fight growth.  Or we have another bunch that always seems to be chasing after Nashville, Indianapolis, St. Louis or Cincinnati. I don’t want Louisville to be like Nashville.  But I do want Louisville to be a GREAT city for everyone – one that is continuing to get better because it is growing, healthy, vibrant, and honoring our unique heritage.
  • Markus Winkler*: The new administration will provide an opportunity to reset and refocus government.  One of the primary areas I think we should improve upon is FOCUS.  We are very bad at telling anyone no and so every project receives a little bit of funding – but no project is fully funded or problem fully solved.  As an example, we tow some abandoned vehicles.  But we do not tow them all.  No one sees a change because even though you tow some, many remain.  The real approach to problem solving should focus on OVERWHELMING a problem with resources.  Prioritize the root cause of problems into actional steps, prioritize those steps, then fully resource the first step and solve it before moving on to the second and so on.  That way, success builds upon success, the public sees actual problems get resolved, and you start solving real problems.

 

District 19:

Anthony Piagentini* is running unopposed and did not submit responses to this survey

District 21:

Question 1: Public SafetyLouisville has seen an alarming increase of violent crime and homicides over the past three years. What investments will you prioritize for violence prevention? How will you work with LMPD to improve officer retention and attraction, while also increasing accountability and trust with the communities they serve?

  • Betsy Ruhe: I will prioritize community policing, getting officers out of their cars, walking through neighborhoods, talking to residents. To make this happen we need to ensure we have enough officers in the first place. LMPD officers need to be paid a salary comparable to our peer cities. They also need to receive adequate training in how to deescalate potentially violent situations. In addition, we need a cadre of mental health professionals prepared to respond to family conflicts and mental health crises. But police aren’t the only people we can count on to prevent violence. Police must partner with people in the communities they patrol. The neighbors frequently know what is happening in a community and can work with police to intervene before things turn violent. The Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods is a city agency that provides violence prevention training for adults and youth. However, neighbors won’t tell the police unless they trust the officers to be honest and unbiased. That’s why they need to get out of their cars and participate in the life of a community. We also need to provide bigger incentives to get officers to live in the communities they serve.
  • No response was received from Stephen Datillo, Jr.

 

Question 2: Business RegulationsA predictable and flexible regulatory environment allows businesses to grow and thrive. How will you consider proposed legislation to ensure that the impact on the business community is not overly burdensome and comes with clear and accessible guidelines?

  • Betsy Ruhe: Developers need education around land use. The Land Development Code needs to be easily searched and Planning and Design needs to provide classes on how to search it and what the most common issues are. They also need to publicize changes to the code in the media and in on the website. If we invest in education first, we will have fewer problems with violations later.
  • No response was received from Stephen Datillo, Jr.

 

Question 3: Economic DevelopmentWhat changes will you support to ensure that our region’s economic development efforts are well-positioned for our city to grow and compete with peer cities?

  • Betsy Ruhe: I support a Local Option Sales Tax, which is currently moving through the state legislature. As a municipality, we are very limited in our income sources, leaving us chronically underfunded. We need additional revenue to compete effectively with our peer cities. I also support increasing funding to Louisville Forward so that they can reach out more effectively to our small businesses. Education is key to the success of any business large or small.
  • No response was received from Stephen Datillo, Jr.

 

Question 4: Diversity, Equity & InclusionInvestment and inclusive growth in historically marginalized communities are critical for progress and the longterm success of Louisville. What policies and investments will you support to improve equity in our community?

  • Betsy Ruhe: I support using ARP funds to invest in affordable housing across our city but especially in areas that have been neglected over the years. These funds can be used to renovate existing homes as well as build new ones. They can also be used to renovate commercial spaces where small businesses can grow, bringing jobs to the community. I will also use participatory budgeting to allow citizens to have a direct say in how Metro Council money is spent to ensure investments are community driven. I will work with LIBA and other agencies and organizations to help immigrants and other small business owners find supports such as mentoring and façade loans to make their stores more appealing both structurally and through marketing. I will also encourage residents to explore minority-owned businesses.
  • No response was received from Stephen Datillo, Jr.

 

Question 5: Downtown RevitalizationThe recovery and continued growth in Downtown Louisville is essential for the success of the entire city and the economic impacts affect every district. What will your priorities be to encourage businesses and residents to embrace downtown and revitalize Louisville’s urban core?

  • Betsy Ruhe: Following the Breonna Taylor Protests of 2020, citizens are more afraid to go downtown. There is a perception that downtown is dangerous. The presence of homeless encampments has added to that cautiousness. To counter that perception, the city needs to be very visible in efforts to keep the streets clean and safe. I will also explore tax incentives to encourage large and small businesses to locate in the urban core.
  • No response was received from Stephen Datillo, Jr.

 

Question 6: HomelessnessThe prevalence of homelessness in our community has never been more visible, with encampments springing up in underpasses and sidewalks all over our city. What programs and partnerships will you invest in and support to prevent and address the causes of homelessness in our community?

  • Betsy Ruhe: Living unsheltered is difficult and few choose to do it voluntarily.   We need to find ways to help people get into safer spaces. One of those spaces is Hope Village, the permanent encampment being built on College Street. There will be bathrooms, laundry facilities and access to social services to get people the help they need to get into more permanent housing. We need to make more spaces like Hope Village available across our city. We need to build planned, intentional communities for those with substance abuse and psychological diagnoses, where folks can live long term and know they have access to the supports they need to stay engaged. We also need to use ARP funds to build or renovate housing to ensure there are enough affordable units to meet the community’s needs. I will partner with non-profits that work with this population to learn what other obstacles are in the way of finding and keeping stable housing. The city has a database that organizations working with the unhoused can use to keep track of what resources are available and what is currently being done with any individual but there needs to be additional coordination between outreach groups.
  • No response was received from Stephen Datillo, Jr.

 

Question 7: Infrastructure InvestmentLouisville Metro’s spending on local infrastructure, including local roads, technology, and public transportation has not kept pace with the need for further development and modernization. How will you prioritize spending that ensures that Louisville’s roads and technology infrastructure are maintained, and that public transportation can be made more efficient and accessible?

  • Betsy Ruhe: TARC currently has one rapid transit route on Dixie Hwy. I will work to expand those routes to other parts of the city. I will also work directly with TARC officials to determine the obstacles to increased use. In addition, I will ask current and past TARC users for their ideas and input. Regarding our roads, fixing potholes will continue to be a priority. Our streets are currently scored on surface conditions to prioritize repaving. I will go one step further evaluate roads after repaving to ensure paving was done to a high quality. Companies will be ranked according to the quality of their work. Ultimately, it’s less expensive to pay more now for a high-quality job than to go back in a few years and do it again. I will increase funding for free wi-fi hotspots in underserved areas and develop a database of current free wi-fi locations, including libraries, community centers and private businesses. I will develop a program that will provide signs to facilities to advertise their access, making it uniform and easily visible across the city.
  • No response was received from Stephen Datillo, Jr.

 

Question 8: Land Development & Affordable HousingLouisville’s development community has expressed the need for greater flexibility and incentives to improve the quality of life, revitalize and spur investment in underdeveloped areas, and meet the city’s demand for increased housing stock, including affordable housing. What changes in the Land Development Code will you support to provide more flexibility for development that will drive economic growth and employment?

  • Betsy Ruhe: I will work to reduce the requirements for parking, especially on small lots in urban areas. I will also reduce barriers to high density housing. It’s better to build up than to build out. When designed well, denser housing is a wise use of limited land. I will study current code for thoughtful ways to ease restrictions on accessory dwelling units and other barriers to multi-family housing. And I will work to develop communities and housing that meet the needs of specific populations such as seniors and single adults who appreciate a sense of community but don’t want large homes to care for. I will also encourage the use of Community Benefits Agreements for large projects to ensure the needs of the current community will be met.
  • No response was received from Stephen Datillo, Jr.

 

Question 9: Workforce Development Louisville’s labor force participation rate was 63% in 2021, an all-time low for our city. What policies will you support to address labor shortage and remove workforce barriers, such as access to childcare and training opportunities, in the short-term and long-term?

  • Betsy Ruhe: One of the primary reasons people drop out of the workforce is lack of affordable, convenient childcare. I will work to make thoughtful changes to the code that will allow more locations for home-based childcare as well as more locations of high-quality pre-schools. I will also coordinate with Community Coordinated Childcare (4-C) and other organizations to implement a childcare rating system such as STARS and to learn what other barriers lie in the way of providing adequate childcare. In addition, I will advocate at the state level for an increase in the minimum wage to make work itself more profitable. I will also work with a variety of groups and local agencies such as YouthBuild and the NIA Center that provide job-training to make sure the training is relevant and well-publicized.
  • No response was received from Stephen Datillo, Jr.

 

Question 10: Relocation Incentives The pandemic has caused a huge disruption in traditional working environments and precipitated a national shift toward remote work. Would you support local relocation incentives to attract new talent, including remote workers, to Louisville?  

  • Betsy Ruhe: With more people working remotely, they can work from anywhere. We want them to choose Louisville. I will support efforts to bring former residents and others “back home” to Louisville. We can do that with targeted efforts such as maps of various neighborhoods noting points of interest and parks, restaurants, etc. for people new to Louisville as well as incentives to rehab and live in vacant housing, or in specific census tracts.
  • No response was received from Stephen Datillo, Jr.

 

Question 11: Top Priorities Describe what actions you will take during your first year in office to address your top priorities.

  • Betsy Ruhe: My first priority will be using ARP funding to build affordable housing and get other services to reduce the number of people living on our streets. Then I will work to address the mental health needs of our community. Mental health is as important as physical health. I will also work directly with LMPD to improve diversity, training, recruitment and retention to make our city safe again. And finally, I will work to help businesses recover from the disruptions caused by COVID. It’s time for Louisville to get back to business.  Bringing international businesses into mainstream, encourage use of immigrant business, encourage them to market effectively, façade loans, utilize neighborhood plans and other documents.
  • No response was received from Stephen Datillo, Jr.

 

District 23:

Question 1: Public SafetyLouisville has seen an alarming increase of violent crime and homicides over the past three years. What investments will you prioritize for violence prevention? How will you work with LMPD to improve officer retention and attraction, while also increasing accountability and trust with the communities they serve?

  • Jeff Hudson: I am on track to graduate from the LMPD Citizens Police Academy in early April. This experience is giving me a firsthand perspective of the concerns of the rank & file of the LMPD. I plan to use this unique perspective to work with the leadership of LMPD to address officer training (which I see as the #1 priority) and all of the other items articulated in this question. I have specific ideas on de-escalation training that I will work hard to implement.

 

Question 2: Business RegulationsA predictable and flexible regulatory environment allows businesses to grow and thrive. How will you consider proposed legislation to ensure that the impact on the business community is not overly burdensome and comes with clear and accessible guidelines?

  • Jeff Hudson: First, I would make sure that the local business community has a voice in the development of new regulations. Secondly, the inertia associated with the COVID-19 mandates and regulations will require active effort to reverse. I will work with local businesses to reverse these now that we are coming out of the pandemic.

 

Question 3: Economic DevelopmentWhat changes will you support to ensure that our region’s economic development efforts are well-positioned for our city to grow and compete with peer cities?

  • Jeff Hudson: I think that government at every level (especially the local level) should work to help businesses where it can, through tax incentives. Conversely, I believe that government should get out of the way of businesses by simplification of the rules and regulations that add confusion and inefficiency to doing business in Louisville.

 

Question 4: Diversity, Equity & InclusionInvestment and inclusive growth in historically marginalized communities are critical for progress and the longterm success of Louisville. What policies and investments will you support to improve equity in our community?

  • Jeff Hudson: I will encourage deeper cooperation of Metro Government and community organizations that build opportunity for investment and inclusion in Louisville’s marginalized communities. Community organizations such as Family Scholar House and KentuckianaWorks are doing great work along these lines and I would seek to align and help them in a way that multiplies their efforts.

 

Question 5: Downtown RevitalizationThe recovery and continued growth in Downtown Louisville is essential for the success of the entire city and the economic impacts affect every district. What will your priorities be to encourage businesses and residents to embrace downtown and revitalize Louisville’s urban core?

  • Jeff Hudson: Safety must be addressed first. Until people feel that it is safe to come downtown again, business will continue to struggle.

 

Question 6: HomelessnessThe prevalence of homelessness in our community has never been more visible, with encampments springing up in underpasses and sidewalks all over our city. What programs and partnerships will you invest in and support to prevent and address the causes of homelessness in our community?

  • Jeff Hudson: Homelessness is too big to be solved by government alone. I will work to bring together the local faith community, social work organizations, and government to address homelessness. We must see the homeless as people that need help instead of a problem that needs to be solved.

 

Question 7: Infrastructure InvestmentLouisville Metro’s spending on local infrastructure, including local roads, technology, and public transportation has not kept pace with the need for further development and modernization. How will you prioritize spending that ensures that Louisville’s roads and technology infrastructure are maintained, and that public transportation can be made more efficient and accessible?

  • Jeff Hudson: I will work early in the process to ensure that government and developers cooperate in an effort to meet the needs of all stakeholders. Developers must be able to earn a return on their investment, while balancing the infrastructural needs of the community. Incorporating these elements in the beginning of the process will reduce the churn that frustrates the process.

 

Question 8: Land Development & Affordable HousingLouisville’s development community has expressed the need for greater flexibility and incentives to improve the quality of life, revitalize and spur investment in underdeveloped areas, and meet the city’s demand for increased housing stock, including affordable housing. What changes in the Land Development Code will you support to provide more flexibility for development that will drive economic growth and employment?

  • Jeff Hudson: As a Licensed Professional Engineer and Certified Program Management Professional (PMP) I will work to drive efficiency and effectiveness into the Planning and Zoning Commission. The process is broken and I bring a unique set of skills to be able to fix it.

 

Question 9: Workforce Development Louisville’s labor force participation rate was 63% in 2021, an all-time low for our city. What policies will you support to address labor shortage and remove workforce barriers, such as access to childcare and training opportunities, in the short-term and long-term?

  • Jeff Hudson: The pandemic has shaken the workforce environment. More and more, people have re-evaluated their career going forward but are frustrated by the need to be re-trained. I will support all efforts by Metro Government to partner with the local business community, JCPS, the Vocational Training community and the Secondary Education community to provide job training and re-training. The old business model is no longer applicable. People want mobility and we must provide it.

 

Question 10: Relocation Incentives The pandemic has caused a huge disruption in traditional working environments and precipitated a national shift toward remote work. Would you support local relocation incentives to attract new talent, including remote workers, to Louisville?  

  • Jeff Hudson: Yes. As well as local technology infrastructure improvement.

 

Question 11: Top Priorities Describe what actions you will take during your first year in office to address your top priorities.

  • Jeff Hudson: I will work with LMPD to implement training and policy changes to address public safety. I will work to simplify the process that community development must work through in the Planning & Zoning Commission.

 

 

District 25:

Question 1: Public SafetyLouisville has seen an alarming increase of violent crime and homicides over the past three years. What investments will you prioritize for violence prevention? How will you work with LMPD to improve officer retention and attraction, while also increasing accountability and trust with the communities they serve? Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Khalil “Charlie” Batshon: Priority investments will include budgeting and maintaining funds for recruitment and retention of police officers.  This will allow for increased manpower assigned to beats which gives opportunity for preventive instead of driven response to criminal activity.  Currently, police officers are required to complete 40 hours of training designated by department.  Due to manpower shortage, officers are restricted to time off for mandated or selected training.  Time off for holidays, training, and personal days is an impossibility with limited staffing.  Morale and trust are broken.  Fair contracts that provide reasonable insurance, allowance for necessary equipment, and a strong relationship with City Hall and the Mayor are a priority, as well as national recruitment.  Increased community presence formal and informally, and regularly scheduled public forums in all districts will improve public trust.  Established and respected review boards comprised of persons representing a variety of backgrounds and perspectives, will create a stronger foundation of trust between law enforcement and the community.  Preventive policing, reaching appropriate levels of manpower, strong support by the Mayor and local government, and a fair public accountability board will ensure trust and help reduce violent crime.
  • Amy Holton Stewart: I recently co-sponsored LMPD’s Captain and Lieutenant contract as well as the Officer’s Contract to support a much needed pay increase and address training concerns of the public.  With these added salary increases, I believe LMPD will be more equipped to attract new officers to join their department.  By increasing the number of officers on the street, LMPD becomes more visual on the community thus leading to less crime.  In addition, by providing training to all officers, my hope is that a positive relationship will develop between the police and the public.  In district 25, I invest in overtime for neighborhood patrols to be conducted by LMPD.  Neighborhoods are reporting they feel safer with this extra patrol. Community violence prevention programs and trainings have been funded with ARP funds to add an additional layer of wrap around services throughout the community.  I support programs that show positive data outcomes within the community as I believe accountability is important.

 

Question 2: Business RegulationsA predictable and flexible regulatory environment allows businesses to grow and thrive. How will you consider proposed legislation to ensure that the impact on the business community is not overly burdensome and comes with clear and accessible guidelines? Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Khalil “Charlie” Batshon: As a self-started small business owner, I believe new business must be recruited and old businesses must be maintained for Louisville to be a successful city.  Legislation can restrict business, especially small businesses, in many ways.  Regulatory legislation must be carefully reviewed, researched, and analyzed to fit the needs of businesses located throughout the districts.  I will take the time to make myself aware of federal, state and local legislation affecting businesses located in our city.  I will carefully evaluate and research what is put before the Council before voting on proposals.  In addition, I will meet regularly with my district business owners and other district leaders.  District constituents have a strong opinion on how businesses operate and how it affects them financially.  I will solicit and listen to others for information before voting.
  • Amy Holton Stewart: I will support legislation that reduces the hurdles of potential businesses and allows new businesses to develop and thrive without having to jump through so many obstacles.

 

Question 3: Economic DevelopmentWhat changes will you support to ensure that our region’s economic development efforts are well-positioned for our city to grow and compete with peer cities? Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Khalil “Charlie” Batshon: Our region’s economic development is dependent upon the culture of our city.  The current distrust in our police department and local government, and a failing school system are deterrents to businesses looking to invest and individuals wanting to relocate.  My first priority is to improve our culture and negative perceptions of Louisville.  Changes I support are to increase and strengthen our police department, while holding them accountable with fair and equitable review panels.  Increased regular communication between district leaders and their constituency is needed. Development of a successful plan depends on district needs and wants.   Research and evaluation of successful peer cities will help Louisville decide on models, programs, and development that works.   Marginalized districts are resentful of progress and development in other districts.  Additional support should be given to improve struggling districts which will provide for equitable distribution of economic development.  A third change would be improvement to our public school system.  Successful, educated populace leads to greater investment in areas and determines family decisions to relocate and work in regions.  We need a strong education system to draw new businesses and talented people to work.  Change may include charter schools or changes to how a school is evaluated.  Parents need more options when deciding on the education their children receive.
  • Amy Holton Stewart: I support change that makes Louisville competitive with its peer cities.  Metro Council does not need to be an obstacle for economic growth, but be a part of it.  Louisville Metro Council needs to be a part of economic growth by working with small businesses to incentivize growth where needed and actively seeking grants and financial opportunities to incentivize growth in economically deficient areas.

 

Question 4: Diversity, Equity & InclusionInvestment and inclusive growth in historically marginalized communities are critical for progress and the longterm success of Louisville. What policies and investments will you support to improve equity in our community? Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Khalil “Charlie” Batshon: While owning a small business, I recognize marginalized communities often do not feel they are included in city investment and growth.  Businesses choose not to invest in marginalized communities because of homeless, economic, crime and support issues.  Change cannot occur without a shift in local government view and support of the areas.  Without the changes in struggling districts, long term growth will not occur.  As a minority business owner, I support providing incentives for diverse businesses to develop in the lagging communities   A priority would be to work with constituents to improve perceptions through literacy centers that include classes focused on trade skills and financial operations.  Centers could include teaching personal presentation and speaking.  Business and financial opportunities need to be supported through mentoring, legislation and review.  All communities need to be treated equitably and be supported by local leaders in order to ensure long term growth.
  • Amy Holton Stewart: Where and when possible, Louisville Metro Council should support Tax Increment Financing to subsidize redevelopment, infrastructure and other community improvements.  This is a good tool when looking at historically marginalized communities.  In addition, I support Louisville Metro’s efforts in building and supporting black owned businesses.

 

Question 5: Downtown RevitalizationThe recovery and continued growth in Downtown Louisville is essential for the success of the entire city and the economic impacts affect every district. What will your priorities be to encourage businesses and residents to embrace downtown and revitalize Louisville’s urban core? Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Khalil “Charlie” Batshon: The culture and urban core of Louisville has seriously been affected by current events over the last few years.  This includes the pandemic, distrust in LMPD and public safety throughout the United States, local government and national politics.  It is fundamental that the culture and trust be rebuilt in our city to revitalize Louisville.  Priorities include building a sufficient police force who focus on preventive policing.  I want to build strong relationships with the public, police force, and local government.  This requires transparency, increased public presence, frequent communication and accountability that encourages equal participation.  It is necessary to host diverse events such as concerts, fairs, speakers and conventions and do an outstanding job of promotion to encourage the public to come downtown.  All cultures must be represented and respected, but ultimately the public must feel safe and wanted.  Businesses, through city investment, must be encouraged to develop.  As leaders, a priority is to research and recruit businesses that the public would support and help Louisville to grow. Some in outer areas of Metro don’t want or trust downtown because they don’t see their ideas or views considered, as goals and plans are made for development.  Encouraging my constituents to support downtown revitalization would be a priority.
  • Amy Holton Stewart: Continue to support initiatives that address public safety. I believe that when people feel safe, they will return to the downtown area.

 

Question 6: HomelessnessThe prevalence of homelessness in our community has never been more visible, with encampments springing up in underpasses and sidewalks all over our city. What programs and partnerships will you invest in and support to prevent and address the causes of homelessness in our community? Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Khalil “Charlie” Batshon: Louisville has seen increasing homeless encampments in the last few years.  Some regions have higher presences of panhandling and homeless areas.  This presence has led to inequitable business development, increased crime, and a shift in property value and settlement.  It is a priority to address the needs of homeless to improve and grow our city.  Our homeless can be divided into multiple categories.  Homeless veterans need to be provided housing, as well as educational opportunities to learn trade skills, job training skills, and financial literacy.  It is a priority to make available the tools to function in society, Mental health homeless need to be identified and referred to agencies that can address issues and aid, if possible, a return to society as employable.  Resources should be allocated for development of agencies and health centers that locate and treat the mentally ill homeless.  Panhandling and addiction homeless need to be identified, rehabilitated and offered tools to become a functioning contributor to society.  Louisville has a tremendous number of empty businesses, buildings, etc. that could be utilized for housing and health centers.  A priority should be stronger police and health action for drug use in hot districts to address and prevent drug related problems.
  • Amy Holton Stewart: Continue to support initiatives that address public safety. I believe that when people feel safe, they will return to the downtown area.

 

Question 7: Infrastructure InvestmentLouisville Metro’s spending on local infrastructure, including local roads, technology, and public transportation has not kept pace with the need for further development and modernization. How will you prioritize spending that ensures that Louisville’s roads and technology infrastructure are maintained, and that public transportation can be made more efficient and accessible? Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Khalil “Charlie” Batshon: Reallocation of budget funds and spending is necessary to keep pace with changes to infrastructure and technology.  Louisville has seen many seasons, recently, that have seriously impacted roads, and bridges.  This varies from year to year.  Technological advances have been made with business, communication and public transportation across the world.  In order to keep pace and ensure growth, we must make advancement a priority.  All homes in Metro need to have access to high-speed internet, especially during a pandemic.  Sufficient funds should be allocated annually to ensure difficult weathering conditions and repairs needed.  We need to focus strong investment in roads and technology.  Local government and the Council must research and mimic bigger cities’ investments into public transportation and maintenance.  District and overall regional needs must be assessed before making changes.  A priority would be to create a development team to stay abreast of changes and brings current advances to leaders and Metro Council.
  • Amy Holton Stewart: I have significantly invested in the roads in District 25 from day one of taking office.  It has been a priority of mine from the beginning.  Additionally, I am actively researching the district for new sidewalk locations to make areas more accessible. I believe that until our infrastructure is modernized, development will be slow.  Therefore, it must be a priority in the entire city.

 

Question 8: Land Development & Affordable HousingLouisville’s development community has expressed the need for greater flexibility and incentives to improve the quality of life, revitalize and spur investment in underdeveloped areas, and meet the city’s demand for increased housing stock, including affordable housing. What changes in the Land Development Code will you support to provide more flexibility for development that will drive economic growth and employment? Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Khalil “Charlie” Batshon: Land development and land development code seem to have some inequities.  The code restricts development in specific areas due to the twelve cities that have individual coding or codes that have been adapted for community desires.  This results in construction that some districts object to, but they do not have individual codes and cannot restrict.  It appears that more affluent regions in Louisville have the differing development codes.  I support more flexibility in development that will be fair to all concerned areas.  We need to work with the small cities and HOA’s to review and find equitable solutions for districts and developers.  Reviews should be transparent and promote growth and development in all regions of Louisville.
  • Amy Holton Stewart: The need for affordable housing has never been so great in the City of Louisville as now.  Though we need to be responsible in planning, I believe we need to take bold steps to ensure that future housing developments are spread equally across the city.  We also need to be bold in supporting infrastructure to support these future developments.  I do believe and support the Tree Canopy Ordinance though as we need to plan and protect the future of our children and grandchildren and the environment in which they will live in.

 

Question 9: Workforce Development Louisville’s labor force participation rate was 63% in 2021, an all-time low for our city. What policies will you support to address labor shortage and remove workforce barriers, such as access to childcare and training opportunities, in the short-term and long-term? Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Khalil “Charlie” Batshon: As an individual business owner in Louisville, the labor force participation rate is frustrating and frightening. I, personally, experience employees unable to report to work due to lack of child care centers, and being able to afford outside care. With the pandemic, workers who did not have insurance due to expense, could not seek medical care and did not report to work.  Unfortunately, some businesses do not have the ability to offer remote work or budgets to supplement childcare.  While considering the issue, all type of business (big and small) must be considered.  A priority would be to interview or listen workers in different types of business throughout my district to determine what changes are needed to retain and keep them satisfied in jobs.  Research indicates that it is not always pay increases.  A priority would be to increase childcare facilities and provide incentives that will draw employees to this field. Loosen tax restrictions on businesses to free up money for pay increases and training.  Look to find tax incentives for businesses to help with childcare expenses.  Business owner forums in marginalized areas to determine solutions for recruiting and retaining employees. Offer initiatives to businesses that have ability to build or include “in house” childcare.  In addition, helping small businesses to offer educational and training opportunities would be an important benefit to employees. Research and help businesses implement flexible plans for paid leave, work schedules and opportunities to work from home.  Pay increases are generally short-term solutions, while job satisfaction and advancement lead to long term retention.  Providing community education centers that include training in business and trade skill, general information on handling finances, insurance, and interview skills and appearance would be priority to increasing work force.
  • Amy Holton Stewart: We need to invest in our workforce to be competitive in a global economy.  We need to ensure companies and individuals have the training they need to be successful in today’s market.  I support the Evolve 502 initiative than ensures any high school graduate can get their associate or technical degree tuition free.  Many families are faced with child care issues as they return to work after the pandemic.  Child care should be affordable and safe for all children. Therefore, I support initiatives that fund and/or supplement child care in the city.

 

Question 10: Relocation Incentives The pandemic has caused a huge disruption in traditional working environments and precipitated a national shift toward remote work. Would you support local relocation incentives to attract new talent, including remote workers, to Louisville?  Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Khalil “Charlie” Batshon: In today’s working environments, flexibility is a key component.  Individual businesses must look carefully at their operations to determine which areas they can be flexible in.  As a Council member, a priority would be to communicate with employees and employers in local businesses to determine needs and plans to meet their needs.  Researching and compiling ideas for the Council to consider would be a top priority to helping our communities.  I am open to remote work where it is possible for employers, while maintaining strong accountability.  I strongly support exhausting our community’s talent pool for filling positions.  Local relocation incentives should be provided by individual businesses in order to find the most talented employees; however, I think they should look locally first to retain our populace.  Different techniques work for different companies, and they require the flexibility to implement their own plans.  I prioritize being available to my constituents for ideas and bringing suggestions back to Metro Council that we can pass on or help with legislation.
  • Amy Holton Stewart: Yes.

 

Question 11: Top Priorities Describe what actions you will take during your first year in office to address your top priorities. Candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Khalil “Charlie” Batshon: I will work actively with LMPD, city officials, and community groups to ensure safety is a top priority.  Improve recruitment and retention of police officers while building relationships between officials, government and the community. Be proactive instead of reactive to infrastructure issues such as road maintenance, technology and public transportation by canvassing neighborhoods, roadways and maintain budget for improvement. Actively pursue and arrange communication with the public, Metro Council and government to improve trust issues and build relationships.
  • Amy Holton Stewart: Public Safety. I will continue to support our first responders.  By offering hiring and retention bonuses for our police officers and initiating new training to both the new and existing officers,  our city will be able to move ahead and the trust between the public and the police will improve. Infrastructure. I plan to continue my quest to pave, repair, and rebuild as many roads and sidewalks as possible to attract new residents and new businesses. It is vital for District 25 to move ahead! We are losing population to other counties and to the East End. I don’t want that for my community. Youth Programming.  I will continue to build and offer new programs and activities for the youth in South and Southwest Louisville.  These things are offered all over Louisville but are absent in this area of town.  We have to focus on making people feel good about living in this area of town.  We are worth it!