District 7 E-Newsletter - March 8, 2019

Councilwoman Paula McCraney 601 W. Jefferson Street (502) 574-1107
Councilwoman Paula McCraney

Councilwoman McCraney
601 W. Jefferson Street
(502) 574-1107
Email Councilwoman McCraney


Visit the District 7 Website

Phone Numbers
of Interest

Air Pollution: 574-6000

Animal Services: 363-6609
or 361-1318

Anonymous Tipline:
574-LMPD (5673)

Brightside: 574-2613

Jefferson County Clerk's Office: 574-5700

Legal Aid: 584-1254

Metro Call: 311 or 574-5000

Metro Parks: 456-8100

Metro Police: (Non Emergency) 574-7111 or 574-2111

Metro Safe: 572-3460
or 574-7111

MSD: 587-0603

PARC: 569-6222

Poison Control: 589-8222

Public Works: 574-5810

Solid Waste Management (SWMS): 574-3571

TARC: 585-1234

Veteran's Affairs: 595-4447

In this issue...

A Message from Councilwoman McCraney

Hello Neighbors,

With a Louisville Metro budget crisis on our hands, we find ourselves on both ends of a spectrum. As a community, we have positive momentum in many areas – a growing economy, low unemployment, and ratings in the top quartile of municipalities by Fitch Ratings, Inc. and Moody’s Investors Service. But on the other end of the spectrum, we must address a budget shortfall, and that is never an easy thing to do. From my perspective, our city is transitioning in ways that many of us have never seen before, and at every turn, there are uncertainties that make it difficult to predict the future.

According to the city’s Office for Management and Budget, Louisville Metro faces a $65 million general fund budget gap over the next for years, caused largely by newly mandated pension increases from the Kentucky Retirement Systems. This amounts to $86 million in the fiscal year that ends June 30 and grows to $97 million in the fiscal year that starts July 1, and up to $136 million in fiscal year 2023.

To address this issue, Mayor Fischer has proposed to increase a current 5% insurance premium tax to 12.5% in fiscal years (FY) 2020 and 2021, 13.5% in FY 2022, and 15% in FY 2023. The insurance policies affected include: Life, Home, Fire, Casualty, Marine and Miscellaneous (malpractice and extra liability policies). Currently, health insurance and auto insurance are exempted.

What are our options? Cut the budget, increase revenues, or realize a combination of both. Some say that bringing in more tax revenue probably wouldn’t do anything to reduce the deficit right now because they believe we don’t have a revenue problem in the city, we have a spending problem. As such, we must demand from Louisville Metro government that things be done differently. It must be mindful of all operational expenditures; eliminate unfilled positions and implement a hiring freeze; restructure administrative functions and departments; refrain from introducing costly new initiatives and programs; think about ways to maximize efficiencies; and lobby Frankfort to leverage our revenue options.

The revenue options available to us today without Frankfort’s involvement, a referendum or a constitutional amendment include:

  • Property Tax Increase (an increase of more than 4% is subject to recall by voters) (doubling the tax would raise $70-75 million)

  • Utility Franchise Fee (5% fee generates $13 million; can’t be applied to suburban cities)

  • Car Rental Tax (3% tax maximum would create $500,000- $1 million annually)

  • Insurance Premium Tax Increase

The revenue options NOT available in FY 2020 include:

  • Transient Room Tax (requires a constitutional amendment)

  • Restaurant Tax (requires state legislature votes)

  • Occupational License Fee (requires state legislature votes)

  • Local Option Sales Tax (requires state legislature vote)

Budget reductions or a combination of budget cuts and revenue have been discussed at the Metro Council. Managing budget reductions is painful. There is no hidden financial resource we can tap and there is no non-specific “fat” or other low-hanging fruit that can be eliminated to completely solve our problems. Nor can our city simply turn to capital projects spending, external grants, or the rainy-day fund to shore up our operating budget. These funds cannot ethically or legally be used for that purpose.

As far as cuts are concerned, the Metro Council understands the importance of maintaining essential public safety services – police, fire and emergency medical services. We are therefore rejecting the mayor’s suggestion that they be included in the budget cuts. The Metro council is currently discussing cuts such as our Metro Council Neighborhood Development Funds (an estimated savings of $520,000), take home vehicles for Louisville Metro non-essential employees, FY 2020 cost of living adjustments for Louisville Metro employees, and 5% salary cuts or furloughs for all Metro employees earning $90,000+ annually.

In addition to specific cuts, a newly formed Ad Hoc Committee has been formed to investigate long-term structural savings. I have been appointed to serve on this committee. We will look into consolidating departments and privatizing such entities as the Louisville Zoo, Belle of Louisville, PARC (downtown parking facilities) and golf courses.

It is important that as a community we recognize these constraints and the role we all play in the difficult decisions being made as we work together to right size the budget based on current realities. We must work together, sharing ideas and feedback in order to reduce and eliminate our financial deficit. Together we will move forward and continue to build upon our strengths.

Our city has been faced with obstacles and challenges in the past, and through each of those times, we have persevered; we have found a way to come together; and we have continued to improve our reputation and status as a compassionate city. I am confident that even with this new set of challenges, our resolve as a city will be unchanged, and we will harness the grit that fuels each of us to continue moving forward. We must be committed to running a streamlined government that doesn’t skimp on service. The careful approach being taken by the Metro Council will serve us well and carry us through fiscal year 2020 and into the future.

Thank you for your patience as we work through this most difficult process, and please know this,

  • I am a NO vote to the current proposal handed to us by the mayor and as the current ordinance is written.

  • I am advocating a one-year fix to address the pension issue, and not a four-year tax plan. This will give us the necessary time we need to dig deeply to find palatable cuts.

  • I support increasing revenue and making cuts to satisfy the pension bill only. I will not support the current plan to pay for the shortfall in healthcare costs or a built-in surplus.

  • I will make sure the language in the ordinance clearly states that new revenue (including any tax increase that might get voted in) is earmarked solely for pension crisis – ONLY.

  • While I do not want to vote on ANY tax increase, the reality is, if we cannot find $20 million in cuts (not including essential public safety or social services) to satisfy the
     one-year pension obligation (which, by law, must be paid), an increase in taxes must be implemented because the law requires a balanced budget. I will NOT, however, vote for an insurance premium tax increase above 1.5% in 2020. My support of this tax increase comes with a stipulation that the rate hike will sunset - (expire).

Tough times call for tough decisions. We will get through this. My mother would say, as she comforted us through difficult times, “this too shall pass.”


Councilwoman Paula McCraney

Frockt DeWeese

Mr. Daniel Frockt, CFO, Louisville Metro Office For Management and Budget, and the Honorable John M. DeWeese, Mayor of City of Riverwood and President of Professionals' Insurance Agency, Inc. discussing the insurance premium tax proposal at a forum hosted by several Metro Councilmembers on March 6

Happy International Women's Day!

international women's day

In the early 1900's Suffragettes forged purposeful action for equality. Suffragettes started International Women's Day with the first officially named "International Women's Day" event held in 1911. Today, the ten values that guide International Women's Day are justice, dignity, hope, equality, collaboration, tenacity, appreciation, respect, empathy, and forgiveness.

Get Ready... It's Daylight Saving Time

Remember to spring your clocks forward an hour before you got to sleep this Saturday night. It's the time of year for Day Light Saving, but why do we lose an extra hour of rest every second Sunday in March?

The United States adopted Day Light Saving During World War I under the Standard Time Act of March 19, 1918. The reason for implementing DST was to save energy. People thought more daylight in the evening hours would lower the amount of lights and electricity used in a twenty-four hour period. In 2005, the Department of Energy performed a study which found the equivalent of the power used by 100,000 households for a whole year is saved during the time period Daylight Saving Time takes place. So Daylight Saving Time could be saving you some money on your LG&E bill every month!


District 7 Saftey Alerts

Lock Your Car

A number of cars have been vandalized in District 7. Despite the frigid weather burglars are still attempting to break into cars and steal automobiles. Please remember to remove your valuables, lock your cars, and if you warm up your car in the morning be sure to lock your car while your keys are in the ignition so no one can steal it.


Stolen Packages in Windy Hills


We have been made aware that at least two packages have been stolen off of porches in Windy Hills. The two that have been reported are in Wexford Place neighborhood. Please be aware of your package deliveries, alert your neighbors if you are expecting a package, install a camera, have your package delivered to an alternate site - such as your work, etc. The Graymoor/Devondale Police Department has been alerted and will try to keep an eye out for these thieves. If you see anything suspicious, please call Graymoor/Devondale at 327-2677.

District 7 Lenten Fish Fries

This year Lent is March 6 - April 18. In observance of Lent, many people enjoy the company of others and freshly fried fish on Fridays. If you are aware of any fish fries taking place in District 7 please share that information at this link. Here are a few locations in District 7 where you can enjoy fish during Lent: 

  • St. Albert the Great, 1395 Girard Dr., 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Fridays, March 8 through
    April 12 (no fish fry April 5)
  • Holy Trinity Church, 501 Cherrywood Rd., 5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Fridays, March 8 through April 12 (no fish fry March 29 and April 5)


fish fry

Proposed Rezoning in Langdon Place

Neighborhood Informational Meeting
March 11 at 7:00 p.m.
Fellowship Hall at John Knox Presbyterian Church, 9104 Westport Rd.

A developer has filed re-zoning applications within the City of Langdon Place, R4 to R5A, for lots on Wessinger Road and Blossom Lane and lots on Wessinger Road and Langdon Drive that will total 20 units:

This will be an informational meeting at which the developer and attorney will show proposed plans, answer questions and take feedback. It is open to everyone, not just residents of Langdon Place. Residents of Disricts 7, 17, 18, and 19 may sign a petition requesting that the LD&T public hearing that is held as  part of the process be held at 6 p.m. at a location in the district; petition sheets will be available at the meeting as  well as copies of the Zoning Process Sheet.


Tree Giveaways

tree giveaway

Saturday, March 16, 2019
9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Louisville Zoo (Bus Parking Lot)

Saturday, March 23, 2019
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Jefferson Community and Technical College Downtown Campus
(2nd and Broadway Parking Lot)

Jefferson County Residents can receive up to 5 trees to plant on their private property in Jefferson County while supplies last. Trees are distributed on a “first come” basis.
Additional information is located on Louisville Metro Division of Community Forestry's events webpage (https://louisvilleky.gov/government/division-community-forestry/events) and Sustain Louisville Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Sustain-Louisville-371596559605367/). 

State Transportation Cabinet Delays New License

ky transportation

The new Kentucky standard and voluntary travel licenses and ID's won't be available in Louisville until the beginning of May. According to Jefferson County Coarct Court Clerk David Nicholson, Jefferson County residents were originally supposed to be able to get the new licenses or identification cards between March 19-22. Kentuckians have been informed to continue to use their current licenses and IDs, unless they are getting ready to expire. In that case, get them renewed at your local Circuit Court Clerk's Office. For more information about the Kentucky's new licenses and IDs visit the Kentucky Department of Transportation's website.

Wish Upon a Star

Louisville Astronomical Society Stargazing Party
Friday, March 15 at 7:00 p.m.
Urban Astronomy Center at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park

The Louisville Astronomical Society (LAS) will host a stargazing party on Friday, March 15 at 7:00 p.m. at the Urban Astronomy Center in E. P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park. Those in attendance will have the opportunity to look through LAS telescopes for incredible images of craters on the moon, galaxies, double stars, and more. You will even learn how to capture astronomical images on your cell phones. LAS President Ken Alderson will have his collection of meteorites on display as well. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.louisville-astro.org.   


Children are Learning to Stop the Spread of the Flu

Metro Health officials are reporting that Jefferson County has some of the highest numbers of confirmed flu cases in the state. Washing your hands is still one of the best ways to stop the spread of illness. That's why students in Louisville are learning how to properly wash their hands to fight off the flu. Louisville Water Company educators are teaching the Clean Hands Up! lesson to children at Louisville's day cares and libraries.

hand washing

Kentucky Science Center's Brain Days

science center

Happening at Nearby Locust Grove

Punch with the President: John Adams Speaks

Friday, March 15 at 6:30pm
Locust Grove, 561 Blankenbaker Ln.

locust grove

Did you know that John Adams tried to have George Rogers Clark arrested on charges of treason? The second president will, at last, make his journey to Locust Grove. Enjoy light refreshments and hear John Adams’ story as presented by nationally-known interpreter, Peyton Dixon.
Tickets: $15 and $12 for Locust Grove members. Reservations required; call (502) 897-9845.


Random Word of the Week


Definition: The act of departing from the right, normal, or usual course.

Used in a sentence: The residents considered the recent surge in burglaries to be an aberration, since their neighborhood was known for its safety.

Quote of the Week

“Never let your morals prevent you from doing what is right.” ---Isaac Asimov

Life Hack of the Week

Remove Toilet Bowl Stains

Pour a can of Coca-Cola into the toilet bowl, and let it sit overnight.
Then wash it with soapy water, and flush clean.


Happening in District 7

  • March 9--6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Second Annual Taste of Lyndon presented by Lyndon Baptist Church, 8025 New Lagrange Rd., $20 in advance; $25 at the door.  Call 425-7150 for more information.

  • March 25--10:30 a.m. The Woman's Club of St. Matthews is hosting a painting party at the
    St. Matthews Community Center, 310 Ten Pin Ln. For details visit their website at www.wcsm.org/special-events.

  • March 13--10:15 a.m. Baby Storytime at the St. Matthews Community Center,
    310 Ten Pin Ln.

  • March 14--10:15 p.m. Toddler Storytime at the St. Matthews Community Center,
    310 Ten Pin Ln.