District 17 eNewsletter

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markus winkler - louisville metro council - district 17

January 8, 2021

Friday Thoughts

Happy New Year! I hope that you and your family had a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season. While I am looking forward to the new year, as I stated in some interviews recently, January 1 is just a day on the calendar. We do not get to leave our challenges in the rearview mirror. Sadly, this has been demonstrated this week with what happened in our Capitol and the continuing rise in COVID-related deaths. I hope and pray for brighter days soon.

I want to first address the issues in Washington, D.C. by echoing the comments I made on Facebook. I found what took place deeply disturbing. If anything positive can come from such an event, I hope it is the realization that escalating rhetoric, vilification of the other side, and a winner-take-all attitude is not what most people want and has serious consequences. 

I have found that people generally agree on some portion of virtually every issue. Rather than focusing on the extreme ends where there is likely no agreement, we must find common ground, focus on solutions, and find a way to work together.

No one represents a homogenous electorate. As elected leaders, we have a responsibility to represent all of our citizens, not just those that may have elected us. I am proud that we have continually found ways to work in a bi-partisan manner locally and hope we can find the will to do the same at the state and federal levels, regardless of which party is "in power". Disagreement and debate should lead to a better product - not to becoming each other’s enemy.

In other matters, we welcomed two new Metro Councilmembers this week: Jecorey Arthur (D-4) and Cassie Chambers Armstrong (D-8). We also said goodbye to David Yates (D-25) who will be moving on to the State Senate. When mid-term vacancies occur, Metro Council has the authority to fill that vacancy and as such is in the process of taking applications for the open seat. If you know someone who lives in D-25 (click here for a map) and think they would be a good candidate, please encourage them to apply.

In addition to the personnel changes, we passed the mid-year budget adjustment which prioritized a number of immediate challenges related to the pandemic – primarily our increasing homeless population and general city clean up (the result of a number of issues we hope to address through the allocation). My priorities for any remaining budget surplus will include addressing critical needs caused by the pandemic, ensuring our city is prepared for the hospitality industry to reopen when tourism returns to normal, and making long-term investments that create structural budget stability.

On Wednesday, Mayor Fischer announced Erika Shields as the new Chief of the Louisville Metro Police Department. Chief Shields, who comes to us from Atlanta, was the unanimous recommendation of the panel charged with screening the candidates. She will be sworn in on January 19.   

Finally, I know that the rollout of the COVID vaccine has been frustrating for many – myself included. The guidelines seem to change continuously and we hear reports of doses not being administered. This week I had a call with Ozzy Gibson, Interim Chief of Public Services, regarding vaccine distribution plans. I learned Louisville Metro has zero doses of unadministered vaccine. In fact, demand has far exceeded supply when we have done distributions. The process we launched at Broadbent Arena is actually being used as a model in municipalities across the country because of its efficiency. The primary issue for us is that our Health Department has received only 3,000 doses to date. In addition, we are not being provided much insight into the upcoming supply. It's difficult to make plans for giving people a first dose if you're not sure you'll have enough to give others the required second dose. One thing we know for certain is we will need volunteers to help administer the vaccine as it becomes more readily available. Click here if you are interested in volunteering.

Frustrating as some of this may be, please know the Health Department has plans in place to vaccinate as many people as vaccines will allow and move as much vaccine as possible to the private sector where mass immunizations will take place. As soon as information filters down from the federal/state government that helps us solidify timelines, expand locations, etc. we will communicate that to you.

Contact the District 17 Office

Markus Winkler
17th District Councilman



Kip Eatherly
Legislative Aide


Important Numbers

Animal Services   473-7387
Codes & Regulations   574-2508
EACM   426-2824
Health & Wellness   574-6520
Jefferson Co. Clerk   574-5700
KY Science Center   561-6100
LG&E   589-1444
LMPD (8th Division)   574-2258
Louisville Water   583-6610
Louisville Zoo   459-2181
Mayor's Office   574-2003
MSD   540-6000
NE Regional Library  394-0379
Parks   574-7275
Planning   574-6230
Public Works   574-5810
TARC   585-1234

COVID-19 Vaccination


A couple of weeks ago, I hosted a virtual meeting with district residents to discuss the COVID-19 vaccines. Many of the questions pertained to distribution. Connie Mendel, Director of Metro Louisville's Department of Public Health & Wellness, and Dr. Ruth Carrico with U of L's Division of Infectious Diseases did a fantastic job explaining the decision-making process and answering other COVID-related questions. I know this is a topic of interest to many in our community and hope the information above will be helpful regarding the phases of vaccine distribution as we anticipate them today. For more information, please visit Louisville Metro's COVID-19 Resource Center

Planning Weekly Activity Report

The Planning Weekly Activity Report, accessed here, helps residents stay current on land use proposals in Jefferson County. The last two reports include three cases in District 17:

10641 Fischer Park Drive - A revised district development plan for this location, currently the site of an O'Charley's, would add a drive-thru and outdoor dining area for a new restaurant as well as space for another restaurant to be determined at a later date.

4301 Murphy Lane - Chancey Elementary is requesting to replace its existing sign with a new LED sign.

804 Evergreen Road - The applicant in this case is asking for a conditional use permit (CUP) to allow a bed & breakfast. This case has not yet been docketed for a public hearing.

More information for each of these, including contact information for the case manager, can be found at the link above.

PlayWorks at Waterfront Park


Waterfront Park is currently developing the plans for PlayWorks at Waterfront Park, the first component of the 22.5-acre Phase IV expansion. PlayWorks is a 1.5-acre outdoor experiential learning area created in collaboration with the Kentucky Science Center. To keep the community updated, Waterfront Park has launched a website which includes an informational video, design details, and a questionnaire. The questionnaire will remain open until January 29 and is a great opportunity for you to provide feedback on what's currently planned for this exciting project.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

A program that helps prevent low-income residents of Jefferson County from being disconnected from utility services began earlier this week. LIHEAP's Crisis Component, administered by the Office of Resilience & Community Services, will allow residents to apply for assistance if they meet certain income and other eligibility requirements such as a current utility bill with a past due amount or a recent disconnect notice. To apply, residents must schedule an appointment by calling 991-8391 or clicking here. The toll-free service is open and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information, visit the city's LIHEAP website

External Agency Fund Grants

External Agency Fund grants are awarded by Louisville Metro Government to non-governmental or "external" agencies committed to helping our community in two areas: Social Services and Arts & Creative Industries. Beginning today, organizations can click here to view the application guidelines, learn specific points of focus within each area, and more. All agencies wishing to apply should have at least one representative attend the virtual application orientation on Thursday, January 14 from 10 a.m. until noon. Applications will be accepted from January 15 until February 4 at 5 p.m. For more information, use the link above or email EAF@louisvilleky.gov.   

Community Garden Grant Workshop


Are you involved with an existing community garden in need of expansion? Do you live in an area with no community garden at all? If so, join Louisville Grows for one of two workshops that will focus on their grant process and the benefits of the grant itself. A representative from the community garden must attend one of these workshops in order to submit a grant application. Click here for more information or to register for the workshop.

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