For more check out Rick Redding's take at www.thevillevoice.com.Let's break the top ten down:
1. New cars and trucks
Ford announced that it would invest at least $200 million to re-tool the Louisville Assembly Plant to build a new fuel-efficient car for the American market. Ford also announced it would move production of the Navigator and Expedition to the Kentucky Truck Plant.
This is laughable at best. Abramson had nothing whatsoever to do with this. As a matter of fact since 2006 he has ignored Ford until he could not afford to any longer. He ignored them with their concerns in regards to STAR in 2006, ignored them for 8 months when they announced their Way Forward plan in January of 2006, and had to beg for a meeting at least twice in the last 2 years. Pathetic example once again.
2. Overcoming adversity
The city hosted 1,200 evacuees from Hurricane Ike and, weeks later, a major windstorm knocked out power to more than 300,000 LG&E customers for days. A major economic downturn also required more than $30 million city budget cuts over two fiscal years – $13 million in early 2008 and $20 million in late 2008.
Seriously? Hurricane Ike gave Louisville something we had not faced before. I love referencing the 300,000 without power but neglecting to mention LG&E is trying to MAKE US reimburse them through higher fees. Nuff said.
3. A sports city
Louisville’s reputation as a sports center continued to grow, after hosting the 2008 Ryder Cup, viewed by 600 million people worldwide. The city also hosted its second Ford Ironman Competition and landed the Breeders Cup for a return engagement at Churchill Downs in 2010.
A sports City? This may well be the last time the Breeders Cup comes to Louisville thanks to some problems with CD ownership. We are on the hook for an arena NONE can afford. We are hemorrhaging good paying jobs out of the City in lieu of low wage service economy jobs.
Who will be able to afford the price of admission? Not many yet we will all pay through taxes for the dismal future we are headed towards.
4. Best in America
Louisville won several national accolades, including:
America’s Most Livable Large City, U.S. Conference of Mayors
One of America’s Most Improved Cities for Cycling, Bicycling Magazine
One of America’s Best Towns, Outside Magazine
America’s Best Tasting Water, American Water Works Association
There isn't enough room here for my rant on this. Check this out for more: Louisville News and Politics: LOUISVILLE #1? Remember Abramson essentially owns the Conference of Mayors.
Construction began on the new $238 million downtown arena, and the city completed the deal to expand Fourth Street Live with the Center City project. Downtown’s newest high-rise, Zirmed Gateway Towers, started construction.West Main Street was named one of America’s 10 Greatest Streets by the American Planning Association.
The arena will bankrupt the City. Well that and MSD of course. Center City is a project that is unnecessary and possibly illegal as I have asked for an AG ruling on the legality of it. Oh and the Metro Council did too later. Louisville News and Politics: SHAME ON THE COUNCIL
6. Improving the environment
The city launched its Go Green Louisville initiative that includes the first green roof on a city-owned building, at the Metro Development Center, and the Kilowatt Crackdown to lower energy use in 230 buildings, including schools.Mayor Abramson switched to a Ford Escape hybrid for his work vehicle.By the close of 2008, the number of ENERGY STAR buildings doubled, from 5 to 10.
Interesting to try to use Ford Escape as a great example of going green. Abramson was called to task by local Ford employees for not supporting Ford and this is his payback to act like he cares. Pathetic display.
7. Creating new parks
The City of Parks initiative reached another major milestone – the opening of the first 25 miles of the 100-mile Louisville Loop.The city also purchased land in the Floyds Fork area for the greenway parks project, including a 98-acre walnut farm.
Another example of continual spending at a time when he says we are "broke."
The following are pictures from April 2008 depicting City problems with property in District 14.
While Mayor Abramson was bragging about the Louisville Loop, and one of his favorite rubberstamp Council members Bob Henderson was bragging about cleaning up District 14, this is what the residents had to look at on their part of the Louisville Loop. Building is one thing maintaining is another.
8. Improving public safety
The city invested in equipment and buildings to improve public safety including:
Twelve new communication towers were built or upgraded for the MetroSafe radio communications system, which will open in summer 2009.
Two new firehouses, one in Butchertown/Clifton and one in Portland, are under construction as part of the city’s 21st Century Fire plan. They will open in early 2009.
All of the city’s EMS vehicles have been equipped with handheld computers, called ePCRs, which record and disseminate patient information to hospitals in real time so doctors can begin treatment as soon as the patient arrives.
This would be laughable if it weren't totally necessary to emergency communications. Anyone care to guess or ask the question why it has taken so long to accomplish? Merger began in 2002 shouldn't this have been done years ago? Oh wait in 2006 myself and Kelly Downard, as Mayoral candidates, told Abramson it should be a priority and yet it still isn't accomplished. Perhaps it has to do with the funding problems by his administration. Yep.
Additionally, he has made a mockery of his public safety "improvements" of late with his stance on take home cars, furloughing emergency service personnel (of course saving ZERO dollars since the ones working will be on OT), his wasted money LOSING 8 different lawsuits against the firefighters, and the list grows daily. Buildings and equipment do not run themselves. Without people they are just buildings. He needs to remember that.
9. More visitors
The FFA Convention announced it would return to Louisville, starting in 2013. The convention, one of the largest in the nation, attracts 55,000 people and has an economic impact of $40 million.Tourism in Louisville had $1.4 billion in economic impact in 2008.
Good to see this but they should never have been allowed to leave. We had the chance to keep them and bumbled it. In the meantime this is one more example of relying on tourism dollars for local economy. This would be great if it brought in extra money but how much are we losing forcing jobs out that provide for us daily.
10. Better students
The city, in partnership with Greater Louisville Inc. and Jefferson County Public Schools, achieved its plan to raise $8 million to improve reading scores with the Every 1 Reads initiative.The city also reached its goal of 10,000 volunteers to read to students in their classrooms. When the initiative began, 18 percent of students – nearly one in five — were not reading at their grade level. That percentage has been cut by more than half. The city and school system also hosted a Dropout Summit to lay plans for reducing the high school dropout rate in Louisville.
And it only took roughly 20 years of his administration to address this growing problem. Funnily enough we will educate our kids then send them outside the City for good employment. Where has his interest been the last 20 years?
Really folks if this is the best he has got then we are in worse trouble then many of us even thought.
Continue the spin CJ. We are used to it.