January 19, 2016 - St. Philip Neri
Meeting Start - 7:04 PM
Special guest speakers - Congressman John Yarmuth and Councilman David James
New Toonerville president Philip Beeson gave welcome and overall introduction.
Dan Mason - Introduced guest speaker Congressman John Yarmuth.
Congressman Yarmuth address and Q&A highlights:
Little is expected to be accomplished in Congress during the 2016 election year, with the possible exception of comprehensive criminal justice reform, which has bipartisan support.
Highlighted a major accomplishment from last year - a multi-year $280 BN infrastructure bill that increases funding levels by 5-10% across the board for all forms of infrastructure and transportation initiatives. There have not been any comparable increases for 8 or 9 years.
Yarmuth highlighted some of the shortcomings of funding infrastructure projects with the Federal gas tax, and said that an alternative funding approach is needed.
Discussed that the state has responsibility for maintaining Federal Highways and State Roads, but that local roads (such as Floyd, Brook, and 1st in Toonerville) remain the responsibility of local city council officials.
Councilman James Q&A highlights:
Councilman James and other Metro officials put out a call that they are looking for more citizens to be a part of Metro boards and Commissions.
TARC is looking to expand Zero Bus free electric bus program as part of the increased Federal infrastructure spending, and 4th street corridor Zero Bus extension is a top candidate for expanding that program.
Regarding crime and Old Louisville policing, councilman James pointed out that the sheer number of police officers is a Mayor-level decision and CM James can only advocate, Louisville has 250 fewer police officers than peer cities of comparable size (such as Charlotte, NC), and that the changes in police overtime and shift rules will get more police on the ground in shorter time. He pointed out that there is an 18-month delay between hiring new officers and their taking any effect whatsoever on the ground.
CM James and Yarmuth highlighted projects that stand to benefit Old Louisville, such as the Edison Center on 7th street (first move-ins expected April 2016), the Spalding University Sports facilities at 8th and Kentucky, and the St. Francis Sports facilities expected to be built at 15th and Kentucky.
CM James stated that he thinks the petty crime and gun issues in Old Louisville are driven by an underlying heroin addiction problem. He did not think that we could “arrest our way our way out of the heroin problem”, and that more police officers would likely not help with the underlying heroin problem.
Finance and Budget Review:
There was no finance update at the January 2016 meeting due to the unexpected transitions in the TTNA Treasurer role and it will take a few weeks to transfer the books to the new TTNA assistant Treasurer, Eric Cowley, and get him up to speed.
Motions and votes:
No motions or votes were made at the January 2016 TTNA meeting.
Congressman Yarmuth and all Old Louisvillians were invited to attend the 2nd Annual Silver Spoon Chili Cookoff at La Casita community center. Sunday February 21, 2 PM - 5 PM at 223 E Magnolia Ave, Louisville, KY. Tickets are $5 at the door and proceeds go to benefit La Casita community center.
Doug Humble recognized the passing this week of Smokey the dog of Smokey’s bean. He also asked any TTNA members who have not paid their dues for 2016 to please do so at: http://www.ttnalouisville.org/
There is an OLNC Crime and Safety Committee meeting that has been rescheduled for next Wednesday, January 27 at 7:00PM at the Historic Old Louisville Neighborhood and Visitor’s Center in Central Park. Both Councilman David James and Major Ryan Bates will be in attendance.
Phil Beeson - Thanked everyone for coming out, encouraged the attendees to get involved with the neighborhood association, and announced the opening of the first annual TTNA neighborhood survey. A link to the survey can be found on the home page at: http://www.ttnalouisville.org/ The results of the survey will be shared and discussed at the February meeting.
Meeting End - 8:08 PM