LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – It’s been a very busy week for Metro Council with a 24-0 vote and one abstention – the $850 million budget for the 2017 fiscal year has been approved.
For District 7 Councilwoman Angela Leet, she says she’s pleased but also has her eyes set on reducing crime and enhancing the council’s sexual harassment policies.
Some budget highlights include $6.4 million added to Mayor Greg Fischer’s paving roads improvements, $125,000 to the Victory Park master plan and roughly $1 million geared towards addiction services.
“That will allow some crisis intervention as well as some more prevention and treatment beds,” Leet said.
Metro Council’s 2017 fiscal year budget is vast and Leet calls it essential, including cleaning up and eliminating thousands of vacant properties.
“They provide locations for some crimes to occur and it’s a significant portion in the overall strategy to try and reduce crime in our community,” she said.
When it comes to crime, that’s on the mind of pretty every much Metro leader.
So far this year, LMPD detectives have responded to more than 60 homicides. In the spring, Leet asked Mayor Fischer to remove Chief Steve Conrad from his position or for the chief himself to resign due to what she calls issues with transparency.
“We’re concerned about some of the decisions that have been made in terms of the Explorer Program and how issues around that were handled. We continue to be concerned and we are going to pursue violence reduction in our community,” she said.
Mayor Fischer stands firm on his decision to keep Chief Conrad on his team, nevertheless, Metro Council has approved tens of millions in funds to help police battle the growing violence.
Separate from the budget, in early June, Councilwoman Jessica Green accused longtime Councilman Dan Johnson of inappropriately touching her. Johnson apologized that Green felt she was improperly touched by him. Johnson has since sent a letter claiming defamation.
Leet and Green submitted a potential resolution shortly after to provide reporting framework and an ordinance to provide a tip line and allow third party investigations for harassment claims involving councilmembers.
“We're hoping to discuss this with our colleagues that are going to be serving on a work-group on this next Tuesday,” Leet said.
Leet says harassment resolution could come up in the July13 Metro Council meeting.
The fiscal year will likely bring challenges and potential changes for both the leaders and the residents.
The approved budget now awaits the signature of Mayor Greg Fischer.