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Heiner strikes mayoral tone in council action

by Joe Arnold

WHAS11.com

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 5:25 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 13 at 1:40 AM

Metro Council member Hal Heiner does not mention that he is also running for mayor in a news release from the Metro Council Minority Caucus, but Heiner's vocal criticism of Mayor Jerry Abramson on the police take-home cars controversy leaves little doubt that Heiner is making a mayoral name for himself through his Metro Council office.

Heiner calls on Metro Government to "immediately begin good-faith settlement negotiations with the Fraternal Order of Police" over the issue.

The news release and proposed city ordinance follow: 

Louisville, KY –Metro Council Minority Caucus Chairman Hal Heiner (District 19) will introduce a resolution calling on Metro Government to suspend its appeal of a Kentucky Labor Cabinet Ruling and immediately begin good-faith settlement negotiations with representatives of River City Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 614 regarding the release of funds collected from police officers for the use of their police vehicles.
This policy, which was implemented over objections by officers, was put in place by the Mayor’s Office as an attempt to use the police force to make up for a budget shortfall. Since its implementation, the Kentucky Labor Cabinet has ruled that the Mayor’s actions violated collective-bargaining laws, and now the Mayor is seeking to appeal the ruling in Jefferson Circuit Court.
 
“Now is the time for the Mayor and his representatives to halt their appeal, and instead begin talks with representatives of our Police Officers to put this dispute to an end. Rather than adjudicate this for years, we need to put this matter behind us and find an acceptable answer for this contentious legal fight.” – Hal Heiner
 
The resolution (see attached document) will be filed for introduction at the January 28 meeting of the Metro Council. Councilman Hal Heiner will be joined by Kelly Downard (District 16) and Kevin Kramer (District 11) as primary sponsors of the resolution.

Resolution No.________, Series 2010

 
A RESOLUTION CALLING ON METRO GOVERNMENT TO START SETTLEMENT TALKS REGARDING TAKE-HOME CAR FEES COLLECTED FROM METRO POLICE OFFICERS
 
SPONSOR: Councilman Hal Heiner, District 19
             Councilman Kelly Downard, District 16
 Councilman Kevin Kramer, District 11
 
Whereas: The Kentucky Labor Cabinet has issued an opinion in May 2009 stating that Louisville Metro violated collective-bargaining laws when they unilaterally imposed take-home car fees; and
 
Whereas: The men and women who protect and serve our community were forced to pay hundreds of dollars more annually for a benefit that was promised when they were recruited and hired; and
 
Whereas: Salaries paid to our officers have been set aside by the Mayor without union approval; and
 
Whereas: The residents of Louisville Metro are benefited by having off-duty police cars in use throughout our neighborhoods and business districts; and
 
Whereas: The use of take-home vehicles save taxpayer funds by allowing the force to operate more efficiently, effectively and responsively to the needs of our community;
 
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL OF
THE LOUISVILLE/JEFFERSON COUNTY METRO GOVERNMENT (“COUNCIL”) AS FOLLOWS:
 
Section 1. The Louisville Metro Council calls for the Mayor and Jefferson County Attorney’s Office to suspend the appeal of the Kentucky Labor Cabinet’s ruling regarding Metro Government charging police officers for the use of their vehicles during non-working hours.
 
Section 2. The Louisville Metro Council requests representatives for the Mayor’s Office and River City Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 614 immediately begin good-faith discussions to find an acceptable settlement regarding the release of funds collected by Metro Government as a result of the take-home police car policy by March 31, 2010.
 
Section 3. This Resolution shall take effect upon its passage and approval.
 

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