Metro Council overrides Mayor Fischer’s veto regarding landmarks ordinance


by Maggie Ruper

Posted on August 9, 2012 at 8:59 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 10 at 4:03 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Louisville Metro Council voted on Thursday night to overturn the Mayor’s veto of a controversial landmark ordinance.

The Metro Council passed the ordinance at their last meeting. It gives them oversight of decisions made by the Landmarks Commission. They are in charge of preserving local historic sites.

The mayor stated his position in a letter read aloud during Thursday night’s meeting.

I cannot support a law that allows a simple majority of the Metro Council to overturn the standards based review of the landmarks commission,” wrote Fischer.

For the first time in the merged government history, the council voted to overturn a mayor’s veto. They needed two-thirds majority and got it with an 18 to seven vote.

Opponents of the law spoke out.

“It will impact how historic properties are addressed in the future. It will diminish the quality of life here in Louisville,” historian Steve Wiser said.

“There is always, and for the foreseeable future, there will always be the shadow of the political trump card that can be played by this council,” Councilman Tom Owen said.

Supporter and co-sponsor of the bill, Councilman David Yates said the law is fair and necessary.

“I believe it will be a non-issue most of the time, but I believe there should always be checks and balances and oversight and transparency and that’s what we've added here,” Yates said.

Mayor Fischer released this statement following the vote:

"I'm disappointed in the council's action, but now is the time to move forward and work together - Landmarks Commission, council, and my administration - to implement the new law in such a way that will continue to preserve our rich history."