Some Fire on The Mayor/Cordish Controversy

This time, even the Mayor’s popularity in his usual circles is in jeopardy. The darts are coming from all corners, and the $1.8 million the Mayor has given away to Cordish is the story of the week in media. This morning, Council member Tina Ward-Pugh was on WHAS Radio, stopping just short of personally criticizing the Mayor, but making it clear she wants that money back.

Which brings us to chief rabble-rouser Ward Plauche, who has the most compelling case that the Mayor’s promotion of the Cordish Company is hurting local businesses. He’s been running bars in Louisville for two decades, but now he says even CityBlock is struggling to survive. He wants some of the same incentives the Mayor’s offering Cordish to develop his property.

Plauche, in the letter sent to Metro Council members shown here, also has a complaint about the parking garage Cordish received as part of its deal.

We haven’t heard much from the Mayor on the topic, and Plauche can’t even get a meeting with development director Bruce Traughber. In short, Mayor Jer seems willing to take the media heat on this one, and there’s nothing anyone can legally do about it.

So here’s Plauche’s letter, which should fan the flame a bit.

Read the Letter from Ward Plauche to Metro Council members after the Jump…

Council Members,

I’m sure you all have seen the news interviews and the CJ front page story on the $1.8million that the Mayor gave to the Cordish Co.

I can not continue to operate against the perpetual  financial forces of the Cordish Co.’s partner, Jerry Abramson.

The facts are simple that the economic times are tough on us all. We here at City Block have reduced our space aprox. 15,000sq. ft. due to shrinking and contracting economy. We not only would like some help after 20 years of being in downtown, but could desperately use it like other local operators who are now on the Love List. We wish the Mayor would get out of the bar & entertainment business, or at least account for the ROI the $50 million plus he’s given to Cordish has produced.

My partner Don Blackburn and I have numerous times asked Bruce Traughber & the Mayor for consideration of funding for our business operations at City Block. We’ve never been able to get anything but a disinterested response and the answer that they had no funds to invest in helping or buying a business like ours.

We also about six months ago, petitioned Mr. Traughber and Mayor Abramson to consider making the parking garage that is being constructed on Jefferson St., across from City Block, a free parking lot at night upon completion. That’s assuming the City buys that garage. Mayor Abramson suggested that “we” buy that garage to insure & protect our business and guarantee our customers free parking. I asked  him if we could get any assistance from the City to buy it at the same price of aprox. $3800/space, the same price he sold the Galleria garage of 770 spaces, for $2.7 million.

We ask and welcome the chance to have a couple hrs with each of you individually to discuss and explain how the overwhelming free spending budget the Mayor has afforded Cordish Co.’s and their operations has had a negative effect,and cause a difficult unlevel playing field for us, as well as many others.

Please contact me soon, We have a property tax bill due next month for almost $20,000… has been bad since August! I really don’t know how we are going to pay it? we could use some help……..The new Sports & Social Club at 4th St. will not be paying any taxes, and they just got $1.8 million LARGE!…..after almost 20 years supporting our community as a corporate citizen who has paid his fair share of taxes, property tax,inventory tax,sales tax, occupational tax, city tax, state tax, federal tax, liquor tax, license fees,and other taxes I’m sure I forget right now…..the economy and the unfair free funding of our competition causes this dilemma.

Please protect us from any more devastating effects on our business like what’s just happened by the Mayor giving our competitors a “Free” exorbitant amount money !

Ward Plauche

7 thoughts on “Some Fire on The Mayor/Cordish Controversy

  1. I’ll give Jerry the benefit of the doubt in that I don’t think he is personally benefiting from the cozy relationship with Cordish. Rather, I think this is yet another example of Jerry being spineless.

    I believe Cordish knows that if they threaten Jerry with pulling back on the downtown development, he will capitulate to their demands and give them what they want. He has demonstrated this time and time again. Hell if I were Cordish, I would threaten Jerry weekly to get some easy cash….especially in a tight credit market. Don’t blame Cordish for Jerry’s lack of a spine.

  2. Strong…It sounds like the Mayor will not even take a meeting with City Block. 20 years! And not even a meeting? Come on Jer… the ‘possiblilty city’ for who?

  3. The relationship between Metro Council and the Mayor’s office is really hurting this city. It is no longer about what is best for the city. This is a turf war, plain and simple.

    The Mayor and the Council have never had a rosy relationship, but it used to be just annoyingly inefficient. Now it is damaging the city.

    Either Abramson or the Metro council needs to go, and it’s a whole lot easier to replace one person than 26.

  4. I believe it’s time that the Atty. General’s office appoint a special prosecutor to look at the deals that Mayor Jerry is making on his own. He’s given millions of dollars to 4th Street Live and of giving away Naval Ordinance (and making improvements to it). Supposedly to make the city money yet we see no ROI. Now he gives away on other large sum of money for Cordish a club that they would directly take the profits from? Not to mention the fact that he won’t help local businesses compete. Something smells fishy here and it’s not the Ohio River!

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