Fancy Democracy In Action In Louisville

What the crap? The Commercial Council of the Home Builders Association of Louisville barred Jackie Green from taking part in its mayoral forum – with the aid of police:

The first general election debate for mayor of Louisville may have been mostly a bore, but a stirring story behind the scenes was that event organizers barred independent candidate Jackie Green from the discussion and had Metro Police stop him from entering the building.


“We know where Mr. Green stands on development, and it is strictly focused on the urban area and redevelopment,” says Tara Brinkmoeller, a spokeswoman for Home Builders. “We know that he doesn’t believe new development should occur. And knowing that he speaks directly against what we stand for, we didn’t feel it was a forum that would’ve been appropriate.”

Maybe I’m missing something, but wouldn’t you want someone who disagrees with you to take part in your event that’s allegedly for the good of the public?

Read the rest from Phillip Bailey.

17 thoughts on “Fancy Democracy In Action In Louisville

  1. Thanks for posting this. Since when did “urban area and redevelopment” become an official enemy of the Home Builder’s Association?
    I’m a Realtor, and I’m annoyed.

  2. I’m with Curtis. There is nothing prohibiting the HBA from working with the huge number of empty lots in the urban areas of Louisville.

  3. This irritates the crap out of me. Jackie is a nice guy. I also don’t think we need to be developing NEW buildings, or NEW houses. There are PLENTY of properties paid for by tax payers and the government from the recent eco-failure we’ve been through.

    Where do we send the hate mail?

  4. I don’t think there’s anything too terribly wrong with building new properties.

    But why not also take advantage of our history and use what we’ve got when we can?

    It’s disappointing such a major arm of the business world refuses to recognize the benefits of such options as we have downtown and in existing neighborhoods.

  5. The barring of Jackie Green was bad to be sure, but the development patterns can’t be laid entirely at the builders’ feet.

    They’ve made it clear that all they care about is profit, community concerns be damned. It’s our local, state, and national policies, though, that have made greenfield development the easiest mechanism by which to generate profit for decades.

    So while they may be greedy, uncaring, and ethically challenged, from a business perspective they’re being perfectly rational. Our system is just working as designed.

  6. Is the Home Builders’ Association a non-profit organization? If so, aren’t they required to invite all candidates?
    Or does that rule only apply to conservative religious-oriented organizations?
    I agree with you Jake that there needs to be a proper mix of keeping and refurbishing the old, and having the new. The debate should be on what that mix is.

  7. Please don’t mistake the HBA association as a liberal organization, they are as conservative / business first / no government involvement as they come. They are just right of the the NRA.

  8. MH: That’s why I’m shocked they aren’t trying to milk as much $$$ out of everything as possible.

    Instead, they turn their noses at tons of development opportunities.

  9. This incident isn’t so much about Jackie Green and the HBA as it is about the state of civil discourse in society today (call me Pops). The art and skill of critical self-examination are long gone. Now, based on gut feeling or 7-second perception, you associate only with people who think (act) like you do. There is no frontal engagement of different opinion. This phenomenon comes to a head with the Teabaggers but there are significant pockets with in the liberal community as well. What the HBA did here is basically cut to the chase: they acknowledged Jackie Green’s position vis-a-vis their’s and decided they didn’t need to listen to him.

  10. To those opposed to development outside of the Watterson:

    1. Which generates more tax revenue for social services? Undeveloped acreage (property taxes) or business parks that employ thousands?

    2. What should Louisville tell companies looking to located here that need larger footprints/infrastructure than can be provided in urban infill locations?

    3. What do you think has revitalized the south end/Outer Loop area? Luxury condo redevelopment in the Highlands or the world class distribution industry surrounding the airport?

    4. Who do you think is charged with paying for the lion’s share of the roads/sewers, etc. for these developments? It’s not the city.

    So as much as many would like to blame the commercial builders in Louisville for any blight spots in the city’s core, it is largely the commercial developers who have provided the tools necessary to keep employment relatively sound in Louisville over the past 20 years.

  11. Uh, I don’t believe anyone opposes development outside the Watterson?

    The issues is those who oppose doing anything OTHER than developing outside the Watterson – wholly ignoring infill and such.

    You don’t get to comment from a prominent commercial real estate development firm and spin, spin, spin as you go along. The reality is the Home Builders only wanted their point of view represented. The rest of the city be damned.

    Why can’t infill AND suburban development go hand-in-hand?

    Don’t come crying if the real estate market finally falls in Louisville or if that fancy housing tax credit turns out to be the only reason there were home sales in the city.

  12. To be fair that debate was sponsored by the Commercial Council, not strictly home builders.

    I agree completely in that there is nothing wrong with infill and suburban development. Both are required for Louisville to ever become the type of city it aspires to be.

    Appreciate the warm wishes.

  13. And this piece of crap spoken as fact,

    “We know that he doesn’t believe new development should occur.”

    Tara, get a clue…and to the Home Builders and Chuck, since when has your organization declared war on urban infill and redevelopment?

    This is from the Homebuilders website:


    Chairmen: Bob Duane & John Hollenbach

    Chairman: Teresa MorganThe Commercial Council’s purpose is to identify and isolate those issues that impact the commercial/industrial development process, develop a set of goals, objectives and an action plan to improve each of those.

    The Commercial Council will address relevant topics such as: rezoning; the planning and development review process; land development policy; environmental policy; economic development; building codes; education; governmental and political interaction. These and any other issues will be addressed in conjunction with the following existing HBAL committees
    For more information on the Commercial Council contact Tara Brinkmoeller.”

    First of all, it seems somewhat ironic that this council consists of commercial/industrial issues rather than “homebuilding”. This is a mighty powerful organization dedicated to keeping its trade to focus on only green field suburban sprawl developments, whether they are commercial or residential. And to lock out a mayoral candidate who favors urban infill and redevelopment, both in and out of the beltway, confirms an ostrich like vision on behalf of the Homebuilders Association.

  14. PS

    That would be commercial/industrial/residential green field suburban sprawl developments … our Home Builders Association of Louisville.

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