Mayor McCheese Bids A Fancy Pollyanna Farewell

LEO Weekly’s Phillip Bailey takes a look back at the Jerry Abramson kingdom:

Instead of pointing to a brick-and-mortar project as a signature accomplishment, Abramson serves up a spoonful of Pollyanna that has been a cornerstone of his image over the years.

“I remember this community when I ran in 1985. I remember the glass-half-full prescriptive that I heard from people in all areas,” Abramson says. “You don’t hear that anymore. Based on the successes that we’ve had, there is now competitiveness. You now have a spirit of the glass is more than half full.”

It’s a change he’s quick to take credit for: “I was that transition. I connected where we were — pretty much down on ourselves — to where we are today: a renewed spirit that this community is very special.”


But like any politician, he has his weaknesses, chief among them being thin skin.

Click here to read the entire thing.

Lest we forget the myriad scandals: the airport, playing pat-a-cake with fairness, Gilles Meloche and Metro Animal Services, Kimberly Bunton and Housing, The Cordish Cos, “Poorer, blacker and older,” public safety lawsuits and the millions he had to pay to the Cullinans for screwing around several years ago.

14 thoughts on “Mayor McCheese Bids A Fancy Pollyanna Farewell

  1. Let us not forget the millions that are owed the firefighters for overtime, money to pay for the police when he took away their cars and started charging them a monthly fee, (hundreds of thousands in attorney fees to his buddys), 2 failed amateurish attempts to buy LG& E, the run-away MSD unchecked customer charges (yes he appoints the Board) , the unchecked Water Company rate increases that always top the CPI, the retirement double dipping of many of his top aids (Jane Driskell $96,902) and Deputy Dog assistant mayors (Rick Johnstone- $95,729), the illegal funding/rent payments for Slugger Field that went to the Downtown Development – Barry Alberts, the Iron Quarter- Jonathan Blue eyesore that is falling apart with no city code enforcement ( until recently), the lack of support for O’Malleys Corner when Jerry GAVE millions to Cornish. I am willing to bet that more of the above will be uncovered after you leave office and employees are not afraid to lose their jobs for whistleblowing. So long Jerry, this city can not afford you another 4 years.

  2. Willy: The real shame about this all is that the Kentucky Newspaper allowed Happy Pantaloons to get away with all this without any significant demand for an explanation. Furthermore, there was NEVER a federal grand jury NOR a county grand jury in all those years. To the best of my recollection, the ONLY guy who ever took him on was a stock broker (whose name escapes me) who saw through all it in his first couple of years in the late 1980s and sued him. Even worse was the fact that he NEVER had a credible opponent in all those campaigns in all those years. This guy, Happy, should have been wiped out of office on his second run. Louisville is MUCH WORSE for his tenure. The amazing thing is that, despite his mediocrity, he appears to be a genius compared to the one OTHER mayor during those 25 years. Armstrong was utterly ‘hopeless.’

  3. It simply amazes me how so many people know,feel & think the same way as Willy & Highlander. The issues that they describe and bring to attention are have been significant to the City and almost no attention or concern has been seriously directed to those issues that the Mayor hasn’t been able to discount!
    It’s unreal how deflective the administration has been by just making up what and puttin out what they want people to think! There SHOULD be an investigation by some Grand Jury or authority that can really evaluate some of the stuff Jerry’s Kids have gotten away with. Maybe the Metro Council could generate such a thing to satisfy the average citizen , that’s who they are supposed to be working for anyway!….Not the Mayor!

  4. I hate to say this, but I foresee nothing but a continuation of the loathsome Abramson administration embodied in the Fischer regime. We, the citizens lose again.

  5. I re-read the Leo article. For Pantaloons to ‘claim’ that the City was “a sleepy town decimated by urban decay….” is PREPOSTEROUS. In 1985 Wendell Cherry had completed the Arts Center a few years earlier, Humana had built its building, — minor league baseball was thriving, the UofL basketball team was just preparing to win its second NCAA Championship. UPS (begun by Gov. Brown and continued by Gov. Collins was being built) All sorts of other things were afoot– IT WAS NOT A SLEEPY TOWN and he should be ashamed for depreciating the efforts of a number of extremely important people who made great contributions — WITHOUT THE QUASI-CRIMINAL CONDUCT that was subsequently perpetrated by Pantaloons’ administration.

  6. I’m sincerely hoping that the next legislative session brings about a change to the KRS that will finally allows the citizens of our fair metropolis to impeach our next mayor should he, too, prove himself to be yet another ‘sumbitch.

  7. How about negotiating a sweet heart lease with the RiverBats for Slugger Field and months later landing his $200K+ salary to work for the Bats largest stockholder..and as correctly pointed out, then directing those lease payments to fund his downtown czar, Barry Alberts.

    I too took offense to his depiction of Louisville in 1985…

  8. What? — You’re on target on that one too. How the Kentucky Newspaper can avoid ALL THESE FACTS and conclude in its morning editorial that he may well be the most important mayor in the history of Louisville is BEYOND BELIEF. That fact alone (the paper’s deliberate ignoring of facts), should require an investigation — it’s more than just ‘we like him.’

  9. I appreciate and agree with all the comments. Unfortunately, the history has been written, and NONE shall be allowed to challenge the media hype with mere facts.
    So we’re all cranks and malcontents, just like those few brave souls like Barbara Gregg, who was reviled for her efforts.

  10. Barbara Gregg was vilified for her outlandish request to see the financial statement of the RiverBats, which was never provided.

  11. dont know: Don’t be too sure that we’re limited to “…cranks and malcontents….” There will be carry-overs into the next administration and there will be a new Commonwealths’ Attorney, shortly, AND just about the time that the Cordish fiasco will re-appear, because they will have built nothing and the ‘chickens will be coming home to roost.’ Maybe he/she will decide to conduct a Grand Jury Investigation of the entire fiasco — there’s no telling what ONE simple Grand Jury investigation, with witnesses under oath, would produce. THE NEXT COMMONWEALTH ATTORNEY MAY BE THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON ELECTED AROUND HERE IN A HALF CENTURY.

  12. And remember, the GJ can call for an investigation on its own, without the Commonwealth’s Attorney cooperating.

  13. JTT: You’re right. It’s just a little more difficult for a ‘run-away’ grand jury, because they don’t know the legal rules on subpoenae, etc.

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