Another $112K Metro Government Job Announced

Does Louisville really need a “director of performance improvement” to be hired by Greg Fischer? At the tune of $112,000 per year? She’s supposed to “bring the best of private sector accountability, transparency and efficiency to metro government.” This story reads like a straight-up press release. [C-J/AKN]

Here’s Jim Ramsey complaining about budget cuts. He still wants a hospital merger or a management contract for University Hospital. Note that there was no discussion of his massive pay raise. [FOX41]

A showdown over Kentucky’s proposed legislative districts isn’t coming – it’s already here. [H-L]

Local State Representative Reggie Meeks has a lot to say about churning legislative butter in Frankfort. This week, he discusses the redistricting nightmare. [Page One]

Louisville’s Air Pollution Control Board has voted to re-categorize a chemical used in some of the city’s manufacturing processes. Recent studies have suggested the chemical isn’t as carcinogenic as originally thought. [WFPL]

Remember the woman that crazy ass constable shot at Walmart? She was arrested for allegedly shoplifting at Kmart. [WAVE3]

And here’s the expected story about the University of Louisville raising tuition rates while Jim Ramsey and his colleagues rake in millions upon millions of dollars each year. [Business First]

The license plate for the gays in Indiana? It’s causing faux family-types to freak completely out. They just can’t believe the gays aren’t getting stoned to death anymore. [WHAS11]

A Butchertown building that collapsed in September 2010 is going to be rebuilt. [Broken Sidewalk]

Louisville apparently won some sort of award for fighting childhood obesity. We’re pretty sure the folks behind the award have never actually been in Louisville. [WLKY]

J. Bruce Miller has been burning the comments section up lately with discussions of Chinese billionaires and potential NBA teams. [The ‘Ville Voice Here & Here]

Budget Cuts? Try Some Actual Management, Greg

Maybe the University of Louisville Foundation’s investments are more messy than those of the Kentucky Retirement Systems. [Page One]

Everyone we speak to on Metro Council and in Metro Government says Greg Fischer is talking out of his butt about cuts being necessary to balance the budget. What’s necessary is to stop flushing money down the toilet on unnecessary salaries, to stop throwing money at problems that can be resolved without it and to just generally manage. [WAVE3]

If you missed Greg Fischer’s State of the City address yesterday at a members-only club, then be sure to check our highlights. [The ‘Ville Voice]

This MSD/Water Company merger talk is going over about as well as Metro Animal Services messes go over. [Business First]

It’s absolutely absurd that the body of Andrew Compton still has not been recovered. Even more absurd that his murderer still gets to play pat-a-cake. [WHAS11]

Told ya Richie Farmer was dumber than a rock and more corrupt than Keith Hall, Ruth Ann Palumbo and Jim Gooch combined. Nearly $500,000 worth of equipment is MISSING from the Department of Agriculture. You won’t believe the list of equipment. Take a look. [H-L]

Wait for it, wait for it. Now Jim Ramsey is calling for a review of the Quality and Charity Care Trust (indigent care board) at the University of Louisville. This is precisely why it would have been a bad idea for Adam Edelen to take a seat on the UofL Foundation board while a candidate. [FOX41]

Are you ever alarmed that there’s discussion of closing Jefferson County Public Schools for just a couple inches of snow? [C-J/AKN]

This is an actual headline from one of your teevee stations: Panties Found Along Road To Be Hung On Bridge. [WLKY]

No wonder the Swopes were going crazy trying to get us to write about their Fiat dealership a few weeks ago. [HuffPo]

It’s tough to take any ranking that says Kentucky is improving on the educational front seriously. Particularly when that ranking says students are still screwed when it comes to chances for success. [WFPL]

Trash Is Apparently Louisville’s Biggest Problem

The University of Louisville says Steve Beshear’s rejection of a hospital merger plan will lead to cuts in indigent care. Which means it’s time for Steve Beshear to finally grow a set of balls, fire Jim Ramsey, empty out the board of trustees, nix the foundation board and get some folks hired who can solve whatever problems exist without making threats with our tax dollars. [WFPL]

It’s time for a reality check on the meth problem in Kentucky. If we’re gonna get a handle on this issue, we at least need to keep the facts straight. [Page One]

Today at noon, the Louisville Forum will focus on public charter schools. There will be all kinds of boring arguments. Hal Heiner will likely chap Brent McKim’s rear. [Fun Times]

Charter schools aren’t going to happen in Kentucky this legislative session. The Hal Heiner push is a total waste of secretive money. Until those folks realize this isn’t a partisan issue and stop pushing only the conservative bits and pieces, it’s dead and the water and should remain dead in the water. [H-L]

Louisville residents are putting up a “stink” over delayed trash pickup because it’s the first thing that directly impacts them from Greg Fischer. Every other nightmare he’s sat at the helm of is out of sight, out of mind in their world. [C-J/AKN]

Demolition is set to begin at the nearly-vacant Sheppard Square. Will this turn into a good thing? [WAVE3]

Michigan’s treasurer says that Detroit will run out of money by May. Will Greg Fischer learn anything while he’s there? Or will he return from Detroit to make out-of-touch remarks about that city, comparing it weirdly to Louisville? [Reuters]

Free parking around Fourth Street? Haha, right. Louisville can’t get Fourth Street right. Why are we still pretending that we can? [FOX41]

A new report shows that Kentuckians are frequent binge drinkers. That may have something to do with their quality of life. [Business First]

We won’t be wasting much time on rehashing this latest LMAS story (it’s not new) because there are much bigger problems. We can think of a million things more important than a woman trying to get money from taxpayers because two nasty people treated her poorly. [WHAS11]

Tom Owen’s concern over trash pick-up has fired more than a handful of people up. Meanwhile, MSD is getting swept under the rug. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Maybe you can safely have a vehicle in St. Matthews again. Police made arrests in 30 car break-ins. [WLKY]

Louisville Still Loves Killing Its Pedestrian Spaces

Apparently ten billion people turned out to the Bridges Debacle meeting yesterday. [FOX41]

It’s always interesting to see how the Steve Beshear and Jim Ramsey crews spin things for the mainstream. The latest claim that the University of Louisville Hospital merger meeting with the governor was only an hour. Despite the fact that Ramsey was all over the Capitol Annex on both Wednesday and Thursday. [C-J/AKN]

And you thought the hospital merger discussion was over. Nope. They’re still going to find a way to try that mess again. [WHAS11]

Rather than write a story about Councilwoman Attica Scott begging Greg Fischer to tour the First Metro Council District, it wrote a story about how he’s joining her. But only after a lot of pressure and a press release sent by the majority caucus director. [Deep Council Thoughts]

Three days ago we ran a story about owner-surrenders at Louisville Metro Animal Services not being the nightmare that its administrators claimed. And they’re still foaming at the mouth about it. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Louisville is woah fat and some people are trying to find out why. Why is Louisville fat? “‘I don’t know,’ says Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, director of Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Welfare. ‘Most likely it’s a confluence of factors.’ She points to high rates of sedentary work, higher crime rates, and limited public transportation as possible causes.” [Click the Clicky]

Yes, you should be checking out Julius Caesar at the Walden Theatre. Michelle is right about it being one of Louisville’s gems. [Consuming Louisville]

How will Kentucky and Indiana pay for the bridges? Kentucky still has no idea, outside of massive tolls. Which is going to be awesome for the metro area, you know. Really affordable and all that. [WAVE3]

Betting on horse racing in the United States jumped 17.88% in December. But we’re still supposed to believe that horse tracks deserve a constitutional right to own casino licenses in Kentucky without allowing an actual free market approach. [Business First]

Want to adopt a pet but don’t want to deal with the flustercuck that is Metro Animal Services? Or you’re one of the many people sitting for several hours to be assisted? Consider heading to Frankfort to help alleviate problems caused by a rash of animal hoarding. [WLKY]

Is it a shame that the Hyatt was allowed to further erode public space on Fourth Street? Or is it a shame that people only complain after it’s too little, too late about crap like this happening in Louisville? You get what you pay for when it comes to elected officials like Jerry Abramson and Greg Fischer. Maybe it’s time for people to start paying more attention to planning and development in this city. Because this is becoming the norm – cars, cars, cars. Pedestrian spaces are becoming afterthoughts. [Broken Sidewalk]

MSD Has Grossly Tainted The Entire Holiday Season

It’s Holiday Week or whatever so we’re going to be somewhat sporadic through the end of the year. There’ll still be a few good stories this week so be sure to check back during sober, non-bourbon periods of your days. Or, heck, even during your bourbon-filled binges. Happy Monday.

The New York Times knows what’s important and this Christmas it was focused on Kentucky bourbon. Though, don’t go ruining it with things like apple brandy or a cinnamon stick, wtf. Glad to see Maker’s 46 getting some mainstream attention. [NYT]

NuLu is getting some major love from an EPA grant and will receive a neighborhood design consultation. [Press Release]

A whopping 16 people have applied to take Robert White’s position as chief of the Louisville Metro Police Department. [FOX41]

The Associated Press piece about the applicants is apparently such a big deal that it was also published in the Herald-Leader. [H-L]

We’re still shocked that no one tried to shine green lasers at Santa Claus over the weekend. [C-J/AKN]

Merry Christmas! Someone got killed in Old Louisville over night. Great way for their family to round out the holidays. [WAVE3]

The Humana Foundation gave $200,000 to eight Louisville nonprofit organizations. Center for Women and Families, Coalition for the Homeless, ElderServe, The Healing Place, St. John Center, St. Vincent De Paul Society, Volunteers of America, Wellspring. [Business First]

Louisville on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day is a lot like Any Small Town, USA on Friday at 5:00 P.M. Everything is closed and the world nearly comes to an end. [Consuming Louisville]

Don’t forget that not everyone has it as good as you. Around 600 meals were served at the Salvation Army Center of Hope on Christmas. [WHAS11]

Jim Ramsey’s massive pay raise – from $478,939 to $600,000 – just his base pay – got comfortably hidden in a Friday afternoon news dump. [WLKY]

Our phones exploded all weekend with calls about the Metro Sewer District and Gerald Neal. We had no idea how widespread the corruption was or how badly people were pissed. [Page One]

Despite a petition from the president of the Louisville Metro Council, the city is still pursuing its lawsuit against the LIFE Institute. [WFPL]

MSD Is Why Louisville Smells So Corrupt Lately

You have to wonder when someone will take on Gerald Neal and his mounting problems involving MSD. It doesn’t help that he shares office space with Zielke, either. He needs to retire from the state legislature or someone needs to run against him to retire him. [The ‘Ville Voice]

We hear through the gayvine that Teamsters 783 tore down their Greg Fischer banner during Wednesday night’s meeting. He’s unleashed the beast. [Ruh Ro]

Kentucky is apparently incapable of getting anything but hand transplants right. Really? Hep C? Come on. Yet another reason Jewish Hospital doesn’t need to merge with the University of Louisville. [H-L]

Ever wondered what happens when your local media whitewash and ignore next to everything that goes down? Yeah? Then check the latest from people like Renee Murphy about Greg Fischer. [WHAS11]

This story about Jim Ramsey’s fancy new salary sure sounds familiar. And it will also make you wonder why these reporters allow themselves to be used as such pawns. [C-J/AKN]

Greg Fischer says he hops the new chief of the Louisville Metro Police Department will be a native of the city. WTF? He already knows who the individual is. [WAVE3]

Was Cindi Sullivan given her walking papers at WAVE? We hear that went down and that she was one of the few financially successful bits of programming at the station. [Deep WAVE Thoughts]

Cities that broke up Occupy camps are now facing lawsuits over the freedom of speech and the use of force. You can expect something similar to go down in Louisville. [WaPo]

Now you know why the Cabinet for Health and Family Services added so many new attorneys. They were back in court yesterday fighting the release of public records. [Debby Yetter]

Louisville’s overtime cuts will begin with sanitation. Predictions on how long it takes for the entire city to become covered in trash? [FOX41]

New Albany has hired its first female police chief. When will something like that happen in Louisville? [WLKY]

Have you see the latest spin from Jim Ramsey and the hospital merger folks? This email blast went out this week and it is truly eye roll-worthy. [Page One]

And Just Like That The Details Surface…

On the heels of our news that University of Louisville President Jim Ramsey scored a massive pay raise and bonuses this week comes this release:

UofL Foundation approves compensation for Ramsey
by UofL Today — last modified Dec 22, 2011 10:22 AM

The University of Louisville Foundation approved Dec. 19 a compensation package for UofL President James Ramsey with the goal of “keeping him around for a long time,” foundation Chairman Chester Porter said.

All increases in Ramsey’s compensation will come from the privately funded foundation, not from state funds or tuition income, Porter said. The foundation has worked with UofL’s Board of Trustees on financial terms of a new contract since November, when the trustees agreed to extend Ramsey’s contract to June 30, 2020.

“If there’s been a better university president in the United States over the past 10 years, I don’t know who that would be,” foundation Vice Chairman Burt Deutsch said. “We appreciate Jim’s loyalty to his hometown university and the incredible progress that has occurred in every area of the school despite the most challenging financial times we’ve known.”

The new contract that takes effect Jan. 1, 2012, calls for Ramsey’s foundation salary to increase to $270,260. Ramsey’s state salary will remain $329,740, bringing his combined total salaries to $600,000. For every year Ramsey meets the goals that the trustees and foundation boards set for him, he will continue to earn a bonus that is 25 percent of his combined salaries and which will go into his retirement account. There also are four potential retention bonuses of $500,000 each, beginning in 2014 and continuing every two years until 2020 as long as Ramsey remains president of the foundation and the university.

Click here to see the entire thing.