My heart goes out to Jim King’s family. Especially to his kids, grandkids and wife, Debbie.
Have always been a critic of Jim’s and always will be. But he was the type of person, whether you liked him or not, to take it on the chin. Most of that has to do with Debbie, the real star of the show. We had coffee (“grabbed a Coke”) just a few weeks ago (update: turns out that was in late October… time flies) and the only thing he could talk about was her. That says a lot about him.
He may have been a complete asshole and at times inconsiderate of anyone and anything but control a lot of the time. But you don’t get to keep someone like Debbie around if there’s not something redeeming deep inside. So remember that, critics.
Hopefully the city will take time out of politicking to show that family some love.
Quotes from the entire Metro Council…
“The passing of President King causes a great loss for our city. We will miss him and I am praying for his family.” — David James District 6, Majority Leader
“I always appreciated the fact that regardless of the issue, I knew whenever I approached Jim, we could have an open and honest conversation. I enjoyed working with him and his passion for the City of Louisville was evident to everyone who knew him. We will continue to keep his family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.” — Kevin Kramer, District 11 Chair Minority Caucus
“My thoughts and prayers are with Jim’s family. The community lost a very dedicated public servant who always had the best interest of the citizens at heart. Jim’s knowledge of finance and his budget expertise were invaluable to the city. There was the other side of Jim that most people were never fortunate enough to see. Jim took a personal interest in people and causes he believed in. It was not uncommon for Jim to personally donate or just lend an ear or suggestion to causes and people he valued. While I will miss President King, most of all I will miss “Jim”.” — Madonna Flood, District 24 Vice Chair Majority Caucus
“President King’s institutional knowledge, humor, and the way he handled issues simply cannot be replaced. We are grieving for the loss for his family and our city.” — Marilyn Parker, District 18 Vice Chair Minority Caucus
“I am greatly saddened about the loss of President King. Jim was a zealous advocate for all of Jefferson County’s residents. His impact will live on forever. This is a great loss for his district, and for the entire city of Louisville.” — Jessica Green, District 1
“I like many others are saddened by the passing of President King. Over the years, we shared the area of Newburg Road and he and I were able to do many things to improve my district and his. His leadership helped improve the lives of many others in Metro Louisville. My thoughts and prayers are with the King family.” — Barbara Shanklin, District 2
“I was so sorry to hear of President King’s passing because he was a person who made a difference in my life on the Metro Council. He was always there to listen. Whether it was working with a Council member on a committee assignment or helping with a project or issue in my district, he was dedicated to do his best to help others. I considered him a personal friend. This world is a better place because of President Jim King. He will be missed by his colleagues, and all of Metro Louisville. I will continue to keep President Jim King’s family lifted in prayer. They have my heartfelt sympathy. — Mary C. Woolridge, District 3
“We have lost a tremendous civic and business leader in Jim King. Whether it was his work on the Metro Council or in his philanthropic efforts through King Southern Bank, Jim has left his mark on our city and we are better for it. Carolyn and I extend our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to Debbie, Jimmie and Katie and the rest of the King family in their time of bereavement.” — David Tandy, District 4
“Jim loved two things very deeply: his family and his community. We all benefitted from his dedicated leadership on this Council having elected him as president an unprecedented number of times. His professional expertise was a tremendous benefit to this city and the decisions he made for this city will be felt for years to come. He really served in a bi-partisan manner and do what was best for the entire community. He was kind and generous to a fault. I will miss his wit, sense of humor, the twinkle in his eye and his smile. Many agencies in this community certainly benefitted from his thoughtful leadership and financial expertise as we recovered from the recession and made sound decisions for Metro Government and all of Louisville. The Council and this community have experienced a tremendous loss. We have lost a friend, a colleague, a visionary leader and true public servant. My heartfelt thoughts and sympathy are with his family and colleagues at this difficult time.” — Cheri Bryant Hamilton, District 5
“As a someone who has had the opportunity to know many within the King family my thoughts and prayers are with them during what is sure to be a difficult time. I looked forward to working with Jim on the council and hope to continue working in support of many of his goals for the citizens of Louisville. He was an admired leader in this community and will be missed.” — Angela Leet, District 7
“As a Council leader, Jim King was an optimistic “let’s get it done” kind of guy.” — Tom Owen, District 8
“I was saddened to hear of the passing of Council President Jim King. I admired President King’s determination to make the Council an effective, independent legislative body. We can honor his memory by carrying on that work. My thoughts are with his wife, Debbie, his children, grandchildren and his many friends throughout Louisville at this difficult time.” — Bill Hollander, District 9
“Under Jim’s leadership, the Council grew in stature and professionalism. More importantly, Jim truly cared about all parts of our community. Most importantly, he was a good friend and colleague. Metro will miss him, District 10 will miss him and I certainly will miss him.” — Rick Blackwell, District 12
“I am shocked to lose our Council President, friend and colleague today. He was a brilliant man that was well respected in our community. This is a very sad day for our city as well as the King family.” — Vicki Aubrey Welch, District 13
“Jim was a kind and compassionate man who will be sorely missed. He has been the glue that held this Council together for the last four years. His ability to work fairly with members on both sides of the aisle was unmatched and the void created without him is something we can only hope to bridge in the coming days. He was a dear friend and colleague and my heart goes out to his family in this most difficult time.” — Cindi Fowler, District 14
“Jim used his talents and leadership to better Metro Louisville and always had the community in the forefront of his mind. His steady leadership helped the Metro Council grow into a stronger legislative body; but he was much more than Metro Council President. Jim lit up when talking about his family, especially his grandchildren. He never missed their ball games and even coached little league. His presence will truly be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and all of his loved ones.” — Marianne Butler, District 15
“Today I’ve lost a dear friend. The Metro Council has lost a great leader, and Metro Louisville has lost part of the mortar that holds our city together.” — Kelly Downard, District 16
“I came to know Jim as a good friend over the last several years and was always impressed with his commitment to this Council and his passion toward moving the entire city forward. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with his family as they grieve for their loved one.” — Glen Stuckel, District 17
“I have known Jim for a couple of years. He will be greatly missed and I regret that I didn’t have an opportunity to work with him at Metro Council. My sympathy goes to Debbie and the rest of his family.” — Julie Denton, District 19
“He was my best friend and I will miss him.” — Dan Johnson, District 21
My heartfelt sadness goes out to the entire King family, my wife and I have witnessed Jim’s love and passion for his grandchildren as we often talked at their basketball games over the years. The Metro Council and the taxpayers of our great city can be thankful to Jim for his tenacity toward working for solutions to challenges within the city budget, the downtown arena and so many other projects. He was a friend and colleague that will be sorely missed. May God Bless him and his family in this time of grief. — Robin Engel, District 22
“Today, we recognize the loss of an exemplary community leader and a respected colleague. President Jim King was my friend. He will be sorely missed; his legacy will echo through the countless people and projects in Louisville Metro that have been affected by his leadership. My prayers are with his family as they grieve alongside our city.” — David Yates, District 25
“Jim was a great man in more ways than one can list. With his passing, this world, and our city in particular, is a little less interesting.” — Brent Ackerson, District 26