Some Greg Fischer Minimum Wage Back Story

Lost in all the mainstream and social media hubbub over the minimum wage hike in Louisville was what people actually told Greg Fischer’s office. Fischer’s been fond of telling the community that most people opposed the wage increase.

But who was telling him that? What kind of businesses do they operate? What did they really have to say? Do they even live in Louisville?


CLICK TO ENLARGE

Let’s take a look at documents received as part of an open records request that Fischer’s office finally decided to fulfill two months later.

These are all the folks Fischer’s office say opposed a minimum wage increase.

Brent Beanblossom, Home Instead Senior Care:


CLICK EACH TO ENLARGE

Steve Brooks, Tumbleweed:


CLICK EACH TO ENLARGE

Rebecca Daigrepont:


CLICK EACH TO ENLARGE

Jeffrey Davis, Accu-Tec, Inc.:


CLICK EACH TO ENLARGE

John Doster, PARx Solutions:


CLICK EACH TO ENLARGE

Steve Dutton, Printex USA:


CLICK EACH TO ENLARGE

Scott Ferguson:


CLICK EACH TO ENLARGE

Steve Ford, Prospect:


CLICK EACH TO ENLARGE

Christopher Fuller, Arby’s — Atlanta, GA:


CLICK EACH TO ENLARGE

Rich Gimmel, Atlas:


CLICK EACH TO ENLARGE

Debbie Glasgow, Red Roof Inn:


CLICK EACH TO ENLARGE

Mike King, consultant:


CLICK EACH TO ENLARGE

Katrina Kopatz:


CLICK EACH TO ENLARGE

Debbie Glasgow, Red Roof Inn:


CLICK EACH TO ENLARGE

Mike King, consultant:


CLICK EACH TO ENLARGE

Katrina Kopatz:


CLICK EACH TO ENLARGE

Pam Krause:


CLICK EACH TO ENLARGE

Cliff Krawiec, claims increase will harm seniors:


CLICK EACH TO ENLARGE

Barry Laws, Openrange:


CLICK TO ENLARGE

Charles Leis, Bramco:


CLICK EACH TO ENLARGE

Buddy Mattingly, Tumbleweed:


CLICK EACH TO ENLARGE

Christian McCutcheon, BrightStar Care:


CLICK EACH TO ENLARGE

Tim Poole, Dizzy Whizz:


CLICK TO ENLARGE

Andrew Ott, Kentucky Restaurant Association:


CLICK EACH TO ENLARGE

Anthony Piagentini, Republican Party:


CLICK EACH TO ENLARGE

Cindi Peeff:


CLICK EACH TO ENLARGE

Jeff Reetz, failed Republican congressional candidate and Pizza Hut franchisee:



CLICK EACH TO ENLARGE

You’ll want to read the rest after the jump…

Read more…

Auditor Releases SE Bullitt Fire District Report

State Auditor of Public Accounts Adam Edelen just a bit ago released an examination of the Southeast Bullitt Fire District finding weaknesses in financial controls.

Edelen is especially worked up because he loves the publicity and is going to great lengths to point out that the fire department is in violation of a special district reform law for which he takes credit.

Here’s a release on it all:

Auditor Adam Edelen today released a special examination of the Southeast Bullitt Fire Protection District, finding lax controls and a lack of analysis of its finances while levying property taxes at the highest allowable rate.

The Auditor’s office began an examination last fall after receiving allegations concerning certain financial activity at the District. The District and the Southeast Bullitt Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department, Inc. have come under public scrutiny in recent months for a number of issues. The District has contracted with the Department to provide fire protection services in Bullitt County, just south of Louisville.

Other agencies are said to be investigating concerns at the Department and there appears to be confusion about the nature of the contractual relationship and roles of management between the two entities. Auditors found that unclear state statutes may partially be to blame.

“Antagonistic personalities, consistently high property tax rates, a lack of transparency, confusion in state law and seeming conflicts of interest have led to valid concerns among taxpayers in Bullitt County,” Auditor Edelen said. “Although auditors did not find potential criminal activity based on the allegations we received and investigated, we share those concerns and call on officials there to straighten this mess out.”

The District board has the authority to levy an annual property tax, not to exceed “ten cents ($0.10) per one hundred ($100) of valuation as assessed for county taxes.” Auditors found the District has levied taxes at the maximum allowed by statute since at least 2008 without conducting any analyses of the actual costs of future needs associated with providing fire protection services to District residents.

As a result, the Department held over $2.7 million in funds as of Oct. 31, 2014, which appears to have led to concerns about financial management.

Three of the six District board members interviewed said they believed the Department could operate with less tax revenue if rates were lowered, while another stated “honestly I don’t know.”

Another source of concern among the public is an apparent conflict of interest, with the Department Chief also serving as District board chair since approximately 2000. Given the authority of the District board to establish the tax rate each year and the contract between the Department and District, in which the Department receives the net proceeds of taxes collected, concerns exist that the District board has been lax in its responsibility to taxpayers as it may be placing interests of the Department above those of the taxpayers.

Despite the appearance, statutory language does not restrict eligibility to prohibit the fire chief, who serves as head of the Department, or other Department board members, from being eligible for election to the District board or from serving as its chairman.

Auditors recommend state legislators study provisions of KRS Chapter 75 and consider making a clear distinction between management of each organization.

The scope of the examination was to address concerns presented to the office regarding the District and not to examine financial transactions or other records of the Department. A number of matters related to the Department, however, were brought to the auditors’ attention during the examination.

Of significant concern is that the Department has not registered as a Special Purpose Governmental Entity (SPGE) with the Department for Local Government (DLG), as required by state law. Auditor Edelen in 2013 shepherded a bipartisan bill through the legislature to bring greater accountability and transparency to special districts, including fire departments.

The Department has received more than $4.4 million in public funds since 2010 and as such, is required to annually file certain financial reports with DLG.

“This is case-in-point why I fought to reform special districts,” Auditor Edelen said. “If the Department wants to argue it’s a private entity exempt from the tenets of House Bill 1, they need to go ahead and return the public money they’ve received from taxpayers,” Auditor Edelen said. “Otherwise, they need to get square with the requirements in short order.”

Auditors also found the Department awarded $5,200 in annual Christmas bonuses to employees and select volunteers in violation of state law and awarded the Chief’s spouse $63,000 in payment for bookkeeping and secretarial services without requiring documentation of the hours worked.

Click here (Warning: External PDF Link) to access the full report.

When Will The Adults Be In Charge Of JCPS?

Help Kenn Parks. He deserves it. His son deserves it. [Give Back]

A JCPS official says EMS examined six students at Byck Elementary School on Cedar Street for frostbite after reports that they were suffering from exposure to the cold due to a lengthy wait at a bus stop. [WDRB]

Yep, a Senate foe who opposed expanded alcohol sales was arrested for DUI. [C-J/AKN]

A Louisville man is behind bars Thursday after police said he stole an ambulance and later crashed it in the Germantown-Schnitzelburg area. [WHAS11]

In his first speech on the Senate floor as majority leader, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell expressed optimism for the future of the country and the congress despite a “moment of great anxiety as a nation.” [H-L]

An editor at an Elizabethtown newspaper issued a retraction and apology after he said Hardin County Sheriff John Ward was misquoted in Thursday’s paper. [WLKY]

Once again many in the media have fallen for GOP strategists’ attempts to make a candidate seem moderate — “soften” and “softening” seem to be the words of choice for CNN and others — while he’s not changed his hardcore right-wing position at all. [HuffPo]

Rand Paul pledged his support to new Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s efforts, even as other lawmakers said politicians like Paul could complicate McConnell’s work. [WAVE3]

Micah Clark of the American Family Association explained to The Indianapolis Star that the bill would allow small businesses to refuse services to same-sex couples and also that it would allow adoption agencies to refuse to place children with same-sex couples. [Think Progress]

As the University of Louisville grapples with the terms of a controversial $6 million gift proposal from Papa John’s International CEO John Schnatter and billionaire Charles Koch, university-watchers might want to take a look at what Koch got for his money from his most recent taker, Arizona State University. [WFPL]

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Waze (http://www.waze.com), the real-time, “crowd-sourced” navigation app powered by the world’s largest communities of drivers, have entered into a partnership through the new Waze Connected Citizens program, the company’s largest municipal effort to date. [Press Release]

State law doesn’t say city and county governments cannot set their own minimum wage limits, but it doesn’t say they can, either. [Business First]

The New Albany City Council approved a third consecutive balanced budget in 2014. But several meetings included no voting items or only a nonbinding resolution for consideration, and Councilman John Gonder said he felt like there was more that could have been done by the city’s legislative body last year. [News & Tribune]

No Poverty? Thousands Can’t Pay Their LG&E Bill

Louisville Metro Council elected leadership Monday night and there’s a few familiar faces in the leadership positions. [WDRB]

The local paper finally did a story about the minimum wage increase and this is what they came up with. [C-J/AKN]

Should everyone be skeptical about the new hotel plans? [More C-J/AKN]

Mayor Rick Richards pleaded guilty to drug trafficking but says that he is still innocent. [WHAS11]

Kentucky taxpayers will fork over about $3.56 million to pay for the 2015 General Assembly, which begins at noon Tuesday. Most of the money will go for legislative compensation. [H-L]

An investigation is underway into a garage fire near the Bullitt-Jefferson County line. [WLKY]

President Barack Obama and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell are warily looking for areas of agreement as they begin a new chapter in a relationship that is likely to remain frosty but businesslike. [HuffPo]

Monday’s cold temperatures left some parents wondering if it was too cold for students, especially bus riders, to go to school. [WAVE3]

The cost of US war-making in the 13 years since the September 11 terrorist attacks reached a whopping $1.6 trillion in 2014, according to a recent report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS). [Mother Jones]

Thousands of Jefferson County residents in jeopardy of having their heat cut off during the winter months will soon be allowed to apply for the Low-Income Heating Assistance Program. [WFPL]

Representative Phil Moffett, R-Louisville (32nd District) announced Monday his intention to file a bill for the 2015 session of Kentucky’s General Assembly that if passed would direct all counties that currently do not have an operating jail to consolidate their local jailer’s office with the county sheriff’s office. The proposal is the first bill filed by the newly elected House Republican. [Press Release]

Cunningham’s Restaurant on South Fourth Street closed Sunday night, but its owner is now saying that it’s not gone for good. [Business First]

A donation drive in December yielded much-needed supplies and even some cash for the New Albany-Floyd County Animal Shelter. [News & Tribune]

Seems Possibility City Is Forgetting Who Tandy Is

For all of you folks suggesting David Tandy should be governor or lieutenant governor?

Maybe take a trip down the recent memory rabbit hole:

Yeah. David Tandy is a real champion all right.

Take off your blinders, handful of liberals who clearly don’t know the man. You are enamored by his charm because you’re just now discovering him. He is not your dream candidate.

NKL Can’t Even Grift Originally These Days

No Kill Louisville, the once-decent organization that is still being accused by former officials of fraudulent, scandalous shenanigans, is at it again. (This is what happens when people turn a blind eye to grifting)

The organization…. well… look:


THE GRIFT

They’re grifting. Giving a bogus story about a dog in order to rake in cash. A story they tried to use last year, as well.

Former NKL officials called them out:


OUCH

Wait, some bonus grifting, called out again:


BONUS GRIFTING

Flashback here and here.

It’s never-ending.

JCPS Has Another Boiling Disaster On Its Hands

Remember when we expressed concern about Helene Kramer, the JCPS new hire who immediately started causing drama?

Well… check this out:

The executive director of communications for Jefferson County Public Schools is under investigation for a personnel matter, the district confirmed to WDRB News on Friday.

JCPS would not release any additional information regarding Helene Kramer, who was named the district’s chief spokeswoman in August. “[The] records are preliminary and are not a part of any final agency action,” said Rosemary Miller, legal counsel for JCPS, in an email. She added they will not be available until “such time when the requested report (and related requested records) becomes a part of final action.”

However, multiple sources have told WDRB News that the investigation centers around Kramer questioning whether or not another district employee is gay.

Kramer, who is one of six members on JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens’ executive cabinet, told WDRB News Friday by email, “The process is not complete, and we need to respect the process.”

So that’s fun.

UPDATE!

Oh, wait! There’s more from Toni Konz:

Helene Kramer, who is under investigation for allegedly making inappropriate comments in her new job as communications director for Jefferson County Public Schools, was previously on thin ice in her role as a spokeswoman for Louisville Metro Police more than a decade ago.

-SNIP-

The personnel file shows Kramer survived the probationary period but was laid off in December 2004 by LMPD Police Chief Robert White. The department said it was eliminating her position. However, LMPD later hired someone else to perform similar duties.

-SNIP-

“Finally, errors in judgment have been noted,” Smith wrote. “To reduce discretion in critical areas, (Kramer) has been requested to develop a manual for her office that will provide guidelines on the release of information to the public and news media. Her immediate supervisor and myself will approve these guidelines.”

Multiple sources tell WDRB News that the JCPS investigation centers around inappropriate comments Kramer allegedly made in regards to whether another employee is gay.

Which just reinforces a belief that Kramer got the job not on her own merit but by having well-connected friends pull strings for her.

And there’s this:

Hargens has not been available for comment about Kramer’s status.

But she’s allegedly being all Chatty Cathy with a school board member and his PR pal about the ordeal. Which means they’ll push out a distraction in 3, 2…

Way to go, JCPS.