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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- 2012 has been a violent year for Louisville, with the murder rate spiking more than 25%. But Mayor Greg Fischer says the city is working to reduce violent crime.
WDRB's Lawrence Smith talked to Fischer about that and other issues as he wraps up his second year in office.
Mayor Greg Fischer says there are no easy solutions to the problem of violence. He says two key components are education and jobs.
The spike in Louisville's murder rate comes as the mayor begins to implement recommendations from his anti-violence task force appointed earlier this year.
One move, the hiring of a full-time employee to coordinate the city's anti-violence effort, has gotten some push-back from members of Metro Council. But Fischer plans to hire someone early next year.
"You can't arrest your way out of a problem like this, but you have to treat the systemic causes of crime and employment as well, getting people back into society after they've served their time, and that's what we intend to do," said Fischer.
As far as jobs, the mayor said the city has created more than 22,000 since he took office.
And to spur economic development in West Louisville, the city is busy purchasing large tracts of land.
"So that a business or factory headquarters can locate and build there. That's in the works right now."
Fischer said next year's big priority is the passage of state law allowing for a local option sales tax. He believes the idea has grass-roots support, but won't speculate as to what state lawmakers might do.
"Obviously, we've got to get 60% of the House and Senate, and I think if they listen to the people, we've got a good short here."
When asked what he hearing so far from Frankfort about the possibility of passage, Fischer said, "It's way too early."
And Fischer said something must be done to secure more events for the KFC YUM Center or the city will be on the hook for an additional $3-million to help pay the debt. Right now, there are no active talks about luring an NBA team to Louisville,
"There's obviously been a lot of excitement about that in the community. U of L has go to get a win in this as well. I've been very clear on that. So, we just need to be prepared to compete. We do need more dates at the YUM Center. That's clear."
As to whether he'll run for a second term, Fischer said there'll be an official announcement in a couple of months. But all signs point to a re-election campaign 2014.