Minority Caucus members call for "sweeping changes" - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Minority Caucus members call for "sweeping changes"

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)---Two weeks after council members voted to keep Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin in office, Minority Caucus members are calling for "sweeping changes" in the way taxpayer money is spent.

"Two years ago, there was an outcry. We didn't respond appropriately. The second time, we have to take action," says Jerry Miller, Republican council member from District 9.

During an Ethics Trial, Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin was found guilty of misconduct by fellow council members as a result of how she used her neighborhood development funds.

She was accused of using her position to benefit herself and her family.

She wasn't removed from office however.

Now, Republicans are proposing limiting the amount of money each council member receives for neighborhood development funds from $75,000 dollars to $15,000.

The extra money would go toward capital infrastructure. Council members already receive $100,000 for capital/infrastructure projects.

In addition, no council member will be allowed to move funds for capital infrastructure into neighborhood development funds, where there is much less accountability," says Marilyn Parker, Republican council member from District 18.

Another proposal dealt called for a higher level of accountability.

"We need to expand our definition of family to include any person living within the household of the elected official. It would also expand to include blood relatives of blood relatives," says Kevin Kramer, Republican council member from District 11.

However, not everyone is on board.

Democrat Mary Woolridge is against the changes to the discretionary funds.

"I have been facetious enough to say to a number of them if you don't need your NDF's, give them to district 3. We could certainly use them," says Mary Woolridge, Democratic council member from District 3.

Council member David Yates also recently proposed his own changes. 

"I think it's really important that we're able to monitor some of these things in a proper way, rather than completely eliminate them," says Yates, Democratic council member from District 25.

It's an issue both Democrats and Republicans will soon tackle.

"What they proposed are "sweeping", but they'll never get swept. I'll put it that way," says Mary Woolridge.

One minority caucus member says they expect to bring the proposals up next Tuesday during a Government Accountability and Ethics Committee meeting.

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