Audubon Park residents get their day to speak
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- After learning about years of financial mis-management, and listening to their city leaders fight over proposed budgets, residents of Audubon Park say they're sick of it.
City leaders need to cut about $160,000, and agree on a budget for the current fiscal year, all while addressing previous spending problems that have come to light in the last year. Monday, the mic was opened up for the first time in the budget debate.
It started relatively nice, but about ten minutes into the public comment period of the regularly scheduled city council meeting, one member of the community was suggesting that the mayor of 12 years and a council member of about the same tenure be replaced.
"I feel like we have been lied to, I don't know about you all but that's how I feel," said Audubon Park resident Laurie Kelty. "I'm going to ask you to vote no confidence in Mr. Scalise and Mr. Hubert and appoint someone else."
Kelty told the crowd of nearly 200 that with the money problems happening under the watch of council member Al Hubert and Mayor Scalise, they should be relieved of their city duties. The rest of the council has largely only been in office a few months.
The financial issues in this city are rooted in the fact the city has been charging residents almost double in sanitation fees over the past few years, and road funds have been used to finance general fund items.
Now that the city is cleaning up its act, it needs to make $160,000 in cuts. As the council continues to battle over where those cuts will be made, the residents say they want a change.
"I think it is terrible the way [Mayor] Mike Scalise has handled money, I think it is stealing. I don't know what else you would call it," said Marjorie Davis.
The mayor admits he made mistakes. He also says he got bad or no advice on the issues. But he says all the money was spent on city services, and no money was stolen.
"Your money was not stolen, it was used by the city," Scalise said. "Saying stolen implies that we took your money and put it in our own pocket. The city got value for the money."
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