The Mayor Enters the Arena (7/18/06)
People in this city can come up with more novel ways to try to sink Louisville's New Downtown Arena project than I would have thought possible.
The latest snafu arose late last week when the Metro Council voted to include an unnecessary labor agreement in the arena financing plan. Governor Fletcher responded by claiming such an agreement directly conflicts with Kentucky's procurement code, and he threatened to take the state's 75 million dollars off the table -- which would sink the whole deal.
Luckily, on Tuesday morning, Mayor Abramson stood up and did the right thing - even though it was difficult. He announced he'd veto the Council's financing plan and submit a funding resolution of his own. One that would still contain hiring goals for local workers and minorities, but would no longer give unions unnecessary and disproportionate influence over the entire project.
Best of all, it sounds as if the Metro Council is prepared to accept the Mayor's counter-proposal, which should put this issue to bed once and for all, and allow construction to finally get underway.
The Mayor deserves a round of applause this time around for taking quick and decisive action in the best interests of the city even though it's bound to ruffle a few feathers.
Because while there's nothing wrong with special interest groups trying to exert their influence, there's also nothing wrong with telling them "no" when it's appropriate.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my...Point of View.