Dear Metro Council Members and Mayor–
The Louisville Tea Party has reviewed the proposed Metro Louisville budget and has the following comments:
We seek a transparent government that performs its core functions efficiently and effectively. The core functions of Metro government should be to keep neighborhoods safe and to maintain roads and infrastructure. Metro government should not be spending taxpayer money to subsidize or compete with private businesses.
- The biggest problem currently facing Metro Louisville is the high crime rate, with the murder rate having more than doubled over the past few years. This is not acceptable and must be addressed with a comprehensive plan.
- The Pegasus Institute has reported that 85% of recent homicides have been gang related. Metro Police dispute that number, but they have no data to support their position, since they are not keeping that type of data. Why not?
- Metro police should adopt the recommendations of the Pegasus Institute, which have been successful in other cities, including collecting better data, lighting key locations, tearing down abandoned buildings, and engaging with gang members and with other community members
Abandoned properties: We support Metro Louisville’s increased efforts to acquire abandoned properties and tear down abandoned buildings. We recommend that the cleaned-up properties then be returned promptly to the community by selling them to the highest bidder at well-advertised auctions.
High speed fiber: The current budget proposes to spend $5.4 million to lay 96 miles of high-speed fiber. This should not be a function of Metro Louisville, which should not be subsidizing or competing with private businesses. Let private business lay the fiber, and let consumers of the services pay for it.
Property development: Metro Louisville should sell all property not needed for government operations and allow private investors to develop the property. Taxpayer money should not be used to subsidize sports arenas, office buildings, restaurants, farms, or any other private enterprises. Metro Louisville should do as much as it can to make it easy for developers to obtain permits and should otherwise get out of the way.
Libraries: We should not be spending $20 million to build a large new library. Large brick and mortar libraries should be phased out in favor of the “Amazon” model. We should lease small store-front spaces for libraries to provide access to computers and to provide a place where people can order and pick up physical books. We also should participate in the state-wide e-book program.
Top-down control of development never works: Top-down control of development promotes corruption, bad decisions, and inefficiency. That is not what we need in Metro Louisville. Instead, we need a government that keeps neighborhoods safe, keeps roads, lighting, and other infrastructure in good shape, makes it easy to get permits and cut through red tape, and otherwise gets out of the way so the creativity of private enterprise can flourish.
Michael Brown, President
Louisville TEA Party
Pegasus Institute report