Gaslight city | Thorn
No one should be surprised by the mayor’s announcement last week that state demands for more pension payments could cause a $65 million budget gap. But a Courier Journal story said some on the council felt ambushed. They — and CJ — might recall its April 2018 story on Fischer’s budget address, which quoted him in the second paragraph: “This year our biggest budget challenge is the impact of decades of Frankfort underfunding of our state’s pension system. It’s hitting us in this budget — and it’s serious.” What did they expect him to say about the next budget? Were they asleep during the battle over the state bill last year to phase in pension costs for cities? That said, why didn’t Fischer or his Republican challenger make the city’s dire finances the No. 1 issue during the run up to the election? All we heard was how the city was booming: bourbon, hotels… And crime, bike lanes. Finally, we ended the year with a surplus, rightfully spent on homeless people. But.. a surplus? And no mention of the pension avalanche about to bury the city?
Inside bad business | Thorn
We hate cutbacks at any Louisville news outlets. Insider Louisville’s announcement last week that it was cutting its monthly budget for freelance stories “roughly in half” bodes poorly for the online publication. So does IL’s admission that it is short about $525,000 for this year. It is clear that any new model for delivering news will face challenges, especially in a competitive market. That is why we were astounded when IL reported that: “The elimination of three leadership positions helped decrease the nonprofit’s annual expenditures by 40 percent, from about $1.6 million to about $950,000.” Helped? We’re not math geniuses, but did the annual salaries for these leaders average even close to $216,666 apiece? Such irresponsible spending would reflect failed leadership on IL’s board, which includes David Jones Jr., who describes himself as “one of the leading venture capitalists in mid-America and a well-respected voice in healthcare business and innovation.” Someone has some ‘splaining to do…
Google’s roughage road | Absurd
Google Fiber is leaving Louisville after a failed experiment to bury the cables in shallow trenches on roads. Maybe Google realized we like to dig up, repave, dig up and repave streets randomly… and often.