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On Monday, we reported that six Democrats on Louisville’s Metro Council indicated that they will participate in a week long voluntary furlough program, at the suggestion of Council President Jim King (D-10).   This is in keeping with Mayor Greg Fischer’s plan to require all City employees making over $70,000 to take off a week without pay.  The mayor is also encouraging a voluntary furlough program for Metro Government employees making under $70,000.

Not to be outdone, the Metro Council Republicans announced today that all members of the Louisville Metro Council’s Minority Caucus (that’s the GOP members) and their staff will participate in taking furloughs during Fiscal Year 2011-2012. Metro Council Minority Caucus Members plan to reimburse Metro Government for up to five days of work over the course of the next fiscal year, and each member of the Metro Council’s Minority Caucus Staff will take between one and five days of furlough, based on the Mayor’s request during his budget address.  In addition, the members of the Minority Caucus will be returning approximately 37% of unused office funds at the end of Fiscal Year 2010-2011.  The savings associated with the voluntary furloughs in Fiscal Year 2011-2012 along with the Fiscal Year 2010-2011 funds being returned to Metro Government by members of the Minority Caucus is approximately $111,490.

Minority Caucus Chairman Ken Fleming (R-7) said:  “Republican members of the Metro Council expect to reduce their office expenses by $11,490 through furloughs and are proud to show that our austerity has been practiced throughout the current fiscal year by returning approximately $110,000 in office account funds back to Metro Government’s coffers due to our focus on running our offices efficiently and under budget.”

The Republicans plan the following savings for Louisville’s taxpayers:

Furlough Program Savings (Fiscal Year 2011-2012)

  • 9 Members of Minority Caucus, furlough day savings                       $6,700
  • 3 Members of Caucus Staff, furlough day savings                        $3,000
  • 9 Legislative Assistants, furlough day savings                        $1,790

Total savings from furlough days:      $11,490

Office Cost Center Savings (Fiscal Year 2010-2011) 

The cost centers of the 9 members of the Minority Caucus will return a total of approximately $100,000 to the Metro Council’s Budget. This is an average of $11,111 per district and 37 percent of the total funds appropriated to each member of the Metro Council to operate their office annually.

Total Savings Announced by Minority Caucus:  $111,490

The Republican Metro Councilmen participating in the furlough program are:  Ken Fleming (R-7), Kevin Kramer (R-11), Kelly Downard (R-16), Glen Stuckel (R-17), Jon Ackerson (R-18), Jerry Miller (R-19), Stuart Benson (R-20), Robin Engel (R-22), and James Peden (R-23). 

This leaves eleven Metro Councilmen—all Democrats—who have not yet expressed any indication of participation in the voluntary furlough savings program. 

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About Thomas McAdam

At various times I have been a student, a soldier, a college Political Science teacher, a political campaign treasurer, and legal adviser to Louisville's Police Department and Board of Aldermen. I now practice law and share my political opinions with anyone who will listen.

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