Thursday, January 15, 2009

LEO Weekly - The Abramson Interview

LEO Weekly's new issue contains the much-anticipated interview of Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson. Thank you, Stephen George, for making the audio available as well.

Abramson quickly reminds the reader of his optimist/cheerleader role by classifying himself as a "glass half-full" type of guy, but the people have grown tired of "half-full" or "half empty" glass comparisons. Citizens all agree that the damned glass is not full, so lets move on. In this interview, the questions were different but the song remained the same.

We can learn much about the mayor's agenda by listening carefully to what he doesn't say, but first, a quick rundown of what is actually on the record:

Unions: Nuts
Economy: Bad
Arena: Good
Fort Knox: Good
MetroSafe: Good
Otter Creek: Closed

Somehow, and this escapes my grasp, the mayor sees the consolidation of Dow Chemical and Rohm & Haas as a "hopeful" event. Perhaps he should ask some Rohm & Haas employees how "hopeful" they feel about their future. Questioned on Ford Motor Company, Abramson states Ford has contacted his office and has guaranteed to forge ahead with retooling for the Louisville Assembly Plant, as long as Ford is "still in business in 2010." Not much of a guarantee, eh?

Mayor Abramson's plan for Louisville seems to rely solely on President-Elect Obama's stimulous plan. I think that is a monumental, all-of-your-eggs-in-one-flimsy-basket mistake.

Part of a mayor's job is to promote, so when Jerry is in total optimist mode, I can forgive him for not wanting to be a "Debbie Downer". But he owes the citizens a realistic summary of what is going on in Louisville, no matter if it be positive or negative. We deserve openness and truth, not a spin campaign that frames every issue as "Mayor-as-Victim". Part of that task can be accomplished by opening the books. The other part can be accomplished by walking the talk. Mr. Abramson, if you want to be Louisville's CEO, the CEO of a financially-troubled company, then start paying yourself a dollar per year. Show us that you are willing to sacrifice before asking the citizens to do so.

I want to hear your impression of what you read. And as always, thank you.

1 comment:

  1. I say make him take a $1 a year and nothing from gli.
    He is the one that is nuts not the city's unions.Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is called INSANITY but Jerry calls it BARGAINING.He is out of touch with the average person.