Kerry Stemler to Louisville mayoral candidates: “Pardon, but resistance is futile, and those bridges go through me. Got it?”


According to The ‘Ville Voice blog, Hal Heiner, the Republican candidate for mayor of Louisville, has unearthed five big ideas, one of which addresses transportation:

Begin Construction on the East End Bridge by the End of the First Term: Facing uncertainty over whether Louisvillians will be asked to pay up to $3 in tolls to finance a “two-bridges” project, Hal is prepared to evaluate all options, including streamlining the project to an affordable level. The time has come to move ahead with the East End Bridge …

The Greg Fischer (D) camp already has said something in nearly the same words. Evidently both Heiner and Fischer harbor the notion that the elected mayor of Louisville should have a part in the process, although this should not be confused embracing the correct position.

Predictably, independent Jackie Green is the only candidate having much of anything sensible to say about transportation (or, for that matter, anything at all). Green supports building world class public transportation first, and various bridges second, if at all, and probably never. Green’s platform is fresh garlic to One Southern Indiana’s ravenous vampire, and as such, the latter surely appreciates a river separating the two.

Meanwhile, WFPL reports that the Hoosier who hired Michael Dalby says that Louisville’s mayoral hopefuls had best stay in their places.

Candidates for mayor of Louisville have expressed interest in controlling part of the Ohio River Bridges Project. But that may not be possible, as decisions about the project are made by the bi-state bridges authority.

Authority co-chair Kerry Stemler says the body will work with the new mayor to put together a timeline for construction that will affect tolls and the overall cost of the project. So calls for low tolls from Democrat Greg Fischer and Republican Hal Heiner can be heard.

Independent Jackie Green favors shelving the project to build better public transit. Stemler says that, or any other redesign, likely can’t happen at the mayor’s behest.

“This project is too big and too important for any one individual to stand in his way,” he says. “If an elected official in either state changes tomorrow or after the elections, then we’ll try our best to work with that particular individual.”

That’s mighty gracious of Stemler, who’s talking more like someone in charge of a military dictatorship than a construction project. Presumably, local elected officials in Southern Indiana should take the precaution of clearing their legislative initiatives with Stemler, and only after doing so, even remotely consider the wishes of the electorate.

If anyone can find the Courier’s endorsement of Stemler for mayor of Southern Indiana or Louisville, or the election results that elevated him, please contact me. I can’t seem to recall either occurring.

Previously at NAC: Jackie Green for mayor…of New Albany, if necessary.