Louisville Magazine

OCT 2018

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 10.18 51 our unemployment's 3.4 percent. When we started in the Great Recession, it was 10.4 or 11 percent. ere's $13 billion of construction taking place in our city, so a lot of that is from people who have visited the Derby. So I think it's working pretty well. It IS working very well. "On the Explorer issue: Look, the main thing you have to understand is the pain and suffering that a lot of people have gone through with this. Secondly, there are criminal processes that are underway. My role is to make sure the truth — in any form that it is, that has affected us — gets out and is known to the public, that's not protected within the court system. And so, you know, as soon as — when I found out about the problem, we shut the program down. We brought in a special investigator to review what was going on. e Council has been involved with all that, so I think that's an example of when you know there's a problem, then react to it and make sure the truth comes out and wherever the chips fall, they're gonna fall. I don't care who is implicated. If they're accountable, they need to be held that way." Are there any examples you could provide of developments that have happened as a result of people who have come in for Derby whose trips the taxpayers have funded? "We don't specifically disclose those names, but I think when people look at the money invested and what's happening in the city, I think they should conclude it's a good return on investment." Outside of the mayor's explicit duties, you're at the Martin's Bar-B-Que ribbon cutting. You're at Seven Sense Fest. What do you think is the value of showing up to those types of things as mayor? "Well, I probably spend about half the time inside the office and half the time outside the office, so that would be probably six or seven hours inside the office and seven or eight hours outside the office every day. I'm a business guy, so it starts with customers. As the mayor, the customers are your citizens. So if you're not with your citizens and understanding what they're thinking and what's working and what's not working, and you don't have that kind of accessibility and relationships that you've built in the city over the years, you're not gonna understand what's going on and you can build up barriers between you and people. I don't want that. So it's important, I believe, that people see me as just one of their fellow citizens. I just happen to be mayor right now, and they can give me their thoughts on where the city can improve, where we're falling short, what we're doing well and how they're feeling about where the city is going." When do you wrap up work or does it blend together? "ere's not much separation. Usually I try to finish things up around 10 or 10:30. And then have a half-hour or so just to sort of watch the news and then crash, get up, do it all over again." What do you do in your free time? (Laughs.) "You don't have a lot of free time as mayor." What do you do to deal with the stress of the job? "Well, a job like this, you work a lot, and fortunately, I like to work. I've always been that way as a businessperson, and I'm that way now. And when you have an opportunity like being mayor of a great city like ours, you'd better like to work, because there's a lot to do. I exercise. I do a combination of working on agility and balance and light weights and a little bit of cardio work, so nothing too intense. And I've always thought that stress is something that you choose to have, and I think that if you've got a great plan and a great team and work hard and leave it all on the field, that's all you can do, and so you shouldn't be stressed about it. You just do your best and you get up the next morning and go at it again." Who is your best friend? "Well, my wife." Outside of city issues, politics and government, what do you guys talk about? "Well, we have four kids and now they're older, so naturally we, as a couple, will talk about our kids and what they're doing. And all of our parents are still alive, so we talk about what's happening with them and my wife is very engaged from a political standpoint, so she likes to talk about politics and what's going on. e same as any couple would talk about." What do you do in town with your kids? "My daughters are not in town. My sons are 27 and 26. Going out to eat, going to a movie, that kind of thing. Going for a walk. We live by Cherokee Park, so walking through the woods there and by the creek is something I like to do. As much as I can get outside, I like to do that." What is your earliest political memory? "I was born in 1958, so I remember when John Kennedy was shot and how that kind of really shook everybody up, and then I was pretty young and I remember my parents and everybody just being really freaked out. When his brother was killed in '68, I remember that very vividly. I grew up in a Catholic family, so the Kennedys were kind of royalty. If you read some of their speeches, especially Bobby Kennedy's, I mean, the kind of stuff that he talked about back then, there's a lot of things I talk about now." What's something that you remember from the Louisville from your childhood that you miss? (Laughs.) "Well, I had a lot more time to play! I don't know. It was very different then. We lived out of town for about six years or so in Chicago and New York, so it would be coming home to these large family gatherings. My father was one of eight kids, so there'd be 40 cousins at my grandparents' house. I love those kind of memories and good times that were taking place." Continued on page 116

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