Decision 2022: Meet the candidates for Metro Council District 13

District 13 in the South End of the Louisville Metro includes Auburndale, Fairdale, Commerce Crossings, Renaissance Business Park, Okolona, and Yorktown.
Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 2:40 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - District 13 in the South End of the Louisville Metro includes Auburndale, Fairdale, Commerce Crossings, Renaissance Business Park, Okolona, and Yorktown.

For four years, Democratic Councilman Mark Fox has represented the area. The retired police officer is the chair of the public safety committee who says his top three priorities are, “Violent crime, violent crime, violent crime.”

Fox is challenged by Dan Seum, Jr., who says he’s spent decades advocating at the state level to eliminate things like mandatory motorcycle helmets and certain cannabis restrictions.

Seum is listed as the Republican on the ballot, but he says he’s really an independent. His priorities are safety, schooling (specifically vocational training), and securing more jobs for the South End.

On public safety, Seum says first, he would prop up and support officers, and make sure the Louisville Metro Police Department is well-funded and well-trained. Then, the department will be able to focus on building a better relationship with the public.

“We have to separate the law-abiding from the criminals. Once we’re able to do that, and the police officers are able to do more community policing, I think that’s going to build the trust.”

Fox retired from LMPD as a sergeant. Now, he sees a new generation that is hesitant to join with officers overworked, highly scrutinized, and often asked to deal with mental health situations.

“Right now, we can’t change the narrative, but we can change the benefits,” said Fox. “We’ve already addressed the pay, but I think we need a defined benefit pension system for teachers and police officers.”

On homelessness, Fox says people with drug addictions and serious mental illness need to be off the street for their safety and for others’.

Fox also says more affordable housing projects are ready to go, except for one thing: the residents who live in the project areas.

“We currently have money to address affordable housing, and generally what’s stopping it is pushback from areas where it’s proposed to be built.”

Seum says compassion means not letting people sleep in tents, but he also wants to address the issue in the long-run.

“Once we develop a better workforce with better pay, the housing will come need,” said Seum. “We need put these people in a place where they can pay for it, and that’s going to require schooling.”

On infrastructure, Seum says he will fight for a fair shake.

“The money’s not being spent in our area,” said Seum. “That’s going to be a big job of mine is making sure we get shared focus into the South End. Infrastructure doesn’t seem to be a problem in the more wealthy areas.”

Fox says he dreams of big projects like light rail, but in the meantime, he sees value in updating major corridors, for transportation safety and business development.

“You get some business fluctuation when it first happens, but then when it levels out,” said Fox. “It kind of helps grow businesses and especially small businesses.”

Election Day is Nov. 8.