Decision 2022: Meet the candidates for Louisville Metro District 7

In this East End district, a Democratic incumbent is challenged by a Republican and an independent.
Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 12:44 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville Metro District 7 covers an area including Bancroft, Beechwood Village, Briarwood, Crossgate, Graymoor-Devondale, Lyndon, Maryhill Estates, Meadowbrook Farm, Moorland, Northfield, Norwood, Old Brownsboro Place, Plantation, Rolling Hills, St. Matthews, Thornhill, Westwood, Windy Hills, Woodlawn Park; Autumn Ridge, Eagle Creek, Lancaster Manor, Village of Olde St. Andrews, Westmoorland, and Brownsboro Meadows.

For four years, Democratic Councilwoman Paula McCraney has represented the district. She is a St. Matthews small business owner and former longtime banker who serves on the Budget Committee, the Public Safety Committee and the Government Oversight and Audit Committee.

McCraney says her priorities for next term would be public safety, housing and infrastructure.

Her Republican challenger is Mike Parrino, who is retired from a career spanning finance, accounting, and information technology. His priorities are restoring morale to the police department, economic development, and addressing traffic and congestion.

Also on the ballot is independent candidate Chris Thieneman. He’s a former pro football player whose profession now is land development.

Thieneman says his priorities are police reform, “true transparency,” and education. He says the first two are how he would address public safety in the metro. He wants to bring in police training experts, and he wants to bring back the LMPD training facility.

“A lot of the good cops leave because they don’t feel protected or respected... We have to make an atmosphere where the good cops want to come forward and talk about the bad ones,” said Thieneman.

On public safety, Parrino says “teamwork” has been missing in the metro. He says the mayor’s office should be giving LMPD more support. He is also calling for increased community policing so the public “knows where to go” when they see crime.

“People need to feel comfortable that they can go do that and report those issues,” said Parrino.

McCraney says the key to public safety is “PRIDE,” an acronym for pay, recruitment, intervention, detention, and enactment. With this, she has many specific ideas that all lead to the same place.

“We must enact laws that will help keep our city safe,” said McCraney. “We have to look like we are tough on crime. We can’t–we can’t do this any longer. We have to come at it strong.”

On affordable housing, McCraney says one way to fight homelessness is to continue investing in the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Also, incentives and tax breaks to “stop allowing outside investors to come in and buy up all of our property.”

“We have to figure out a way to allow our community members–the people who reside in this area–to be homeowners,” said McCraney.

Thieneman claims that corruption on metro council has kept his own affordable housing projects from being built.

“We are 30,000 [affordable housing units] short, not because we can’t do it, but because we are stopped from doing it because we have to pay to play,” Thieneman said. “That’s going to go away when I’m elected.”

Parrino says affordable housing is an issue of economics and not really within council control. On homelessness, he has an idea.

“What I would like to see the metro do is work with some of the local organizations, as opposed to trying to set up a department or a group or employ people to deal with the homeless directly,” he said.

As for infrastructure priorities, Parrino says traffic around new construction and developments needs to be addressed. Thieneman says there needs to be more oversight of the Metropolitan Sewer District and their rates. McCraney says district roads need to be widened and maintained.

Election Day is Nov. 8.