Meet the candidates for Metro Council District 8

In District 8, Republican candidate Phil Haming is trying to take the seat from Democrat Ben Reno-Weber.
Published: Oct. 26, 2023 at 10:43 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Election day is less than two weeks away, and we’re sitting down with the candidates on the ballot for the three open metro council seats.

In District 8, Republican candidate Phil Haming is trying to take the seat from Democrat Ben Reno-Weber.

District 8 claims two of the hottest streets in the city, Bardstown and Baxter. Those two roads are important for the social infrastructure of the city.

And it just so happens that roads and infrastructure are a big issue for republican candidate Phil Haming.

“If they give me one year on the Metro Council to try and get four of these four infrastructures done,” Haming said. “Even one of them done. Just the Bon Air bridge, just the turning lane on Trevilian. I’d be happy with that.”

Reducing congestion on the roads in District 8 is important to Haming. From the bump outs on Bardstown to projects on other streets.

Here are his four major project ideas.

  • Remove Bardstown Rd. bump-outs.
  • Put in a turning lane from Trevilian Way west onto Newburg Rd. south.
  • Connect Newburg Rd. to Poplar Level Rd. at the entrance to Bellarmine University by way of Nightingale Rd.
  • A pedestrian/bicycle bridge or tunnel connecting Bon Air Ave. over or under the Watterson Expressway.

“I think [the bump outs] led to gridlock and a lot of noise down there because it’s taking away the emergency lanes and the bicycle lanes,” Haming said. “I’ve been suggesting for years that we put in a pedestrian bicycle bridge across Bon Air. I want to put a bridge on there to connect the entrance of Bellarmine over to Poplar Level to reduce all this traffic, If you’re going westbound on Trevilian and you come up to that intersection, and Bellarmine’s to your right, we need a turning lane there. It’s just gridlock there in the mornings.”

He’d also like to put more crosswalks along Bardstown Road. However, it’s not just about roads.

He has his thoughts about fines for noise complaints and suggestions for closing them earlier.

“I don’t like the $2500 fine on bar owners,” Haming said. “That seems excessive. Some of these guys are week-to-week. It might put them out of business. And those late-night bars also serve an important role for restaurant and bar workers when they get off work at midnight, they want a place to go. So we can’t shut them all down at midnight or one o’clock.”

Haming is running against incumbent Ben Reno-Weber who has been in office since April.

Reno-Weber never imagined he would get into politics, but when the opportunity presented itself, he stepped up.

“I think if normal people who care don’t get involved in the political process, we can’t complain when the people who are involved are crazy or extreme,” Reno-Weber said.

He’s had the seat for just a few months but has been working hard on a few things. One of the things he’s the most proud of is the Deflection Project.

“The focus is when you call 911 and it’s not an emergency,” he said. “There’s no weapons, no violence, no one’s on drugs, you can get not a police response, but a behavior health response.”

He says the solution to substance abuse and homelessness isn’t more police, it’s a community-wide system that helps people.

If he keeps his seat, he wants to continue attempting to tackle violence.

“When you look at violence through a public health lens, you start saying, ‘Okay great. When there’s an incidence of violence you need to respond to that incident. For the victim, for the perpetrators, or all the witnesses,’” Reno-Weber said. “There’s an immediate response that needs to happen. But also, we need to be looking upstream at why are so many people willing to resort to violence.”

He’s also been working on walkability, parks, and short-term rentals.

“That’s terrible for neighborhood cohesion,” he said. “It’s not great in terms of the experience of neighbors, and we really do want to be a community that’s friendly to short-term rentals not in neighborhoods.”

Election day is Nov. 7, with early voting starting Nov. 2.