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Brightside, GOP Leaders Clear Air Over Budget Memo

Leaders with Louisville Metro Government's Brightside and Metro Council Republicans have made peace after disagreeing over a WFPL news story that had the quasi-government agency reeling over possible funding cuts.A memorandum drafted by GOP members outlined their spending priorities for the city budget. The minority caucus recommended making cuts to any area which they listed as "non-mission critical" to city services. It lists Brightside as one of those areas that is "not mission critical" if cuts are necessary.Rather than making equal cuts across the board, Republican Caucus Director Steve Haag says GOP members advocate for heavier cuts in areas that do not relate to public safety.“We need to look at programs and functions that essentially if their funding is reduced or diminished, it will not be detrimental to our main goal of Metro Government which is the safety and protection of our citizens,” he says.In a response to concerns from Brightside Director Michael Seebert, however, Republican caucus leaders said the memo does not advocate for any cuts to the beautification initiative."Partnering with successful entities like Waterfront Development and Brightside will move us forward faster than we can alone," the letter reads.Republican Caucus Chair Ken Fleming, R-7, was reached by telephone, but declined to comment because he was on vacation and Vice Chair Kevin Kramer, R-11, could not be reached for comment.Haag says the purpose of the memo was to qualify the minority caucus’s approach to budget cuts and that Brightside misunderstood the information reported by WFPL."It was a perception, it wasn’t a correct perception, so basically we went and corrected that, quickly," he says. "I don’t think there was any fault with the way it was reported, some people read it one way…and it was written correctly, it just wasn’t understood the way it was written, I guess."“We sent a letter to Brightside and I think everybody’s okay now and understands where everybody stands.”You can read the GOP spending priorities and correspondence here:MinorityCaucus_Letters_FY12Priorities