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Metro Council will select president, caucus leaders in first meeting of 2024

Louisville Metro Council chambers
Roberto Roldan
Louisville Metro Council will meet on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024.

Louisville Metro Council will hold its organizational meeting on Thursday night. Members will select a council president, as well as leaders of the Democratic and Republican caucuses.

Metro Council elects, or re-elects, its leadership at the start of each year. The president rules over all of the body’s regular meetings. Their biggest responsibility is deciding who will sit on the council’s eight committees, which vet all legislation and determine which ordinances and resolutions receive a final vote.

District 17’s Markus Winkler, a Democrat representing Anchorage, has served as president since the start of 2023. He took over the post from David James, who resigned from Metro Council last year for a job in Mayor Craig Greenberg’s administration. Whether Winkler remains president will be decided by a majority vote of the 26-member council.

Courtesy Markus Winkler
Markus Winkler

Winkler said in an interview Tuesday that he plans to ask his colleagues to re-elect him. He said he thinks he’s done a good job promoting collaboration and bipartisanship, which earned him unanimous support in his first election to the post. He said he’s also tried his best to represent Metro Council wherever he goes.

“I hope people in the public see that we are a body that is smart, responsible, deliberative and that we try to work together, wherever possible, to find the best solutions for the city,” he said.

The Democratic and Republican Caucuses will convene ahead of the organizational meeting to coordinate their pick for president and to elect their own leadership. Each caucus is headed by a chair and vice-chair.

Currently, District 7 Council Member Paula McCraney heads the Democratic Caucus along with vice-chair Cindi Fowler of District 14. Democrats hold 16 of 26 seats.

Anthony Piagentini, who represents District 19 in the East End, heads the Republican Caucus. Piagentini has been caucus chair for two years, but he’s facing removal from Metro Council following an ethics scandal involving funding he supported for a local nonprofit. District 16’s Scott Reed is the vice-chair of the Republican Caucus.

Metro Council will also select a clerk Thursday night. The clerk is responsible for organizing meetings and publishing legislation, among other duties. Sonya Harward has held that role since 2020.

This story was updated to include comments from Markus Winkler.

Roberto Roldan is the City Politics and Government Reporter for WFPL. Email Roberto at rroldan@lpm.org.