Mayors Greg Fischer of Louisville and Jim Gray of Lexington have developed a genuine friendship and a productive working relationship that long-time observers say benefits their cities.
Both mayors were elected in 2010, both graduated from Vanderbilt University, and both are native Kentuckians: Fischer is from Louisville, and Gray is from Glasgow. They also share strong business backgrounds: Fischer founded SerVend International and co-invented an automatic ice and beverage dispenser. Gray is the former CEO of Gray Construction.
They also share an enthusiasm for BEAM, the Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement. That’s a regional economic partnership that unites the two medium-sized cities into a mega-region to help attract employers and highly skilled workers.
On a special live edition of One to One Monday night, we explored a number of issues and opportunities facing both cities, including BEAM and the local option sales tax, which both mayors want to see move through the 2014 General Assembly. I also asked them about the city of Detroit’s bankruptcy declaration, and the role of city mayors in facilitating productive race relations. Both men had interesting and compassionate responses:
You can watch the entire conversation here.