SOTO Ride-to-Work program so successful more dollars needed; JEDO steps up

September 13, 2018. The Topeka Capital-Journal.

A pilot transportation project helping workers get to jobs in south Topeka has been so successful that it is running out of funds, and the Joint Economic Development Organization agreed Wednesday to add $7,800 to finish out the year.

The SOTO Ride-to-Work program launched in late December to offer $5 rides from anywhere within the Topeka city limits to employees working at a number of south Topeka businesses, including Bimbo Bakeries, Home Depot, Target and Mars.

Editorial: Best decision on mental health

August 19, 2018. Lawrence Journal-World.

The Douglas County Commission made the right decision in choosing to seek a quarter-cent sales tax increase to fund the construction and operation of a mental health campus.

The county’s other options included a half-cent sales tax increase and a combination of sales and property taxes. The quarter-cent sales tax gives the mental health campus the best chance of success.

The mental health campus includes plans for a 20,000-square-foot crisis center with sobering and detoxification units, transitional housing for those with behavioral health issues and funding for new mental health services.

Douglas County to put quarter-cent sales tax for behavioral health projects on November ballot

August 15, 2018. Lawrence Journal-World.

The Douglas County Commission agreed Wednesday to ask voters to approve a quarter-cent sales tax to build a behavioral health campus and fund enhanced mental health and substance abuse programming.

If approved by voters in November, the quarter-cent sales tax will raise an estimated $4.9 million annually. That is $885,000 less than the amount needed to build the campus and fund the programming envisioned in Proposition 1, a ballot question county voters rejected in May.

Mayor, CLOUT in apparent deadlock over police de-escalation training

August 14, 2018. Insider Louisville.

Following a contentious meeting and an official rebuff from the mayor’s office, the leadership of Citizens of Louisville Organized and United Together said the group wants to meet with Mayor Greg Fischer again to hash out unfinished business over the way police handle use-of-force cases involving at-risk individuals.

At a June 22 meeting with the mayor, his staff and Louisville Metro Police Department Chief Steve Conrad, CLOUT called on the city to create an independent body to review 68 cases it said revealed a lack of consideration for de-escalation training for LMPD officers who have used force against mentally ill or drug-addicted individuals.

Mayor Fischer Won’t Meet Again With Citizen Group To Talk Louisville Police Policies

August 10, 2018. WFPL.

Mayor Greg Fischer’s office has denied a follow-up meeting with a local faith-based group addressing police de-escalation tactics, saying there’s “no need” for a meeting with the mayor or his deputy.

Citizens of Louisville Organized and United Together (CLOUT) met with Mayor Fischer on June 22, alleging the Louisville Metro Police Department doesn’t enforce it’s own de-escalation policies when it interacts with mentally disabled and addicted people.