Wednesday, February 22, 2017

SHANE'S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: Palliative, hospice, and the care offered by Hosparus.

Today I'll be departing from the polemical template, refraining from the edgy boilerplate, and getting personal.

By making sure we understand today's words and concepts, you'll also glimpse my mother Sue Baylor's relative position these days in terms of her journey through life.

pal·li·a·tive
ˈpalēˌādiv,ˈpalēədiv/
adjective
(Of a medicine or medical care) relieving pain without dealing with the cause of the condition.

hos·pice
ˈhäspəs/
noun
A home providing care for the sick, especially the terminally ill.

Here is an easy explanation.

The differences between hospice and palliative care.

Hospice care and palliative care are very similar when it comes to the most important issue for dying people: care. Most people have heard of hospice care and have a general idea of what services hospice provides. What they don’t know or what may become confusing is that hospice provides “palliative care,” and that palliative care is both a method of administering “comfort” care and increasingly, an administered system of palliative care offered most prevalently by hospitals. As an adjunct or supplement to some of the more “traditional” care options, both hospice and palliative care protocols call for patients to receive a combined approach where medications, day-to-day care, equipment, bereavement counseling, and symptom treatment are administered through a single program. Where palliative care programs and hospice care programs differ greatly is in the care location, timing, payment, and eligibility for services.

Probably most readers are familiar with Hosparus.

About Hosparus

Hosparus is a fully accredited provider of premier hospice services and one of the largest non-profit hospice organizations in the country. We are here for patients and families who choose to have the best quality of life possible until the end of life.

We offer medical care, individual and family counseling, personal care, spiritual care, bereavement services, pain management and much more.

We have been serving the needs of this community since 1978 when Hosparus accepted its first patient. This year, we will care for nearly 6,200 patients and their families in the 33 counties we serve in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

Hosparus cares for all – regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sex, sexual preference, age, handicap or ability to pay. Care is delivered through a team-oriented approach and is tailored to patient needs and wishes. Support is provided to families and loved ones as well. Hosparus supports the best possible quality of life for patients and their loved ones and is based on a caring, not curing model of care.

Now that we're firm on concepts, it's time for the rest of the story.

The Villages at Historic Silvercrest has been my mother's home since 2014. She began on the independent living floor, then went to assisted living. Earlier this year, she suffered a particularly nasty urinary tract infection on top of symptoms of dementia that have been stealthily gathering steam, and while there isn't a specifically catastrophic diagnosis like cancer, it is clear that her body is giving out on her.

Consequently, as of today mom is a Hosparus patient. She will remain at Silvercrest, with Hosparus staff coming to her. Visitors are welcome, and should inquire at the front desk as to her current location, because she'll soon be moved from the rehabilitation floor to a different room, and the destination isn't yet known. She has good days and bad. It's the way this works. She's asleep a lot, and has no pain.

During my mom's career as a teacher, she prided herself on professionalism and organization (a gene that didn't migrate to me, not one single bit). She always kept her affairs in order, and never refrained from openness and communication about her wishes at the present juncture.

liv·ing will
ˈliviNG ˈˌwil/
noun
A written statement detailing a person's desires regarding their medical treatment in circumstances in which they are no longer able to express informed consent, especially an advance directive.

In this as in so many other facets of life, the mantra for 2017 is simple: one foot in front of the other, and one day at a time.

My mom did well for a farm girl from Western Kentucky, and she's had a good life. These likely are her final days, weeks and perhaps even months; there's no way of knowing the cosmic and karmic schedule. I'm grateful for the existence of Hosparus in assisting in the transition, thankful for whatever time is left to my mother, and thinking that it's time I learned from her example.

I'll be back next week with the usual sass directed toward the usual suspects, but until then, we all have homework. Do you have an updated last will or living will?

If not, my advice is to get to it. We are.

Superlative current events panel discussion: "Brexit: An unorthodox view," with Yanis Varoufakis, Srećko Horvat and Elif Shafak.



I consider this absolutely essential viewing for anyone interested in learning numerous themes (generally) specific to the UK and the EU, but at the same time applicable to current events in America.

Yes, it's 90 minutes. I'd say it's worth an hour and a half for context alone, and recommend especially to local Democrats.

Brexit: An unorthodox view, Yanis Varoufakis, Srećko Horvat & Elif Shafak (full)

Published on Feb 14, 2017

Srećko Horvat, a Croat philosopher, Elif Shafak, renowned Turkish novelist, and Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s former finance minister, bring to this conversation an intriguing perspective. As intellectuals who know Britain well, they understand first hand the perils of nationalism, disintegration, isolationism and marginalisation. They place post-Brexit Britain in a context informed by a view of Europe and Britain from the continent’s opposite ‘corner’, sharing insights from Greece’s tensions with Brussels and Berlin, Yugoslavia’s disintegration, and Turkey’s fraught relationship with a Europe that both courts and marginalises it.

More here

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Rep. Clere indicates support for The Breakaway (women's recovery center) at 1514 E. Spring.


The topic is a proposed women's recovery center, to be established at a long-empty commercial building at 1514 E. Spring.

For some quintessential NIMBY, visit the News and TribuneHalfway house would negatively impact neighborhood.

If not 1514 E. Spring Street, then where? I always suggest Silver Hills for ideas like this, and all I ever get in response is nervous laughter.

State Representative Ed Clere has conveyed his support in this letter to Jimmy Padgett.

Jimmy,

This is Ed Clere. As a New Albany resident, I support the plan to open a women’s recovery center at 1514 E. Spring St. I am familiar with Bliss House in Jeffersonville, and it is my understanding that the New Albany proposal is modeled after that well established and very successful program, which has been an asset not only to the many, many women it has helped, but also to both the neighborhood and the broader community. Bliss House was an early asset to downtown revitalization in Jeffersonville, and the proposed facility on Spring Street would support and further New Albany's revitalization. I say this as a New Albany homeowner who lives less than a mile away and who walks past this location on a regular basis.

Thank you for your family's philanthropy in support of this important and timely initiative. Please feel free to share my comments as you deem appropriate.

Thanks,

Ed

The Plan Commission meeting is tonight, I think.

An on-line petition for The Breakaway (Recovery Home for Women).



If you support the Women's Recovery Center (The Breakaway) at 1514 E. Spring, please e-mail Mr. Padgett and let him know.

It's the snazzy new bike repair station at the Farmers Market. What will lead to it, lanes or sharrows?




They're nice features and all, though as yet we don't know exactly how much bicycling infrastructure was stripped from Jeff Speck's original grid plan owing to City Hall cowardice.

Study: Sharrows Don’t Make Streets Safer for Cycling, by Angie Schmitt (Streetsblog)

Sharrows are the dregs of bike infrastructure — the scraps cities hand out when they can’t muster the will to implement exclusive space for bicycling. They may help with wayfinding, but do sharrows improve the safety of cycling at all? New research presented at the Transportation Review Board Annual Meeting suggests they don’t ...

ASK THE BORED: "Design Is Better Than Enforcement To Make Cities Safer For Everyone."


Last week, there was a rear-guard action. I'm not here to pick on Mr. Peterson. As you can see from the minutes of Valentine's Day, the board itself spent ample time scratching their heads.




Mr. Peterson's point, as offered last week as well as an October 2016 letter to the News and Tribune, is that we can have arterial streets designed for moving traffic at unsafe (and altogether anti-social) speeds, then easily reduce these speeds through constant enforcement -- though we wouldn't want to be a speed trap, would we?

In other news, I can have my cake and eat it, too. Yet again, for the umpteenth thousandth time ...

Design Is Better Than Enforcement To Make Cities Safer For Everyone, by Charlie Sorrel (fastcoexist)

Ticketing drivers isn't the answer to create streets that are friendly for pedestrians and cyclists.

Much as cyclists might like to see bad drivers punished for their distracted driving and their bike-harassing crimes, enforcement isn't the most effective way to make the streets safer. The best way to stop "accidents" is to design better roads.

Slower cars means safer roads, and while adding speed cameras and reducing speed limits can help, nothing beats a design that stops drivers from speeding in the first place. Also, slower cars mean less injury in the case of a collision, but again, avoiding the collision to begin with is even better ...

 ... Urban sprawl, and the unchecked ingress of the automobile into every area of our cities, is clearly the problem. And better infrastructure, designed to make driving more difficult in order to make cites better for everyone, is an obvious solution. But it requires bold decisions, like the Barcelona's controversial Super Block scheme, and those decisions require a political will that is often too weak in the face of bullying from car drivers. Design may be more important than enforcement, then, but it's strong politics that will make those changes.

Hit and run.



It was around 11:20 p.m. on Saturday.

To the east on Spring, I heard the screech of brakes and the familiar sort of automotive skidding sound that often ends with a "crunch," and in fact, even though the whole sensation lasts only a couple of seconds, you're already waiting to hear the finale, which arrived right on cue, but it was more of a thud than a crinkling of plastic parts.

Then there was a pause, with spinning tires and a subsequent roar, and something went past the house at a high rate of speed. Apparently the driver met the street lamp pole with enough velocity to bend it, but the vehicle remained sufficiently serviceable enough to flee the scene.

It was just another day (night) on a one-way, high-speed abomination.

"Andrew Sullivan extols a pre-Trump past that bears little resemblance to the grotesque reality of American society."


But these rose colored glasses
That I'm looking through
Show only the beauty
'Cause they hide all the truth

Andrew Sullivan’s Delusional Dreams, by by Emmett Rensin (Jacobin)

Andrew Sullivan extols a pre-Trump past that bears little resemblance to the grotesque reality of American society.

... I am not disputing Sullivan’s anxiety, nor the anxiety of those who read his passage and identified with it. But it is a curious idea, this notion that just one month ago, “many people” did not need to think about politics at all.

Who are these “many people”? Surely they are not the millions afflicted by homelessness and joblessness and pain, the Americans harassed or murdered by our criminal justice system, or those for whom daily hunger is an inheritance. If the achievement of free society and a stable democracy is its citizens’ capacity to devote themselves to “passions” and “pastimes” and “loves,” free from “those who rule over” them, then “many people,” many Americans, have never lived in a free society in a stable democracy.

Perhaps the extent of the present depravity is reflected in the fact that even the “many people” who make up the professional and upper classes find themselves suddenly subject to the instability and malevolence of our politics, but they are the exception. The “markedly less free” nation existed long before last January, and “many people” have been living there since they were born ...

SNIP

 ... I share Andrew Sullivan’s desire to live in a nation where people are free to lead their own lives, participating in politics where necessary but confident that their interests will not collapse without their constant involvement.

But in order to achieve that desire, our immediate ambition must be more political consciousness, not less. We must continue the work already carried out by countless left organizations, from the Moral Mondays movement to our socialist parties, the difficult and often tedious work of real politics that go beyond takes and tweets and #resistance in the form of endless faith in the Democratic Party. We must organize our poor and oppressed and incarcerated, our unemployed and our exploited workers into a political class, aware that their situation is not immutable, and committed to transforming the United States not just back into the depraved caste society of decades past, but into a vehicle for common prosperity, where no citizen goes without food or medicine or shelter and no one is subject to the capricious violence of the upper classes and their laws.

The alternative is defeat, both moral and political. The alternative is barbarism.

Monday, February 20, 2017

In a disgusting sign of the times, white supremacists have landed in New Albany.


No, it isn't the American Vanguard Corporation.


Rather, it's a group briefly referenced in this Southern Poverty Law Center post. Our friend Brandon Smith saw the sheet today on Spring between 3rd and 4thand photographed it. The image appears here with his permission.

On Saturday morning, I saw one of these sheets stuck to David Thrasher's alley art between Spring and Market. Briefly contemplating my traditional free speecherism, I removed it and deposited in the nearest dumpster. Even if racists and white supremacists weren't repulsive, it remains that illegal signs are tantamount to garbage, so by definition, these sheets are garbage.

American Vanguard has a website, but I won't link to it here.

An on-line petition for The Breakaway (Recovery Home for Women).

Earlier today:

If you support the Women's Recovery Center (The Breakaway) at 1514 E. Spring, please e-mail Mr. Padgett and let him know.


There is now an on-line petition, if you wish to register support.

The Breakaway (Recovery Home for Women)

We've started this petition for people in favor of locating our non-profit recovery home at 1514 Spring St. in New Albany Indiana. This area is a mix of residential and commercial properties. We see a need for this recovery home in Floyd and surrounding counties. The Breakaway would house approximately 20 women. A recovery home is a place for addicts and alcoholics to live, work and go through a program lasting 6-9 months to begin a clean, sober life. These women will be building a firm foundation as they make their way back into society as productive members. What we are proposing is a solution to the problem. If you are in favor of the solution please sign our petition.

Thank you

If you support the Women's Recovery Center (The Breakaway) at 1514 E. Spring, please e-mail Mr. Padgett and let him know.

1514 E. Spring Street

Previously, we considered the serpentine way that good ideas sometimes meet.

Thanks to Padgett, a halfway house will front a two-way street. When it comes to social justice, ya gotta start SOMEWHERE.


If you agree with Mr. and Mrs. Confidential that the Women's Recovery Center is a good fit for 1514 East Spring Street, please consider registering your point of view. I assume that the center is to be called Nicole's Place, as previously announced.

(I am now informed that the center is to be renamed The Breakaway, and have edited this post accordingly)

Actual paper petitions are being circulated in support of the Women's Recovery Center (The Breakaway), and I was asked to reproduce one here. I have the Word file on hand, and am perfectly happy to forward it to you, BUT evidently the Plan Commission (?) meeting for preliminary consideration is tomorrow.*

Consequently, the best course of action on short notice is to e-mail your support for collating and presentation.

Just use this handy template and e-mail address: rjpadgett@padgett-inc.com

I am a New Albany resident or business owner in favor of the plan to open a Women’s Recovery Center at 1514 E. Spring Street. It will provide housing and a structured program that is based upon the successful program at The Bliss House, which is a mission of Center For Lay Ministries to facilitate the recovery from addiction for up to twenty two women at a time (maximum occupancy).

---

* I have not received a Plan Commission e-mailing since late last year. I'm sure it's an inexplicable accident.

Must read: The sooner we start talking about death, the better.

Last Wednesday was "Education Day" for my Leadership Southern Indiana class. What we saw and learned on that day have since been the source of much introspection, and now to book-end the experience is this relatively short piece from yesterday's NYT.

When I was in school, there was very little sex education and no death education. Ultimately we learned by doing, which arguably has more gratifying prospects for sex than death (there are seemingly limitless "do-overs" for the former), and yet this is small consolation when a loved one is approaching the final curtain, and the only tools in our arsenal for reacting to their needs as well as our own are fashioned from memories of heroic hack medical dramas on television.

For those inclined to religious belief, I'll concede that it has a place in the conversation. I'd merely offer that knowing how things work is different from the way they're used.

I've written too much already, so please read this essay and think about these matters. We already know the outcome, which makes the process is even more important.

First, Sex Ed. Then Death Ed. by Jessica Nutik Zitter (New York Times)

FIVE years ago, I taught sex education to my daughter Tessa’s class. Last week, I taught death education to my daughter Sasha’s class. In both cases, I didn’t really want to delegate the task. I wanted my daughters and the other children in the class to know about all of the tricky situations that might await them. I didn’t want anyone mincing words or using euphemisms. Also, there was no one else to do it. And in the case of death ed, no curriculum to do it with ...

 ... I am a doctor who practices both critical and palliative care medicine at a hospital in Oakland, Calif. I love to use my high-tech tools to save lives in the intensive-care unit. But I am also witness to the profound suffering those very same tools can inflict on patients who are approaching the end of life. Too many of our patients die in overmedicalized conditions, where treatments and technologies are used by default, even when they are unlikely to help. Many patients have I.C.U. stays in the days before death that often involve breathing machines, feeding tubes and liquid calories running through those tubes into the stomach. The use of arm restraints to prevent accidental dislodgment of the various tubes and catheters is common.

Down with the Courier-Journal's blue-bag-recycling-hypocrisy. Fact is, it's litter.

Free speech my ass: The Courier-Journal can spin this any way it likes, but it's litter, plain and simple. Why do we allow representatives of the newspaper to trash the city? I'm not sure, but perhaps the city council's forthcoming litter ordinance will take this into consideration.

















Sunday, February 19, 2017

Death to auto-centrism: "If widening roads worsens congestion then is it also true that narrowing or removing roads reduces congestion? Yes."


Undoubtedly one of the clearest explanations I've read.

Why Road-Widening Doesn’t Work ... And What Does, by Adam Greenfield (The Plaza Perspective)

 ... No longer can road widening be justified as a congestion-easing tool. Road widening lengthens commutes, increases household costs, worsens pollution, harms the economy, and, let us not forget, kills and injures millions of people globally every year. Transportation departments and politicians had the evidence decades ago and many continue to ignore it to this day. We need to make them understand.

The solution to congestion is compact development and multimodal (and sometimes pedestrian-only) streets. Wherever cars come into contact with well-designed human-scaled cities there’ll always be congestion; cars are extremely inefficient uses of space, after all, and are incompatible with great places. The question is: Do we want a lot of traffic congestion or a little?

How you can help make the New Albany Public Art Skatepark a reality.


Back in November, we asked the most important question. To date, City Hall hasn't answered it ... and so it goes, on and on forever.

An "artsy" refit for the waterfront skate park? Sure, but why has City Hall allowed it to become an "eyesore," anyway?


The Carnegie Center is leading this push, and says "There is so much potential with this skatepark, it's like a blank canvas just waiting for some love."

That's certainly true. It will be interesting to see how much of this love bubbles up from the grassroots, as opposed to being decreed down by the usual suspects. I'm hopeful, as always.

Skateboarders -- what can we do to help?

Help make the New Albany Public Art Skatepark a reality

Based on studies that have shown how investments in experiences over material objects lead to healthier, happier lives, the Carnegie Center has started looking for ways to provide art experiences, to create opportunities for people to not just passively look at art, but to get into it, to participate in its creation, and to physically engage with it. Today we are seeking your help to rehabilitate and reinvent our city's riverfront skatepark into a shiny, new skate-able work of public art -- A Public Art Skatepark.

Skateboarding’s history and culture is deeply intertwined with art and creation, which can be easily seen in skateboard graphics, clothing designs, and custom ramp builds. Even the act of skateboarding itself is a living embodiment of art and sport, of creativity and physical activity. The world as seen through the eyes of a skateboarder becomes an exercise of seeing untapped potential in inanimate objects. Providing interactive, inspiring objects for play at this Art Skatepark allows minds to creatively explore real world geometry and expand brain activity, which in turn builds a deeper understanding of the real world around us. Finding ways to stimulate people in our community, and promote physical, mental, and emotional health is our goal, and art is the vehicle we want to use to achieve that goal.

"Young people aren’t buying the narrative that they are responsible for their own misery. Instead, they’re looking at how capitalism affects their lives."


Meanwhile, the Floyd County Democratic Party doubles down on Clintonist centrism, so as to apply deep, soothing massages to local crony capitalism.

Take a sledgehammer to Gahanism, millennials. You can build it back into something that actually serves all of our interests -- even old people like me.

Millennials Aren’t the Problem, by Abdullah Shihipar (Jacobin)

Millennials aren’t destroying society — they’re on the front lines against the forces that are.

 ... More and more young people question the status quo and have turned those thoughts into a political movement, backing candidates like Bernie Sanders and Keith Ellison and joining socialist groups in massive numbers. Yet somehow, the condescending reports on young people manage to elide those facts.

For young people to live in a society in which access to education is unrestricted and free, and where everybody can live comfortably without being burdened by debt or institutional violence, we’ll need a radical restructuring of society. Rather than stocking up on participation trophies, millennials are fighting to make that happen.

The Commercial Rent Subsidy Program in Harrison County.


I suppose we outsource this to Wendy Dant Chesser?

Harrison County Economic Development Corporation is a private, non-profit organization who works with many partners in business, government, education, and other to help local businesses improve and expand, look for opportunities to attract new businesses to the community creating new jobs, encourage entrepreneurship, aid in workforce development, and help make Harrison County a great place to live and work.

Sounds like a good idea to me -- can it generate enough campaign finance kickbacks to be viable in New Albany?

COMMERCIAL RENT SUBSIDY PROGRAM

The Commercial Rent Subsidy Program was created in efforts to enhance economic growth and to help fill vacancies in local commercial buildings in Harrison County, IN.

Through creating a business plan with the assistance of an ISBDC advisor and having the HCEDC’s commercial rent subsidy of up to 50% of rents over a two year period, businesses can thrive through the startup years.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 9: Dan Coffey is less than zero without Jeff Gahan actively enabling him -- again, again and again.


LAST: Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 8: Open thread: City council meeting of Monday, February 2 (3 February 2009).

After nearly five minutes of deep reflection, following an afternoon spent feeling as though I might vomit at any moment -- such is the revulsion that the preceding chapters of New Albany's eternally recurring political "business as usual" have engendered -- I can think of no comprehensive way of summarizing the sheer toxicity of the twenty-year partnership between the faux urbanist mayor and coiled copperhead councilman, save for this Harvey "Two Face" Dent view from the Batman comics.


I don't have the Photoshop skills to do it right (heck, I don't even have Photoshop), but your imagination should suffice. The only problem is determining which half is which.

Matt Lorch, if you're reading, thanks for your service. It's small consolation that so many other victims of the local Democratic Party's rapidly declining "machine" have fallen before you, though at least there are likely to be fewer in the future, because a "machine" that must rely on the likes of Dan Coffey for routine maintenance is destined for history's landfill.

The sooner is lands there, the better. Does it really matter whether anything rises from Adam Dickey's ashes?

All the links in the series are here:

Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 1: Gavel passed and triumphant Wizard on best behavior as council meets (6 January 2009).

Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 2: Ulrich out, Robison in as city council attorney (15 January 2009).

Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 3: What The F@#* Opie? Ya Ain't Seen Nothun Yet! (16 January 2009).

Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 4: The new conjoined councilmen are Coffey and Gahan (17 January 2009).

Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 5: Did you know that humanity poses the greatest threat to the natural habitat of copperheads? (22 January 2009).

Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 6: Let's hear it from the council: Can taxpayers speak openly during their time, or does the Wizard decide who is heard? (24 January 2009).

Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 7: Hot toadstools and cold cappuccino (29 January 2009).

Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 8: Open thread: City council meeting of Monday, February 2 (3 February 2009).

Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 9: Dan Coffey is less than zero without Jeff Gahan actively enabling him -- again, again and again.

Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 8: Open thread: City council meeting of Monday, February 2 (3 February 2009).


Joined at the hip. (2 February 2009)

LAST: Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 7: Hot toadstools and cold cappuccino (29 January 2009).

These final three installments of the story (two blog and one newspaper) serve as reminders of who was willing to speak openly about Dan Coffey's misbehavior (that'd be John Gonder), and those who weren't ... or, everyone else involved, to be precise.

Neither for the first time nor the last, New Albany's elected council chose to protect its own rather than offer evidence of a pulse. The trend continues to this very day; witness the manner by which all parties involved with the Bicentennial Commission are cooperating with each other to ensure that NA Confidential doesn't see the records.

It's all the same people.

It's always all the same people.

And that's why the results -- that's right: they're always the same.

---

Live from the council chamber.

2 February 2009

The mayor is about ten minutes into his speech ... but the highlight of the night has been CM John Gonder's passionate calling-out of council kingpin Dan Coffey.

Granted, the remainder of the council sat on its hands. Yes, Coffey himself meekly thanked Gonder, perhaps because he didn't understand the Latin phrase Gonder used. It appears that no censure will be forthcoming. But Gonder did much good by not permitting the topic to be swept under the rug, as undoubtedly the default mechanism would have guaranteed.

A formal rebuke is necessary. Yet, we owe Gonder.

---

Open thread: City council meeting of Monday, February 2.

3 February 2009

Thanks to the library's newly powerful Wi-Fi signal, I was able to post live from the council chambers last night. It was slapdash, but I'm not much of a typist.

In contrast to so many previous spectacles, the meeting was professional and business-like to the point to befuddlement. It was like watching a European art house flick as opposed to an American car chase epic.

It should be noted that council president Dan Coffey appeared to have been sedated. He sat expressionless through colleague John Gonder's brilliant, dispassionate public explication of Coffey's January 15 meltdown. Coffey similarly endured my later questions about public speaking rights and Bluegill's subsequent request that the council publicly rebuke the president so as to establish a principle that remains so elusive in New Albany: There are consequences for bad behavior.

Both Gonder and NAC's co-editor correctly stated that Coffey had lied to the police about his behavior at Studio's, and Coffey did not deny it, which I plainly consider an admission of guilt, if implicit. There were witnesses, and yet the council president chose to provide the police with pure fiction.

If one lies in such a manner to the police, is this not an example of hindering a police investigation?

Isn't this fact alone grounds for the council to officially and publicly ensure its loose cannon of a president?

The point is this: Coffey obviously has been taken to school since the previous meeting, and last night, he did not contest any of the statements made in his presence. Yes, he took his medicine like an adult, and that's admirable in a limited sense.

But he did not apologize for his behavior.

He should. If he doesn't, the council should take action to police itself.

What do you think?

---

Coffey criticized for Studio’s incident (Daniel Suddeath in the Tribune)

3 February 2009

 ... Councilman John Gonder said Council President Dan Coffey’s reaction to two residents during and after the Jan. 15 meeting “crossed the line.”

Coffey became engaged with Mark Cassidy, a resident and former member of a redistricting committee, during the January meeting when Cassidy asked about council progress on forming a new redistricting body.

The confrontation led to Cassidy being gaveled down from the podium before he could read a prepared statement.

Following the meeting, Coffey and resident Jeff Gillenwater were involved in a debate at Studio’s Grille and Pub revolving around redistricting that resulted in Gillenwater filing a police report claiming he felt threatened by Coffey.

Gonder said Monday that the council president must be held to a higher standard. Coffey did not react to Gonder’s comments and he was the only council member to say something about the two events.

But Mayor Doug England mentioned better relationships between council members and the public during his State of the City address. Additionally, Gillenwater and resident Roger Baylor made statements to the council about what transpired.

Gillenwater — standing just a few feet away from Coffey — called for the council to make corrective measures regarding its president. He questioned Coffey’s take on the situation by saying the council president “reported events falsely to the police and falsely reported the events to [The Evening News and Tribune].”

But Coffey did not respond to Gillenwater’s statement either, only saying “thank you Mr. Gillenwater” when he concluded.

---

NEXT: Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 9: Dan Coffey is less than zero without Jeff Gahan actively enabling him -- again, again and again.

Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 7: Hot toadstools and cold cappuccino (29 January 2009).


LAST: Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 6: Let's hear it from the council: Can taxpayers speak openly during their time, or does the Wizard decide who is heard? (24 January 2009).

In my fifth Tribune column, I introduced the general public to the spasmodic violence of Dan Coffey's violent Copperhead Shake. It did not create an uproar, primarily because most people already knew that Cappuccino is the reaaw deal.

Elsewhere upon publication, I noted in passing ...

As for the Coffey Agonistes piece today, all I ask is that anyone planning on attending Monday’s city council meeting ... please bring a video camera.

As stated previously, I plan on using the full five minutes of my non-agenda speaking time to offer a heartfelt homily on something or the other as yet undetermined. It will tug the heart, tease the brain, induce laughter in the gallery and offer the council president the irresistable opportunity to gavel me away from the podium and exact his revenge. It would be nice to have such a moment captured on film and displayed prominently on this page.

In fact, for so long as Coffey’s latest outrage goes publicly unaddressed by his trembling political peers, I suggest that as many of us as possible attend and be prepared to speak. After all, there’s no such thing as too much information, is there?

Eight years have passed.

Has anything changed, Pat?

---

Hot toadstools and cold cappuccino.

29 January 2009

Truth is stranger than fact.
-- Grandpa Jones, “Hee Haw”

During the first city council conclave of 2009, Dan Coffey was elected as president against token opposition, which is to say none, these vital matters commonly being determined in back rooms that formerly were smoky, before the health fascist jihads of the present era, and with words like “democratic” and “contested” seldom required as modifiers.

Coffey represents the 1st council district, which he congenitally insists is ignored by the city’s power elite. Unsurprisingly, he has never explained why nine dynamic years in office have not brought about certifiable gains to his neighborhood. This strange absence of progress may have something to do with Coffey’s own council-side manner … but I digress.

As president, Coffey succeeds 6th district councilman Jeff Gahan, himself a three-time wielder of the magic gavel, and to whom Coffey was joined at the political hip for much of the latter half of 2008, presumably owing to an alliance of expedience on the part of otherwise disparate political entities, both transparently desirous of a larger stage upon which to perform, sharing a stubborn impatience with those who display the impudence to object, and harboring the potentially catastrophic belief that one can manipulate the other.

In essence, Coffey is council president because Gahan finds it useful, and while Gahan perhaps believes that Coffey genuinely has something to offer the city, he may also have acquiesced with Machiavellian intent to position Coffey for a damaging fall. Either way, the events of Thursday, January 15 are sufficient for us to question both Coffey’s suitability for office and Gahan’s political judgment.

Considering Coffey’s boorish and unstable behavior at the conclusion of the meeting, first inside the council chamber and then later at a local licensed establishment, the admonition recently scrawled above the decaying urinals at the Luddite Bar & Grill is sufficiently prescient to apply to Gahan:

“Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.”

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Full disclosure compels me to proudly acknowledge that both Mark Cassidy and Jeff Gillenwater are longtime friends, the latter joining me and others as plaintiffs in the redistricting case mentioned here. Furthermore, it should be noted that I did not personally witness the events described, although I’ve spoken to individuals (other than the preceding) who were there.

That said, it is hardly in keeping with established council protocol for Coffey to imperiously jeer and then abruptly terminate the well-intentioned efforts of a fellow citizen – a fellow taxpayer, no less – to address the council during the public speaking period allotted for comments on non-agenda items, a periodically entertaining feature added to the biweekly agenda for the express purpose of giving people the opportunity to, yes, address the council.

Hectored citizen Cassidy came before the council and waited patiently for the opportunity to read a prepared statement and ask a simple question: Does the current legislative aggregation have any intention of doing its Constitutional duty to draw fair electoral districts by lawfully redistricting for the first time since 1992?

Cassidy, a non-partisan volunteer on the redistricting committee formed by the council last year at the behest of a federal court judge annoyed by the council’s sloth, politely endeavored to ask this question, but Coffey – whose job description presumably includes an obligation to uphold procedure and decorum – argued with Cassidy and gaveled him down, reverting to the serial distemper that Coffey oddly believes his fellow New Albanians should view as statesmanlike.

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But flagrant abuses of authority are seldom confused with statesmanship, and now we must contemplate the latest in a series of red flags warning New Albanians that the voices emanating from Coffey’s interior political world plainly render him unfit for office.

Coffey inhabits an eerie Hieronymus Bosch landscape filled with mysterious conspiracies, withheld information and unfathomable daily slights emanating from people and ideas he cannot begin to grasp, and he comprehends only two poles of reference: Himself, and the enemy – or “them people.”

Accordingly, the story resumes after meeting’s end with Coffey's verbal and physical harassment of another, entirely different citizen in Studio's, the fine downtown eatery and bar on Main Street.

There, surrounded by witnesses numbering at least one fellow council member and various other public officials as well as ordinary pub patrons, Coffey initiated a heated discussion with Gillenwater that ended with Coffey aggressively grabbing Gillenwater by the shoulders and vowing to be “like a copperhead” and to “strike when you least expect it.”

In case you’re wondering, here is the definition of assault:

A crime that occurs when one person tries to physically harm another in a way that makes the person under attack feel immediately threatened. Actual physical contact is not necessary; threatening gestures that would alarm any reasonable person can constitute an assault.

It is incredible, shameful and indefensible. New Albany’s council president refused to permit a citizen to speak during the time allotted for it, and then both verbally and physically accosted another citizen in a public place. Is there any better example of the New Albany Syndrome than Dan Coffey’s skewed perspective of “leadership,” as manifested by these lamentable outbursts?

Aren’t they primal screams, not the sagacious deliberations of a paid public servant?

Can any member of the council excuse Coffey’s bad acting?

Can any of them deny that he continues to make New Albany the laughing stock of the region, thwarting the efforts of so many people to invest in the city’s future and revitalize the municipality?

Can any council member refute that Coffey’s most recent meltdown tars each and every one of them with the same degrading brush?

How can Coffey’s fellow council persons sleep at night knowing that they have empowered him with an office that he is unable to exercise responsibly?

I’m thinking of one of them in particular.

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NEXT: Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 8: Open thread: City council meeting of Monday, February 2 (3 February 2009).

Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 6: Let's hear it from the council: Can taxpayers speak openly during their time, or does the Wizard decide who is heard? (24 January 2009).


LAST: Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 5: Did you know that humanity poses the greatest threat to the natural habitat of copperheads? (22 January 2009).

Let's rephrase the question for 2017: Can taxpayers speak openly during their "agenda" and non-agenda" council time, or does Pat McLaughlin decide who is heard?

It's a trick question, because McLaughlin doesn't make decisions without the approval of his wet nurses. More on that in a later installment.

For now, it's enough to know that among the many points of order shared by Jeff Gahan and Dan Coffey, prime among these is an all-encompassing aversion to dialogue. It's why Coffey screams at council speakers, and also why Gahan rarely emerges from his command bunker.

It's also worth recalling that throughout this period of time in early 2009, Gahan and Coffey constantly reinforced each other by upholding the principle that if citizens don't stand for public office, they aren't the sort of citizens who merit engagement in the courtesy dialogue.

How dare mere taxpayers take an interest in redistricting?

You think Trump invented totalitarian knee-jerks? Gahan and Coffey just might be receiving residuals from The Donald.

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Let's hear it from the council: Can taxpayers speak openly during their time, or does the Wizard decide who is heard?

24 January 2009

My memory is hazy as to when the city council agenda was altered to include “miscellaneous communications” at meeting’s end. An admittedly cursory glance at archived minutes suggests this “non-agenda item” speaking time first appeared at the beginning of 2007, although I persist in thinking that the topic came up earlier than that.

It is a recurring feature of council meetings – in fact, of most if not all political discourse, here or elsewhere – for elected officials to pay lip service to the principle of honoring and serving the taxpayer. Naturally, this brings up the side issue of why only taxpayers are eligible for service, but the point remains that of all the conceivable ways that a councilman might observe this dictum, sitting quietly and listening for five minutes while a taxpayer speaks to the assembled body strikes me as the barest of minimums.

As was made clear last Thursday, Dan Coffey cannot even achieve the bare minimum when it comes to the notion of free and open speech for the taxpayer, although the current council president has never hesitated to reference his obligation to the taxpayer during the act of filibustering, grandstanding or scratching the anti-intellectual itch that feeds his all too frequent, apparently uncontrollable frenzies.

As I’ve pointed out on numerous occasions, it isn’t as if Coffey’s totalitarian impulses have never before been witnessed. Back in 2005, when for the very first time I decided to make comments during the public communications portion of the meeting, Coffey interrupted me, disagreed with me, and hectored me from his seat near then-president Gahan … who sat passively upon his gavel.

Almost four years later, this time as the council’s president, Coffey treated Mark Cassidy in precisely the same way. Not only did Gahan – Geppetto to Coffey’s Pinocchio – again sit silently, but so did the remainder of the council, many of whom subsequently have suggested that Coffey’s behavior disturbed them.

My question to the council: If so, and when confronted by damaging loutishness, why sit passively and do nothing?

Those members of the city council who are not animated by vendettas, and who are capable of comporting themselves with the professionalism and dignity demanded of those who have been elected to public office, are sorely in need of a reality check. Each time that Dan Coffey embarrasses the council without correction or rebuke, he is, in effect, branding the council’s “product” – and the image he is giving the product, whether the council’s image or the city’s itself, is tantamount to the consumer’s reaction upon encountering a jar of peanut butter with the words “now with salmonella” printed boldly on the label.

Geppetto apparently likes his creation just fine, although why is a mystery for the ages, but for the remainder of the council, it’s time now to lead and to do something, not merely be content to wave blank sheets of Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement stationary at the ogre and say, “don’t let it happen again, or we’re going to do something!”

Do it now, and send a message to the people in this city who genuinely are working toward a better future that you actually get it.

Beginning on February 2nd, I intend to avail myself of miscellaneous communications time at every opportunity. As a taxpayer, and in consideration of the council’s own speaking policy, I will be approaching the podium with the expectation of five uninterrupted minutes in which to enlighten our elected representatives on a wide variety of topics. I may read from the phone book, or quote passages of HL Mencken’s on the subject of political cupidity. Perhaps a verbatim run-through of my latest column will strike me as appropriate, or a recital of a previous meeting’s minutes.

I may even have my five-minute appearances filmed, and post them on YouTube.

The question: Is this my right as a taxpayer, or isn’t it?

We know how Dan "Copperhead" Coffey would answer this question … but what about the other council members, whose stock plunges further with each passing day of inaction?

"Peace" in our time ... or finally doing the right thing?

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NEXT: Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 7: Hot toadstools and cold cappuccino (29 January 2009).

Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 5: Did you know that humanity poses the greatest threat to the natural habitat of copperheads? (22 January 2009).


LAST: Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 4: The new conjoined councilmen are Coffey and Gahan (17 January 2009).

In January of 2009, my short-lived Tribune column began its run. It was suspended in 2011, when I ran for at-large city council. I was defeated in the primary, and while then-editor Steve Kozarovich had promised me the column would resume, by the time the election was finished, CNHI had merged the Tribune with the Evening News.

Goodbye, column. Cue the excuses, and pass the Astroglide.

At the time, I was determined to write a column about it, and to Kozarovich's credit, it went through after a rewrite. It's hard to imagine today's milquetoast management group having the cojones.

Most of us understood that Dan Coffey's abuses would be swept under an already tattered and stained carpet. Looking back, it's depressing to see that we also plainly grasped the Groundhog Day scenario to come. Jeff Gahan may not be the only New Albany politician to "use" Coffey's services for his own benefit -- although he's the most shamelessly and egregiously serial about it.

In 2017, we see it yet again.  

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Did you know that humanity poses the greatest threat to the natural habitat of copperheads?

22 January 2009

I’d like to link you through to today’s Tribune coverage of the events of last Thursday evening, when the president of the city council did what comes naturally, which is to say he reacted to the themes of a discussion by getting physical, likening himself to a venomous snake and vowing to strike when least expected, but of course Dan Coffey denied all wrongdoing when questioned by the police after a report was filed, which means that in the end, Coffey did the very same thing that he claimed gravely offended him when our friend Jeff Gillenwater noted aloud that Coffey was lying, although in deference to the councilman’s skewed vocabulary, I prefer to call it the daily practice of willful mendacity, but you’ll have to wait until the story appears on-line to draw your own conclusions.

It hasn’t appeared yet, but when it does, I’ll patch you through here.

Earlier I wrote that last week’s incidents (let’s not forget Coffey’s cowardly and inappropriate gaveling of Mark Cassidy during non-agenda item public speaking time) would form the basis of my Tribune column today. I wrote the piece and submitted it, but after conferring with the publisher, the column has been saved for another week pending suggested revisions. You’ll hear no disagreement from me. They’re the journalism pros, and if I don’t learn something from the experience of writing a weekly column, it isn’t worth my time to give it a try. I’ll rewrite. If I can run the piece there, I will. If not, I’ll run it here.

The one thing I will not under any circumstances do is to refrain from shining as bright a light as I’m humanly capable on councilman Coffey’s congenital political obstructionism, on his habitual bullying of those with whom he disagrees, on his misconceptions and misunderstandings, and on the simple fact that insofar as he is able to pose (incorrectly) as the face of New Albany, it is a repugnant and self-defeating image for all of us, in his district or out.

Dan Coffey makes us all look bad, and I’m not willing to accept it without dissent. We can only hope that the council, and perhaps even Coffey’s patron Jeff Gahan, gets the memo. There are good people serving on the council, and if they are truly serious about their roles, duties and legacies, they will remove Coffey as council president. His actions constitute bad faith. His actions have humiliated the council numerous times in the past, and they did again last week.

Does any sitting council member really believe that it won’t happen again in the future?

One, maybe two … and that's a sad commentary on prevailing standards of decency.

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NEXT: Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 6: Let's hear it from the council: Can taxpayers speak openly during their time, or does the Wizard decide who is heard? (24 January 2009).

Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 4: The new conjoined councilmen are Coffey and Gahan (17 January 2009).


LAST: Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 3: What The F@#* Opie? Ya Ain't Seen Nothun Yet! (16 January 2009).

Following is a draft, never before published, and untouched since it was written on January 17, 2009. I haven't changed a word.

Two years later, I supported Jeff Gahan for mayor. He told me what I wanted to hear, subsequently reneged on every promise, and in retrospect, I can only plead insanity given the verdict below, which has been amply demonstrated throughout the years since.

Here's the unpublished analysis from so many years ago.

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DRAFT The new conjoined councilmen are Coffey and Gahan.

Thursday evening's city council meeting is summarized by the Tribune's Daniel Suddeath:

NEW ALBANY CITY COUNCIL: Promotions for two still in limbo after 4-4 vote

Too bad I missed the coda, during which Dan "Wizard of Westside" Coffey flagrantly abused his new position as council president by jeering citizen Cassidy during non-agenda speaking time, gaveling Cassidy down, and in short, reverting to the serial boorishness and unconcealed instability that preceded last's year's charm offensive prior to the backroom deal with former council president Jeff Gahan that gifted Coffey with the council leadership in return for the support that the Wizard has been providing for Gahan's emerging Machiavellian tendencies.

Yes, CM Gahan will eventually learn that when you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas, and seeing as both of them harbor ambitions for higher office, it will be fascinating to see this alliance play out, but this story goes further than that -- past the redistricting venom at the end of the meeting, to Coffey's verbal and physical harassment of another citizen afterwards in Studio's.

Pay close attention: Coffey is the president of the city council, and in effect, Gahan placed him there ... and the president of the council has taken it upon himself to threaten and bully a private citizen with whom he disagrees. It isn't even the first time that Coffey's true nature has emerged in such a context. Note that in the past, before he was president, Coffey once looked at me during a council meeting and mouthed the words "I'll kick your ass."

I'm quite sure he would try, because he can't respond to the written word in anything remotely approximating an equal footing with me, and owing to that knowledge of inadequacy, violence real or imagined usually is the result of the disparity. However, Coffey has been Coffey for so long that his most recent ill-tempered outbursts seem little more than par for the sad, degraded course. Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, and Coffey gotta dispense malice. In some ways, its a yawner ... unless, of course, you're the one actually being threatened by an elected official who apparently didn't get the memo and doesn't think that human decency -- not to mention rule of law -- applies to him.

We'll see about that, but in the meantime, remember: Jeff Gahan has a plan, and as part of the plan, Gahan would like us to believe that Coffey is best suited to lead the city council. Think about that. Don't forget it. Does judgment get any worse than this? Plain and simple, Gahan currently is an accessory to what happened Thursday night, both at the meeting and after it.

Contrary to what both Gahan and Coffey have spluttered in recent months, an ordinary citizen is not precluded from participation in the local political process unless he or she decides to run for office. That's transparent nonsense, and both of them know it, although it provides a few valuable insights into the depths of the proclaimer's character.

Mark Cassidy was not a part of the redistricting lawsuit, and became involved only after a judge ruled that the the council needed to (a) do its Constitutional duty, and (b) do it correctly. Cassidy then became a member of the committee formed to come up with an equitable plan, one that both Gahan and Coffey had no intention of honoring. Cassidy studied hard, and volunteered considerable time to do what the elected public officials refused to do even after a judge instructed them to do it.

So, you see, this really isn't about Dan Coffey. It's about Jeff Gahan.

I've used this space dozens of times to ask publicly that Jeff Gahan tell us exactly what his secretive game plan for New Albany is. We know he believes that scofflaws like Coffey are useful to further his own personal ambitions, hence the imminent need for flea powder. We've seen him scoff at the equal protections of the Constitution so often that it's appears to be a personal grudge against the system of government he's been sworn to uphold. We've seen the senseless, divisive and time-wasting anti-smoking jihad, which was staged primarily with the mayor and the mayor's office in mind. We've seen the ongoing refusal to put an end to indefensible sewer subsidies extracted from economic development monies that should be used as intended.

I won't pretend to be anything but confused and saddened by Gahan's free-fall into the outer reaches of the dark side. He always seemed like someone who was reasonable, but now, only question marks remain, and they're multiplying by the day. Now, I can't run against Gahan for council, both because I have neither the time nor the interest in the job, but also because I don't live in his district.

However, my business is located there, and given that I'm not feeling well represented at the moment, it is well within my sphere of interest to consider the legal establishment of a fundraising mechanism to raise money for candidates of either (or both) parties who will undertake to oppose Gahan in the next council election cycle.

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NEXT: Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 5: Did you know that humanity poses the greatest threat to the natural habitat of copperheads? (22 January 2009).

Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 3: What The F@#* Opie? Ya Ain't Seen Nothun Yet! (16 January 2009).


LAST: Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 2: Ulrich out, Robison in as city council attorney (15 January 2009).

The second council meeting of 2009 was when the Democratic Party fix hit the fan, as Dan Coffey tactlessly shouted down a speaker during public input time ... but the Wizard was just warming up for the main event to come at the now defunct Studio's.

I missed it all. It was the time of intense build-out for Bank Street Brewhouse, which debuted in March, so Friday coverage of the Thursday evening meeting was provided by the late Lloyd "Highwayman" Wimp.

Lloyd had considerable potential as a writer; he wasn't trained in any respect, but harbored excellent instincts when it came to a juicy story. Unlike so many purported reporters, there wasn't a question Lloyd wouldn't ask.

We miss him.

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What The F@#* Opie? Ya Ain't Seen Nothun Yet!

16 January 2009

Here it is, the middle of the week, the predicted coldest night in recent memory, there’s nothing of consequence on TV, and y’all still elected to be couch potatoes when you could have attended one of the most entertaining New Albany Common Council meetings to date.

It started out harmless enough. Our resident mail carrier took to the podium to say he felt the Council had better things to do with its time than deal with a Resolution in support of HR676 (a US House bill concerning universal health care).

After all, the city of New Albany has no influence on the Beltway Boys so why waste the time.

At this point a non-agenda item was raised in the form of a council committee report from the housing/code enforcement threesome. (make that a twosome as CM Price abstained from officially signing the recommendation.)

Steve's reasoning was that he disagreed with a sentence that seems to hold rentals to a higher standard than us lowly homeowners as it pertained to enforcement.

As a side note, Pat Harrison & her entourage of landlords presented CM & Committee Chair John Gonder with a copy of said recommendation prior to the meeting. The mystery of that is according to Gonder himself, he had not presented said report to any Council Members prior to tonight’s meeting. Strange indeed!

Then in the Communications from City Officials slot an employee from the City Controllers office took a stand against A-09-01 which would give a raise in pay to two Non Bargaining Unit employees who work in the Utility Billing Department.

It seems they have inherited the billing duties from EMC as it pertains to Storm Water, Trash, & Sewer bills as those has now been brought back into the Cities venue.

She was followed by one of the two affected employees who pled their case for the increase after which the fun began in earnest.

Carl then stood in the absent Mayor’s stead and proceeded with a detailed explanation of England’s surgery, (good thing I didn’t eat before), recovery, therapy, and remorse for not being at tonight’s gathering.

He was going to elaborate even further but Council President Coffey took the floor and exclaimed that while the Council and the audience were concerned about the Mayor’s well being, it was not necessary to give a blow by blow report at each & every gathering.

He went on to request that if the Deputy Mayor had any further official city business to discuss to get on with it.

I went blank for a few seconds but as I recall Carl offered a report about the insurance monies received for the Tabernacle Building, the FEMA funds forthcoming from Ike, the city’s resolve to address code enforcement based in part on the committees recommendations, and his assurance that Mayor England would give his State of the City address at the next meeting.

With that we moved into “the meat of the meeting” per President Coffey.

Resolution (R-09-01) to support the aforementioned HR676 passed with a vote of 7 for & 1 abstention (CM Gahan).

Ordinance A-09-01 amending Salaries for Non Bargaining Unit employees garnered a 4 to 4 vote. At this point Pres. Dan conferred with Council Attorney Stan Robison (oh! Did I forget to mention we have a new attorney?) who ruled that a tie vote on first reading amounted to a failure to pass.

Next came Z-09-02 to amend the Zoning Classification in a portion of the West End of our fair city. Upon a recommendation from Zoning and Planning it passed with an 8-0 count on first reading.

There were two more ordinances on the agenda but one got tabled (again) and the other I blanked out on (again). Even more evidence that attending one of these events stone cold sober is hazardous to ones health!

Then came the first round of the Headliner of the evening ie; Non-Agenda Items! Our good friend and comrade-at arms Mark Cassidy took the podium to ask this council to consider the US Constitutionally mandated redistricting of New Albany’s voting districts.

If you’ll recall, the previous Council’s prime objection was that action had been initiated without having first requested that they (the Council) do their duty. Mr. Cassidy was merely attempting to abide by the Council’s wishes by bringing it forward again.

However President Coffey was going to have none of it. He cut Mark off in mid sentence explaining that in these dire times there were much more important issues facing New Albany.

He furthered that the previous Council had indeed passed a redistricting plan that met the State statute and that was the end of it.

Not one to be ignored, Mark respectfully asked if he could at least finish his remarks. Coffey nodded in the affirmative and Mr. Cassidy began again.

At this point the new Council Attorney began to dress down Mark about events concerning this subject that occurred back in 1999. Apparently Mr. Robison had been sitting in as a substitute for then Council Attorney Henderson on the evening that this subject was broached and afterwards had been berated in the media and elsewhere for his action/inactions during that event. So tonight opened up an old wound and he came out like a wounded pit bull.

To his credit he later in the evening apologized to Mark for his outburst and seemed genuinely remorseful for his actions.

President Coffey took over where Stan left off and began to look like the Dan we’ve all come to know over the years. Mark tried several times to finish his statement but in the end he was gaveled down and the meeting was adjourned.

We all took a deep breath of WHEW! Damned glad that’s over without bloodshed!

But is was not to be for Round Two was just over the horizon!

I hurriedly guided Mark out the door to the elevator and into the cold night air. We proceeded to Studio’s for our regularly scheduled Council Meeting Afterglow. We ordered a coupler of beers and were pleasantly surprised to see our very own Bluegill and his compatriot Roy stroll in.

We began to impart a report of the gathering to them and who walks in but Coffey, Gonder, Robison, & Carl Malysz!

Dan apparently hadn’t had enough and the discussion began anew with gusto!

It wasn’t long until Bluegill got involved and he & Coffey got nose to nose. The volume rose, the faces got red, threats got hurled and then slowly something close to a tone of reason began to return.

Almost all present exchanged their views on the subject and although no agreement was reached there was no broken glassware, no blood on the carpet, and no 911 calls.

Dan left, Stan again expressed his remorse to Mark, we ordered another round and collectively discussed the variety of still unresolved issues before us.

In the end it was a toss up somewhere between definite lines being drawn in the sand and a no harm/no foul street ball game.

Sure does make one wonder what the future holds though. So grab a season ticket and enjoy the festivities.

Hell they’re FREE!

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NEXT: Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 4: The new conjoined councilmen: Coffey and Gahan (17 January 2009).

Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 2: Ulrich out, Robison in as city council attorney (15 January 2009).


LAST: Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 1: Gavel passed and triumphant Wizard on best behavior as council meets (6 January 2009).

The more things change, the more they stay the same: Having engineered the 2009 council presidency for Dan Coffey, Jeff Gahan joined Coffey in swapping city attorneys.

Relevant for 2017?

Coffey, undemocratic Democrats "win" as Lorch ousted from city council attorney position.


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Ulrich out, Robison in as city council attorney?

15 January 2009

WTF?

I didn't attend tonight's meeting, but Lloyd just phoned, and evidently Jerry Ulrich has been displaced as city council attorney by Stan Robison.

I'll let the Highwayman provide the rest of the story in due time, but he also says that during non-agenda item public speaking time, Robison and council president Dan "Wizard of Westside" Coffey took ex-kingpin Jeff Gahan's place in publicly urinating on the Constitution v.v. a request to consider redistricting.

Whooo-eee. Stay tuned for a fuller report.

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NEXT: Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 3: What The F@#* Opie? Ya Ain't Seen Nothun Yet! (16 January 2009).