Random notes from last evening’s City Council work session:
It was encouraging to see representation from the Floyd County Council and Board of Commissioners.
Here's one conceivable scenario: At the July 7 City Council meeting, the chosen Scribner Place bonding/financing proposal (the third, sans property tax back-up?) is passed on a first reading. On Tuesday, July 12, the County Council confirms the indication of support from the Commissioners, permitting the second and third readings at the City Council meetings on Thursday, July 21.
The vote for the second and third readings is 6-3, with Councilmen Dan Coffey, Bill Schmidt and Steve Price nay-saying, and shedding the confederacy of Larry Kochert, who is honor-bound to support Scribner Place if the county comes on board.
Or not; who knows? And, what's the county's price for co-operation?
The Coffey Plan?
It was discouraging to hear Councilmen Coffey and Kochert ask questions of the YMCA’s ever dignified Joe LaRocca in somewhat dismissive tones of voice, as though to suggest that Mr. LaRocca hasn’t done his homework on matters like projected membership fees, and is somehow intent on foisting a YMCA on New Albany that none except the culturally suspect will ever use.
Funny how the Scribner Place project’s most persistent critics occupy and abandon "principled" positions with remarkable dexterity, yet always return to unsubtle and occasionally downright bizarre hints that the YMCA’s clientele will not be representative of New Albany's populace.
Nothing whatsoever is said about the potential position of social services in general, and LifeSpan Resources in particular, in the plan for the YMCA facility.
To the vast majority of human observers, the world is a dauntingly complex place. Fortunately, New Albany has 1st District Councilman Coffey to publicly elucidate the principles of benign simplicity.
Thus, while many of us look to towns of similar size and history like Columbus and Madison to serve as models for progress, the Wizard of Westside sets his gaze on simpler and better examples of cleanliness and organization.
“New Albany can be like Birdseye,” he said last evening, as an astonished crowd listened and asked, just exactly where is Birdseye?
And why would a council member compare Birdseye to a city of 40,000 residents?
Speaking of off-kilter relationships, if you can somehow picture Bo or Luke Duke as councilperson for Brookline, Massachusetts or Boulder, Colorado, then it’s easier to come to grips with the growing disconnect between incumbent Steve Price and the 3rd District, which he purports to represent.
Councilman Price, who remains the only council member to go on record as opposing Scribner Place under any circumstances (see UPDATED: Scribner Place: Who's for it, who's against it, and who hasn't decided) in spite of widespread support for the project within his council district, expended precious few breaths during the council’s work session, but the comments he did make were devoted to further shaping his emerging No Price for Any Progress Doctrine.
The future’s coming, twanged Councilman Price last night. Health care costs are going to keep rising, and costs will go up, and lightning might strike, so who are we to try and do anything now, when hunkering down might save us from ourselves 10, 15 or even 50 years down the road?
He's an embarrassment -- but he's our embarrassment.
Councilman Price is said to be a rabid fan of Seventies rock and roll, and his unfortunate constituents hopefully “Won’t Get Fooled Again” come election time in 2007.
Meanwhile, I prefer newer tunes, like “Move On,” by the Australian rock band Jet:
Well, I’ve been thinking about the future
I’m too young to pretend
It’s such a waste to always look behind you
You should be looking straight ahead