How many times during the past three rancorous years have we witnessed a member of the city council’s Gang of Four congenital obstructionists, i.e., councilmen Coffey, Schmidt, Price and Kochert, conclude an episode of passionate grandstanding with a meek abstention, and angry denial of responsibility, or much more often, an anguished cry that in the end, without the proper alignment of the stars and assistance from his handy Ouija board, nothing can be done about the problem in question?
Add to this propensity for legislative impotence the view apparently shared by all, but voiced most consistently and eloquently by the 4th district’s Larry Kochert, that for the council to take a pro-active stance with regard to the enforcement of the city’s (and the council’s) own rules is to risk losing votes, and must be pursued with caution, if at all, and the ideal recipe for self-serving gridlock is complete.
Even as we observe another groundswell of support for the idea of cleaning up New Albany’s neighborhoods, the Gang of Four is predictably silent, presumably plotting the necessary excuses for inaction, while CM Kochert himself continues to offer hints that his cherished pet project, an anti-smoking ordinance, is about to be introduced.
For someone like CM Kochert, who perpetually is terrified of losing votes, it would seem a curious move, and one guaranteed to alienate a certain percentage of the electorate. An ordinance requiring an enforcement mechanism that the councilman has been loathe to support in the past when needed elsewhere is … wait, perhaps it begins to make sense after all.
Pass another ordinance, and refuse to fund its enforcement. When the complaints come, all CM Kochert need do is commence an episode of passionate grandstanding, float an angry denial of responsibility, or more likely, emit an anguished cry that in the end, without the proper alignment of the stars and assistance from his handy Ouija board, nothing can be done about the problem.
And as always with the Gang of Four, and with the New Albany Syndrome itself, it puts us right back where we started.
There will be a city council meeting tonight. When the agenda is published, we’ll link to it here.