The Courier-Journal’s Dick Kaukas reports that current New Albany City Council President Larry Kochert decided not to run for re-election at least partially based on his realization that he doesn’t like “‘the way things are moving.’” While I ‘d amend that statement to something suggesting that he may not be too happy that things are, in fact, moving at all-- as in continuing the trip from the former poll in his garage out into the modern world-- I’ll not quibble with CM Kochert’s self-inflicted exile. That modern world can be wearisome to navigate and I’ll take a spot of free joy when I can get it.
What’s notable, however, is Democratic Chairman Randy Stumler’s wondering, “‘if some fresh faces isn't what the council needs anyway.’” Longtime readers will remember that NAC pointed out one of Stumler’s rare public utterances on the topic last year when, in reference to support for a Dan Coffey resolution to kill Scribner Place funding, he said, “‘It might be time for them to step back and think about why they’re Democrats and what being a Democrat stands for.’”
I’m not sure two published statements in nine months constitute a trend, but it's nonetheless some positive semblance of a raison d’être strikingly lacking in both parties and it's appreciated, particularly in direct comparison to Republican Chairman Hancock's "shredding" gamesmanship.
I can't help thinking, though, had Stumler taken a firmer stance over the past couple of years and made his feelings more clear, he may now be enjoying intensified support from a formidable group of mostly Democratically leaning activists instead of fretting over a potential Republican resurgence whose most impactful campaign tools thus far are the members of his own party currently inhabiting the right side of the council table.
New Albany is slowly getting over itself, rediscovering what it means to be “wonderfully and delightfully us”. As NAC’s senior editor mentioned before heading off to the high times of the Benelux Lowlands, the naysayers are losing and some of us are having fun. It’s free to join and, other than a few bucks for the occasional great local meal, membership dues are paid solely via a shared appreciation of possibilities.
Whether that means anything to either party is up to them. Whether either party means anything to us is up to us, but I'm guessing I'm not the only one who'll take a free spot of joy when I can get one.