Friday, May 18, 2012

City council: It isn't our area. Yes it is. Well, maybe. Someone ask Kerry Stemler what we should do, okay?

"Symbolism doesn't count? Tell that to Rosa Parks."
-- IAmHoosier, at Twitter

As usual, expecting consistency of thought from New Albany's city council is tantamount to believing the Cubs will win the World Series, or that Lucy won't yank back the football at the last second, leaving Charlie Brown (and the city) in the mud.

Last fall, Dan Coffey became an overnight paragon of localism, suggesting that two-way street conversions begin immediately so as to offset the traffic complications of the Sherman Minton closure. Now, he denounces sound barriers on grounds of them costing too much for a project he ostensibly opposes. Contrast Coffey's somersault with fellow westender Shirley Baird's principled grasp of the tolling paradigm.

Meanwhile, as ever hoodwinked by his desperate need to be seen frolicking at the respectable adults' cafeteria table, Bob Caesar claims to grasp tolling's toll, but nonetheless suckles at Kerry Stemler's teat to advocate finishing something, anything, however monstrous, and in spite of how adverse or costly it is. Caesar is able and eager to "lead" by calculating future property taxes to the last digit in order to defeat a bid to redevelop a rotting building a block away from his shop, and cares not at all to do the math on the Ohio River Bridges Project's fifty-year drain.

Also inexplicable is Scott Blair's bizarrely jesuitical position: The ORBP is not the council's brief to address, and yet he addresses it nonetheless, by voting "no." Wasn't this instance precisely one befitting the classic abstention? Note that Blair said it was not the council's place, but simultaneously, still took a side on the resolution.

One thing's for sure. This council now has openly opted for One Southern Indiana's "if tolling rape is inevitable, pass the lube" party line, and accordingly, it's now time for everyone in town to press the council as to how it intends to address our streets in preparation for the onslaught of diverted traffic. Are we to enhance our reputation as a drive-through ramp to elsewhere, or commence ordering the grid for the benefit of those actually living and investing here?

Ah, but forgive me for jumping the gun.

First and foremost, might this council attempt a definition as to what actually IS its proper bailiwick in the life of the city?

New Albany City Council defeats bridges resolution; Measure called for sound barriers in New Albany, by Daniel Suddeath (News and Tribune)

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