New Albany's city council meets tonight, and yet again, it has quite little to do apart from housekeeping. The sole agenda item is this:
A-10-13 Additional Appropriation From EDIT/Riverboat Fund Matching Fund Of Fire Department Grant For Fire House Vehicle Exhaust Systems (Coffey 1&2)
Fortunately for the Fire Department, it's an appropriation and not a non-binding resolution, meaning that 6th district council representative Scott Blair can take part in discussing it, thus earning his pay.
Unfortunately for the rest of us, CM Blair has yet to reply to an e-mail I sent him on November 22, repeated here in full.
Please consider this your opportunity to clarify what happened last night. I refer you to the last sentence of WDRB's coverage of the meeting: "One council member abstained, and Scott Blair was the only council member to vote against the resolution."
As a council regular, I know that in the past, you have at least prefaced such an instance with an explanation, but last evening, you did not. That's one problem; the people in that gallery are not regulars, and are not aware of your casuistry. A second problem is the casuistry itself, and the nature of your way of expressing opposition to resolutions. As I put it in the blog:
In essence, if a resolution strikes Blair as unsuitable for voting, he'll say so aloud (curiously, not so last night) ... and proceed to vote against it.
But how can either a yes or no vote be viewed as an expression of Blair's rejection of voting? Both are votes. As others before me have cogently noted, Blair's only coherent option if he wishes to express the view that he should not be asked to vote is to abstain from voting. Consequently, each time Blair has publicly diddled his 'I shan't vote' principle, he has followed not by abstaining, but by voting -- in each instance, as again last night, by voting no.
In turn, this means that far from expressing principle, he is in fact choosing a side. History will record his vote, not his objections.
Frankly, I find this very troubling. As far as the outside world is concerned, my 6th district CM (where I own property and a business) has voted AGAINST an expression of principle (that word again) opposition to tyranny. A leftist like me gets it. Ed Clere gets it. What are you trying to say here? I guarantee that the majority of NABC's 70 employees are going to have a very hard time grasping your stance here -- and HJR-6 has just a bit to do with economic development, doesn't it?
Surely you do not support HJR-6, and surely, you'd like to elaborate on this for my readership.
And yet it's never too late to set the record straight.
We'd be delighted to publish a statement from CM Blair explaining the vote and the nature of his objections to resolutions of the sort considered last time the council met. This might be a dialogue, and a means to achieve greater understanding. You might even refer to transparency as a non-brainer.
But: It takes two to tango. NAC's got the ballet slippers on. Let's dance.