Saturday, April 19, 2014

Answer the question, John Rosenbarger: Can Jeff Speck's ideas work here, or not?

Jeff Speck was in town this week to take his first detailed gander at New Albany's antiquated, Caesar-Standard street , and I was reminded that at several junctures during the past six months, planning Machiavellian John "Just call me Gail Wynand" Rosenbarger has been given credit for connecting Speck with the city.

In a literal sense, I won't dispute it, although button-pushing is a display of manual dexterity, nothing more.

When it comes to the bigger picture, recent months have amply illustrated Rosenbarger's decades-long double public life, in which he constantly assures the progressive-minded of his victimhood at the cruel altar of politics, whilst at the same time tightening the vise of political cruelty through inaction, and appeasing unreconstructed Heavrinites by doing next to nothing to align New Albany's infrastructure with a contemporary world.

If Elvis were to return, he'd no doubt say to John Rosenbarger, "A little less conversation, a little more action please."

Rosenbarger would reply with a stream of the usual vacuous nonsense, and endorse another paycheck, and those two bicycle lanes on Spring Street would continue to run in the same direction down a one-way arterial street, from nowhere to nowhere, uncontrolled traffic actively discouraging their use, with Rosenbarger eager to cite them as proof of his achievements.

Which, of course, they are.

I'm reminded of a February chat between Rosenbarger and a city resident, reported to me after the fact amid much head scratching and puzzlement. Paraphrased, the conversation was reported as such:

1. Dude (Rosenbarger) talks a lot, says nothing. I was there to get/share info about using a
public space. He thought it was really important that I know what all his kids are
doing, for some reason. That was the first hour.

2. In order to get back to the streets/sidewalk topic, I brought up the Speck
presentation. Rosenbarger then launched into a lengthy diatribe about how something
like that could never work here. Geez, what a negative guy.

Rosenbarger's appearance at the FAN Fair followed much the same script, including open public doubt as to whether what he is paid to do, can ever actually be done in this city.

It begs a rather obvious question:

Then why pay you at all?

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