TH, a first-time council attendee, was in the crowd last night. As the crisply tailored suits from Flaherty and Collins made their case for "high level" coddling, with frequent assistance from David "Our Corporate Welfare Clerk" Duggins, TH messaged me on Facebook.
If anyone is allowed to ask questions, the question or statement to be made should be that their job creation numbers have to be horribly off. He said target renter would be 50k per year. After taxes, utilities, and a rent of $1,100 dollars the person will not have disposable income to spend downtown.
I observed that the decision had been made long before last evening's propaganda exercise.
Back door politics. I couldn't comment good or bad if the complex is a good thing, but I think it would be deceitful if it was sold to the public as a job creator with a tenant target that only makes 50k, thus having no leftover money to spend. Or heck, maybe there are a lot of 50k earners better at budgeting than I was.
Numerous other broad assertions went unchallenged by council "Democrats" eager to prove the veracity of Ronald Reagan's trickle-down economics, as when Flaherty and Collins simultaneously asserted that walkability was a key to the project, but the firm is just fine with New Albany's one-way arterial street grid.
Let's hope luxury tenants enjoy the sound of 18-wheelers streaming past, mere feet from the patio constructed with only the finest building materials ... and color-coordinated, too.
With the arterial streets representing a 24-hours-a-day incessant lowering of the property values that the apartment development supposedly will increase, and the ongoing degradation of adjoining neighborhoods, where the same tumescent council endorsing corporate welfare last night displays a persistent unwillingness to tackle basic infrastructure problems ... let's just say the idea that such renters will "choose" New Albany solely on the basis of the luxuriousness of the apartments and their proximity to exclusive bocce ball courts strains credulity.
So does the view advanced by Flaherty and Collins last night that these apartments alone will attract high paying jobs to New Albany, where the absence of relevant modern infrastructure works daily against efforts to lure them, dooming us to extractive economic development models.
Hence, the likes of Tiger Trucking, whose vehicles will actively discourage those intrepid apartment occupants daring to walk or ride their bicycles.
How long after the project's completion will the fences and gates go up?
It's important to remember that Democrats are doing this. Not Republicans or oil-rich Saudis. Rather, Democrats.
If you're a local Democrat fond of asking why the working class continues to mimic chickens voting for (Republican) Colonel Sanders, it may be time for a visit to the ideological mirror, but be careful: Some of you with a conscience may find it impossible to avoid disavowing the reflection.
Finally, to repeat: Mayor Jeff Gahan was in the building last night. He remained in his office as Duggins repeated the same tired trickle-down bromides and Democrats on the council rolled over like puppies seeking a good belly-scratching. There's a question in urgent need of an answer.
What good is a mayor who maintains that the Flaherty and Collins residential development at the Coyle site is of central importance to the future of the city, but cannot walk 100 feet down a hallway to make the point himself?