Friday, August 21, 2015
Council meeting recap 1: State's a trashy chain-ridden asphalt nightmare, and this sole derelict Hardee's must go!
I went to last evening's city council meeting solely because the word on the street was that Scott Blair wanted to talk about demolishing eyesore commercial properties.
In the end, the discussion about these properties was mercifully brief, and the bulk of the evening was given over to discussing storm water issues, and how we're probably never going to do what we should to begin resolving them.
Twelve years of do-nothing 8-1, 8-1 and 7-1-1 Democratic council majorities have calloused my demeanor, but Blair is a nominal "independent," and I came close to being rendered speechless last night at the notion that in a place like this where there is no rental property registration, zero rental property inspection, zoning codes in desperate need of updating (Shane Gibson said so himself), storm water problems, one-way streets -- a lengthy, seemingly endless list for a passive, leashed council with precious little on its twice monthly agenda throughout the Gahan term -- all this, and the boarded-up Hardee's on State Street inspires an immediate need for action!
Yes, it's been sitting there for a long time. But have you ever stood in the middle of the New Albany Plaza parking lot, dodging speeding Kentuckians and their cigarette butts, and looked around?
It is a depressing, soul-crushing, exurban tableau of chain stores, rutted asphalt, clamorous traffic, trash and auto-centric ugliness. There's almost nothing human about it. We slayed the fascist dragon in WWII for this?
Again: We live in what amounts to a city-wide slumlord empowerment zone, and the city council has not done anything about it -- EVER.
And the banker's offended by an empty fast-food building surrounded by acres of impermeable surfaces that -- wait for it -- bear prime responsibility for the drainage problems the council members all want to look concerned about because, yes, THIS IS AN ELECTION YEAR.
As you were ... as we ARE, which may be the ultimate problem.