|You might say I departed from my notes. That's the mayor, shimmying.|
(Sorry, Dale, but don't worry. I kept some in reserve)
In tonight's New Albany Housing Authority candidate forum, I used my time to remind folks that there are places in America where the Democratic Party somehow recalls its commitment to help working families through engagement with issues like income inequality, affordable housing and the living wage.
I promised to listen.
Jeff Gahan then spoke about the importance of spending millions on Main Street beautification because residents there needed "something special," seeing as traffic "was moving 60 miles an hour."
What an indelible disconnect it was.
I also had time to repeat an anecdote that was included in a recent column.
When we first moved into our neighborhood in 2003, the prime topics of discussion were the lack of ordinance enforcement, the absence of rental property registration and inspection, and dangerous one-way streets. 12 years later, at a neighborhood association meeting held just two months ago, the exact same unresolved problems were still being decried ... and the breakdown of office holders during this 12-year period, by party, has been 87% Democratic (three GOP council terms and one Independent).
Oops. I may have struck a nerve.
New Albany mayoral candidates seek to separate themselves, by Daniel Suddeath (N and T)
... "I don't see the local Democratic party being the sort of entity that's prepared to lead us" into the future, Baylor said.
After the forum, Floyd County Democratic Party Chairman Adam Dickey said local Democratic candidates choose to focus on positive changes such as education, good-paying jobs and building stronger communities.
"Some candidates have an established record of name calling and ridiculing those that disagree with them," Dickey said. "That's not being a serious candidate."
Note that as we explore the parameters of seriousness, the Democratic Party chair has an non-elected seat on the Redevelopment Commission, where he has been a reliable vote for the mayor's ruinously expensive TIF-financed capital projects.
To Dickey, political shenanigans like this are perfectly acceptable; not only "serious," but perhaps even boilerplate, but because I've continued to shine a light on conflicts of interest like this, he now finds that I'm "not being a serious candidate."
I take this as a high compliment.
Did I mention that party chair persons won't be given such appointed sinecures during the Baylor administration?
It was a classy event, and I thank Bob Lane and the NAHA staff for the evening.