Sunday, October 18, 2015
Mailer Wars '15: Barksdale dares to mention the "d" word.
You have to admire David Barksdale for leading off with a vow to "take downtown revitalization to the next level," not because it provides sufficient substance to inform us which level downtown occupies at present (seemingly fundamental if one seeks to go "next"), but because of the widely reported phenomenon of Don't Talk Downtown.
A. Contrary to old voters' tales, downtown does NOT receive disproportionate financial attention from City Hall. In fact, as I've often noted, revitalization has occurred in SPITE of City Hall, not because of it.
B. When City Hall HAS invested public money downtown, it has tended to be wrong (Doug's Bicentennial Park, Jeff's Main Street beautification), BUT even these boneheaded moves have not represented expenditures equal to the long-term costs of suburbanization.
C. AND New Albany's inner ring suburbs generally are four or less miles from the core, meaning that much of the discussion is moot, anyway.
Barksdale follows with the necessarily italicized "healthy" neighborhoods in all part of the city, and further notes the importance of business friendliness.
One wonders how Barksdale contextualizes business-friendly attitudes with Padgett, Inc., the GOP's chief downtown benefactor, and an entity than both gives and takes away: It's been "friendly" toward some of Barksdale's favored historic preservation causes, while profoundly unfriendly as it pertains to other helpful measures -- read: street grid reform.
All in all, this mailer is above average for the genre. It's an apt introduction, and the candidate's willingness to lead with downtown revitalization stands out from the pack.
If you're a progressive, who gets the nod: David Barksdale, Shirley Baird ... or none of the above?