|This meme is dedicated to Pete.|
On Thursday evening, during the final city council meeting of the year, CM Greg Phipps introduced a piece of legislation dealing with rental properties, their registration and inspection.
The 30-page draft ordinance was released by the city attorney on Monday. The best possible outcome would have been for the first two readings to be approved last night, the ordinance to go into committee, and the buffed and polished final version to be considered by a brand new council some time next year.
It remains unclear from whence this ordinance came. City attorney Shane Gibson obviously wrote it. Phipps introduced it. Building Commissioner David Brewer defended it. Economic development director David Duggins watched but said nothing. Neither the mayor nor his hologram was in attendance.
Dan Coffey, who let it be know early and often that he's off the leash and ready to renegotiate his contract with the mayor, denounced the ordinance as originating elsewhere and being handed to the council without sufficient time for review.
The room was filled with rental property owners, business owners who tend to advance disingenuousness to a sublime art form, but had a very sound point: Not a word was said on the topic throughout the political campaign, and now, at the last minute, they were told of impending regulation -- something to which they're unaccustomed.
As will forever be the case when people actually attend meetings and appear angry, the council was terrified, but also had a sound point: Some of us are leaving, others staying -- so let's go watch Star Wars instead.
When it came time for a vote, Phipps quickly threw in the towel, tabled the ordinance, and added that he'd washed his hands of the exercise; it could be someone else's baby next time. There'll be a committee to explore options, to include stakeholding property owners.
Again: Was this Phipps' idea? Gibson's? Brewer's? City Hall's? The man in the moon's? No one knows, but in the end, isn't it Jeff Gahan's idea? And shouldn't he be the one articulating it?
Oh, and during Pat Harrison's comments in opposition to these rental property regulations, which we're told might have the unfortunate effect of invading tenants' privacy (somehow the laugh track stalled at this point), she offered that the ordinance would be the "beginning" of "ethnic cleansing" in New Albany.
This might come as a surprise to people in Srebrenica or Rwanda, but then again, Pat doesn't own rental properties in those places.
(Since the meeting didn't occur in Jeffersonville, the newspaper has not published coverage as of this writing. I'll link to it HERE when and if it occurs (9:05 a.m.)