In 1976, baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn voided three player sales made by Oakland Athletics owner Charles O. Finley, who lambasted Kuhn as the “village idiot.”
Later, Finley sincerely apologized to America’s many villages, and amended his assessment of Kuhn to that of the “nation’s idiot.”
Meanwhile, in his clearest and most unambiguous statement to date on the topic of New Albany’s revitalization, 3rd District Uncouncilman Steve Price said last night that we should not “pack people in like sardines,” as is the case over at Louisville’s Frankfort Avenue, where presumably the numerous niche shoppers, gallery viewers, satisfied diners, all-hours coffee drinkers, job holders, taxpayers and residents of highly valued properties would pose a conspiratorial threat if they were to be somehow transported to New Albany and permitted to spend money here.
Price, a rental property owner, spent the evening enthusiastically playing to the obstructionist Luddites in attendance by joining fellow Siamese Councilman Dan Coffey in affectionately stroking the sizeable, green-tinted chip that rests at all times on Coffey’s shoulder -- the one that manifests itself in unbridled and self-destructive disdain for any human being in a position of authority who has made the mistake of being educated ... as Coffey has not.
Consequently, not content merely to oppose efforts to amend a new sewer tap-in fee ordinance to allow community housing organizations like Habitat for Humanity to receive waivers, or at the very least discounts, so as to assist these organizations in keeping the price of starter and low-income housing low, and encouraging in-fill development in blighted areas, both Coffey and Price seized every opportunity to smirk and to scoff at any and all progress in human affairs, leading inevitably to the single most preposterous utterance of Price’s bumbling, embarrassment-filled tenure in the 3rd District council chair.
We learned last night that of all the dreadful bogeymen invading Li’l Stevie’s restless dreams, none is as terrifying as the one in which New Albany actually succeeds at something more than barely maintaining the lowest common denominator used by the Prices and Coffeys of the world to measure underachievement (and determine rents).
And the whipping boy chosen by Steve Price?
To tens of thousands of people, it’s a weekly and perhaps even daily destination, a vibrant and diverse place to eat, drink, shop, spend, walk, love and enjoy some of the best that the Louisville metro area has to offer.
There isn’t a community in the United States of America that would not do whatever is necessary to have such a three-mile long corridor, one that attracts natives and outlanders alike, enhances the city’s image in tourist commentaries, pours tax revenue into the coffers, employs hundred of people – one that makes its residents and the city of Louisville proud.
And yet, to Steve Price and those of his utterly clueless ilk, Frankfort Avenue is somehow the enemy, an inexplicable collection of strange people and alien concepts to be feared and loathed owing to the incomprehensible differences, and a revitalization equation that simply does not compute -- at least when reckoned by the slumlord’s shopworn abacus.
Undisguised contempt for education – more accurately, hatred for human reason itself -- is the only way to explain why a hectoring bully like Dan Coffey continues to publicly and petulantly slur the Scribner Place project, the best hope in a generation to bring change to his perpetually degraded district.
Undisguised contempt for education – more accurately, hatred for human reason itself -- is the only way to explain Steve Price’s ongoing, spiteful jihad against every rational proposal to improve the neighborhoods that he was (mistakenly) elected to represent.
Collectively, New Albany improves only as it gets “smarter,” and there are numerous ways for the city to become “smarter.”
Ever heard of addition by subtraction?
You will, as the 2007 elections draw ever closer.