In today’s Courier-Journal, we find reporter Ben Zion Hershberg back on the New Albany beat, and 1st District councilman Dan Coffey in late-season form:
Second city ambulance could return; Council to consider New Albany plan (short shelf life for some Courier-Journal links).
A New Albany councilman hopes to get the city's second fire department ambulance back on the street through the end of the year by using revenue-sharing funds from the Caesars Indiana casino.
Dan Coffey said he plans to introduce a resolution to authorize the use of riverboat funds to keep the ambulance operating.
Going back a year or more, we see that the present “second ambulance” crisis has at its roots certain budgetary and institutional hiring issues pertaining to the city’s fire department. It’s a complicated matter that NAC does not pretend to understand completely, although at November’s first city council meeting, a consensus seems to have emerged that re-examining a moribund hiring ordinance would be the best place to start in achieving a resolution.
At any rate, such junctures offer the best moments for pausing to watch as CM Coffey leaps forward to offer a handy tourniquet for wounds that usually are of his own making, or breezily co-opting the intellectual capital of others (remember his city attorney ordinance?) for his own personal gain. He'll oppose greater remuneration for city workers today, then return in a few months to propose longevity pay reform with the Coffey brand prominently featured. Like the changing seasons, the rising price of gasoline and White Castle-borne gastrointestinal distress, the default Coffey grandstand generator is an utterly predictable and breathtakingly unsubtle facet of New Albany's political life.
Given the background of the “second ambulance” issue, CM Coffey has been on as many sides of it as a cat burglar exploring the perimeter of your house for an unlocked window, and as has been the Wizard’s persistent habit throughout two self-aggrandizing council terms, the ultimate object is not so much finding a truly workable solution to a pressing problem as it is locating the best place for a temporary bandage applied with appropriate bedside manner, i.e., middle finger raised in the direction of City Hall, by the friendly neighborhood ward heeler.
In short, it’s politics as usual from the reigning Caudillo, and the New Albany Syndrome yet again writ large – to the detriment of all, but with the 2007 electoral calendar now in play, perhaps the end times draw near for our collective embarrassment.