Tuesday, July 08, 2008

As ever, the Uncouncilman is “entitled to his opinion” – just not to his facts.

Today’s previous posting: Wonderfully and delightfully us … and that’s why major surgery is required.

Tribune coverage of last night’s redistricting comic opera is on line.

New Albany redistricting proposal leads to hard feelings, by Daniel Suddeath (News and Tribune).

(Steve) Price — who voted against the measure along with (Jeff) Gahan, (Diane) Benedetti and Dan Coffey on first reading — said he was entitled to his opinion. “I won’t put it on a blog, I’ll tell it to your face,” Price said. “(Redistricting) should be a council decision.”

I’ll echo Brandon: “I thought I would go ahead and put it on a blog for him.”

State bylaws require a city council to approve redistricting measures, according to Price. He said each member should sit down to hash out a plan to eliminate any element of bias, an opinion that drew laughs from some members of the committee.

We laughed because the council already approved a plan that was rejected by a Federal judge, who ruled that the council had made a mockery of the prerogative that Price blithely references, which was something never mentioned last night by any of the four council persons opposing the committee plan, and that’s probably why NAC received this e-mail comment earlier today.

In fact, if there is a new lawsuit, I want in as a plaintiff, as I am now pissed and disgusted the way certain councilpersons treat others for attempting to help move this city forward. The committee saved the city tens of thousands of dollars and what they received in return was being accused of politics and, regardless of the fact that they pay property taxes on homes in the city of New Albany, they’re outsiders.


It’s certainly funny that the volunteer “outsiders” on the redistricting committee are characterized as evildoers by the same councilpersons who propose paying outside consultants to help them with the numbers, but of course Price has now gone on record as stating that the council could do in a just a few post-meeting New York minutes what it took the committee 30+ hours to do -- and without professional help.

One thing is for sure: Professional help is needed ... and soon.


Jeff Gillenwater said...

If someone works to ensure that an election is illegal and is then "voted" into "government" as a result of that illegal election, are they actually empowered to wield authority?

It's something a court probably needs to review but I'd think the average citizen would say no.

Interesting, then, that that's the exact position Price, Coffey, and Gahan are in.

One really interesting tidbit from last night was Gahan's suggestion that the council could just wait until after the next census to redistrict. Doing so would ensure that our next city elections would again be based on voting districts that a federal court has already pointed out as illegal.

I guess if you're going to get busted anyway, you may as well go for broke.

Christopher D said...

We as a community took a few steps in the right direction during the last election, but certain districts did not remove the pitfalls right smack in the middle of the path of change.
Until the voters of these districts are educated and understand the depth of the MISrepresentation given to them by their elected council members, we as a city will get hardly anywhere.
The only positive change in this city has been through the personal contributions to this city by the likes of Himmel, Baylor, the Tharps, etc who are not afraid to make ventures in this city, and providing a foundation for positive change.
But yet we keep putting habitual derailers in the drivers seats downtown.......

Highwayman said...


Agreed! But like all else, if said education is going to happen, we are going to have to do it or at the very least, doggedly support it!

Obviously, the "other side of the aisle" ain't gonna do it!

Larry M. Summers said...

I am doing all that I can to educate the public about what is happening within our government. I think that many people just don't understand the level of obstuctionism that occurs in the local government and once they have been educated the tide will surely shift.

Even though I am on the other side of the aisle, I want you to know that I live here and want the best for the community in which I live and work. I am for progress even though many try to preserve the "progressive" title for only a select few.

Randy Smith said...


I had the opportunity to speak (informally) with a member of the Floyd County Democratic Central Committee officer corps last week. While this person would not go "on the record," when put on the spot, the officer couldn't come up with an answer to this question:

"What does it mean to be a 'Floyd County Democrat?'"

Aisle? Say and do the right things, don't give us a reason to doubt your sincerity, show that you can think an issue through beyond one level, and there is no aisle.

I for one am not going to be enlisting in a conservative movement, but I won't look at a group that calls themselves "Democrats" if they don't espouse like principles.

It's very interesting that the Republicans have never objected to the gross inequality of the legislative districts. As a nominated candidate of that party, Larry, what do you have to say about that?

On this issue, this disrespect for Constitutional imperatives is a bipartisan thing. Neither party stepped up to the plate in 2006 when the issue was brought to the forefront. And, as a party, they haven't done so yet.

The parties in Floyd County seem to be Our Gang, and "Them People." Most of the netizens here are proud to be "Them People."

Highwayman said...

Just to be clear, when I used the term "aisle" it was intended in the sense of the phisophical differences between progress & obstruction.

I could not care less about which of the two predominant political parties one leans toward.

For my money, the two party system is the biggest component of the problems we face both locally & nationally.

I am for forward looking & forward moving initiatives that will result in the safer, healthier, more productive, and more fulfilling lives for all both short & long term.

I am also for requiring our elected & appointed officials to follow the rule of law just as we, the mere citizen on the street must do.

Hang whatever tag on it that you wish.

The New Albanian said...

I think 'aisle' was in reference to Larry's comment preceding.

Larry M. Summers said...

Just as everyone else that frequently posts on here, I am for moving our community forward rather than remaining stagnant or receding. I want our community to be a model community for which others come to learn about how we did it. I do not want to remain in this perpetual gutter that we seem to be right now.

As for whether the council should obey their constitutional and by-law mandates, I think that it is a no brainer. If they are not willing to follow the law, they should be punished just as any other citizen would be.

I was in Evansville between 2002 and 2006, for college, or I would probably have chimed in much sooner. From the numbers that I gathered, the standard deviation for the city council districts was 1659.185. The standard deviation should be less than 100 if it is to be a fair distribution, in my opinion.

I do have to say that I agree with Linda Mueller about the division of voting precincts, though. I will look at the numbers and see if I can determine a better solution; however, considering the committee spent 30+ hours, I doubt I could come up with a reasonable solution quickly.

As for the party system in politics, I agree that it is part of the problem and not the solution. I do not see why people use it as a crutch to make their decisions for them. I have gathered a following of both Democrats and Republicans because I don't care which side I'm on, as long as it betters the community.

I am always willing to hear both sides of an issue and determine which solution is the most beneficial. I hope that people see that a logical decision making process is more important than partisan bickering.

Highwayman said...


We also wish facts and logic were used in our citie's decision making.

If that were the case, this entire discussion would be moot.

na girl said...

It is good to see someone from the city, especially the urban core of the city, running for a county office.

There seem to be an awful lot of people who don't understand that the city is part of the county and that we vote for county offices and pay county tax.

Larry M. Summers said...

There seem to be an awful lot of people who don't understand that the city is part of the county and that we vote for county offices and pay county tax.

Trust me, I have noticed that while campaigning. People in New Albany often ask, "Can I vote for County Council?" I am still awe every time I hear someone ask that because New Albany is the county seat. Of course you can vote in county elections.

Oh well, maybe someday ignorance and apathy will be vanquished. But alas, as yet it has not.

B.W. Smith said...

It is far easier to agree on what needs to be done rather than on why it needs to be done. If some local Republicans want to adopt a convincing "what" agenda, I'm all ears.

Agreed with NAgirl about the city/county thing, as I have posted about before. That drives me crazy.

Larry M. Summers said...

Read my latest blog entry to see some of the "what" that I propose. If there is something that I have not covered that you are interested in, please let me know and I will tell you my opinion. If I do not know something, I will research the topic to respond with a logical response.

If you have an opinion on a certain topic, let me know so that I can determine whether or not I espouse my opinion with yours.

Larry M. Summers said...

I did some statistical analyses on the redistricting issue. They are rough but you can see them on my blog.