Thursday, December 11, 2008

Open thread: What are your (local) predictions for 2009?

Earlier in the week, we considered 2008:

Open thread: What are the local stories of the year?

Today, as reader Daniel Short helpfully suggested and I promised, here’s your chance to get all Nostradamus-on-us.

To set the table, here are a few random predictions from the senior editor.


City council president Jeff Gahan will relinquish his chair to Dan “Wizard of Westside” Coffey, whose shameless charm offensive in the waning months of 2008 finally bears fruit. As always, Coffey will accomplish little of substance, although he’ll be in a position to be louder about it than usual, and he’ll draw slightly more attention to himself, which of course is the real aim.

Having swapped seats, Gahan and Coffey will continue to be joined at the hip when it comes to their shared legislative imperative of defecating on the Constitution, v.v. a continuing unwillingness to redistrict. Coffey will toss the senior editor from at least one council meeting. Gahan, with one eye on the cash-engorged sewer utility and the other on the mayor, will just pretend NAC doesn't exist.

Former council presidents will remain challenged by epistemology.

Business owners within spitting distance of the new YMCA will begin to have minor epiphanies, realizing at long last that their neglected buildings suffer by comparison to the gleaming new downtown magnet, and concluding that they should uncover their windows, improve their facades, get a grip, and grab a seat on the train.

Of all the local restaurants, La Rosita will continue to enjoy the most success. Because people return to dine again and again, and because these same people tell all their friends in at least a hundred mile radius, Chef Israel and the family expands the operation.

Local McCain voters will continue to deny that race had anything to do with it.

After the budget crisis makes privatization of both police and fire departments inevitable, citizens are compelled to contract with a profusion of private companies for protection, leading to a nationally reported incident in which two private fire brigades arrive at the same burning house, are unable to decide which has jurisdiction, and eventually break into a fist fight which cannot be broken up because no one can decide which police department to call for assistance.

Attorney John Kraft, called upon to defend speeding tickets, zoning regulations, porno shops, sellers of novelty lighters, and random murder charges, responds to each with the same plea: Innocent, since all laws are unconstitutional, and can’t be enforced in New Albany without terminal hypocrisy.

Accordingly, city attorney Shane Gibson resolves to examine one ordinance per week in a desperate search to locate a single one that is deemed enforceable according to the Constitution and prevailing political will. At the year’s end, Gibson will have researched 52 ordinances and found precisely none that pass muster.

The city council will add another 52 unenforceable ordinances, and council president Coffey will demand to know why no action has been taken on any of them. His ensuing resolution will be tabled owing to an absence of information.

To assuage the criticism of taxpayer advocates like Gonepostalman, councilman Steve Price will introduce legislation requiring that all elected officials take a vow of poverty, limit themselves to 1,200 calories a day, rely on faith healing to avoid expensive health insurance, swap their cell phones for smoke signals, and begin patching their undies rather than buy new ones. The ordinance will pass.

Believing he's still in office, Larry Kochert will abstain and blame the county council.

The ordinance will not be enforced.


G Coyle said...

With the need to slash budgets owing to the global recession, the street department will finally be allowed to do what it's wanted for so long - cut every tree in the city down to save on street cleaning.

Iamhoosier said...

The Tribune(an upwardly moving newspaper)buys the Courier Journal(a rapidly declining newspaper).

The first order of business is that all reporters must live in Indiana.

The second order will be the hiring of a beat reporter for IU athletics.

The third is the firing of all athletic beat reporters for UK and UL. News stories for those schools will come from the AP.

Daniel Short said...

No progress on the Greenway project, no progress on the redistricting, no progress on the blatant rental housing offenders...but I do predict the mayor will get a seat at the table...of II Horseshoe.

Jeff Gillenwater said...

The early beginnings of a more outcome oriented, collaborative revitalization movement.

Increased focus on preexisting neighborhoods as the foundation of sustainable economic and tax revenue development.

The introduction of a two-way street conversion project.

Code enforcement experimentation.

More interest in New Albany from agencies and funders related to community development.

Larger numbers of people coming together to put an end to the ridiculous East End bridge obstructionism, including pressuring the local politicians and chamber of commerce who've been hoodwinked by their southern counterparts.

Downtown land purchase(s) as a precursor to new construction.

Incremental success in all the above and the Greenway.

Me, celebrating those successes at several local watering holes including the new Bank Street Brewhouse but probably not II Horseshoes.

Daniel Short posting a photo that actually looks like him.

Iamhoosier said...

Wow, an optimist!!

(I know, Jeff, I'm sitting in the middle)

Jeff Gillenwater said...

A little optimism perhaps, but mostly just pragmatic observation intermingled with some stubbornness. And realizing yet again that my wife is smarter than me.

I'm sure that probably doesn't make any sense, Mark, but that's what beers are for.

Daniel S said...

I live in Indiana so can I stay? Tomorrow at 4, I know what you'll be doing...cursing at the tv...