Monday, December 16, 2013

Who (or what) is New Albany's "Person of the Year" for 2013?

(8:30 a.m. update: It strikes me that my own cynicism invariably colors the choices presented below. There actually may be a person, group, machine or doctrine which is positive; examples might include Steve Resch, indie business owners, the Greenway, Houndmouth ... or some such)

This idea was thrown out for discussion in 2011, and the Sherman Minton Bridge eventually was declared the winner.

We renewed the conversation in 2012. My personal choice was Bill Allen, whose stunning decision to paint his dilapidated Main Street properties was meant to obscure the plain fact that a quarter-century had passed since he did anything to improve them, perfectly symbolizing the enduring Potemkin village mentality prevailing in New Albany. A full year later, the rubble is more attractive, but it's still a ruin -- and the city does absolutely nothing.

This year, there'll be a formal vote at our Facebook page. First, we need nominees. Here's the template.

Person of the Year (formerly Man of the Year) is an annual issue of the United States newsmagazine Time that features and profiles a person, couple, group, idea, place, or machine that "for better or for worse ... has done the most to influence the events of the year."

Here is an admittedly incomplete starter list.

One way street grid ... for something that has existed for only 1/4 of the city's history, misplaced urban arterials exercise a profound grip on the waking lives of city officials. As examples from the remainder of the country illustrate the myriad benefits to be derived from city streets functioning as they were originally intended, New Albany power brokers glaze over with terror at the prospect of being contemporary and pro-active (see Our local Democratic Party below).

Horseshoe Foundation ... it converts gaming losses into funds for the social services that Erika's taxpayers eschew, does so with consummate impartiality, and never, ever deigns to interfere in local governmental affairs conducted by those officials who actually were elected ... LOL.

Jeff Gahan … love him or hate him, it cannot be denied that during two years on the job, municipal government's daily operations bear the mayor's stamp: Inward and hermetic.

Dr. Thomas Harris … the health department's chieftain fought the law, and the law won. Apparently Harris views himself as television's House, although the Indiana Attorney General views Dr. Tom merely as wrong in every single facet of PourGate. As such, Harris becomes a vapid metaphor for the bumbling ineptitude of county government.

Main Street Improvement Project … because it's important to lift property values on Main Street where the nice mansions are, and if doing so diverts more heavy traffic to one-way arterials running through Midtown neighborhoods, thus lowering property values there, then all we need to is change the subject.

Our local Democratic Party … but logically speaking, can non-corporeal bodies capture corporeal awards? Quick, someone find a theologian -- or Connie Sipes.

Bob Caesar … impossible as it may seem, Caesar upped his game in 2013, presiding over an almost entirely wasted white-bread bicentennial year that taught us little of value about the city's experience and much about the startling vacuity of the political figure himself. In fact, seldom has a local "leader" become so reliably consistent in occupying the entirely mistaken side of any given issue, especially when it comes to anything pertaining to the general concept of "urban." CM CeeSaw's Bulova Watch Time? It's around about 1938, give or take a Roosevelt administration.

Quality of Life … as we've come to grasp throughout the year 2013, it applies far more to the area around an elected officials home, and far less a short walk away. Of course, they don't walk, do they?

What do you think? Give me some feedback, and I'll arrange a short list as a poll at Facebook.


SBAvanti63 said...

Dan Coffey. Who would have ever guessed he'd be a voice of reason?

Randy said...

I would have to agree with Stephen on the choice, but not for the same "reason."