Part 3 of 4.
NA Confidential believes that CM Dan Coffey, while indisputably eligible for the post of city council president by virtue of a measurable pulse, is fundamentally unsuited for this position of visibility and responsibility, owing to what Thomas Jefferson once referred to as a “long train of abuses and usurpations,” ones that we have assiduously documented throughout 2005.
We propose to emulate Jefferson’s method of presentation by listing these examples of unsuitability, organized quarterly and in chronological order, as we have reported them here.
The viewpoints expressed in this series are entirely ours, and all quoted passages in the series were written by The New Albanian, unless otherwise attributed.
Unfortunately, many hyperlinks to local media sources have become broken during the months since the original publication dates, and while this is infuriating from an archivist's perspective -- the Courier-Journal's inconsistent articles-for-pay policy and the Tribune's web site revamp are to blame -- it simply can’t be helped.
As always, and subject to NA Confidential's procedures, reader comments are welcomed.
July 1: Mass exodus to Birdseye; little people evacuate New Albany in search of cleanliness, lower educational standards.
Councilman Cappuccino’s provisional city government totters on the brink of dissolution today as dozens of New Albany’s littlest “little people” continue to flee the city in wee droves.
Miniature convoys of little cars, little RVs and little motorcycles, most piled high with little suitcases and little boxes, have barely been noticed streaming in the general direction of tiny Birdseye, where the doomsday Brambleberry sect’s leader, Councilman Cappuccino, vows to establish an exceedingly small government in exile.
CM Cappuccino, spotted yesterday at Big Lots buying Guatemalan tinned bologna, past-date bottles of KC Masterpiece and crates of orange Kool-Aid, blames pointy-headed book learners and ever changing cultural standards for his present political plight.
“I know all about funding the Gap,” snapped CM Cappuccino, “because that’s where my kids want to go and shop, and I tell ‘em look, Wal-Mart’s fashion line is just as good.”
July 6: UPDATED: Memo to City Council: Sweep aside the mistakes of the past and approve Option #1 of Scribner Place (Phase I) financing.
For reasons that remain hazy amid the unchecked, ward-heeling grandstanding that perpetually defines his daily political performance, Councilman Coffey has at various times spoken both for and against Scribner Place, stating last week that it “has to happen,” but at the same time informing the Courier-Journal that he doubts it will do any good in assisting economic development.
And yet, ever attuned to the surreal, the always opportunistic Councilman Coffey first scattered these conflicting signals the way that your dog putters around the yard, diligently marking territory, then immediately scrambled to reposition himself as the second coming of Neville Chamberlain by waving his blank notebook and offering a compromise plan that would “save” Scribner Place in our time by privatizing it before it was built – thus negating its very reason for existence, and doing so before the first nail is struck.
Because nothing from nothing still leaves nothing, Councilman Coffey's plan was politely applauded and subsequently yawned out of the room, freeing him to return to his favored leisure time activity of Byzantine plotting in preparation for his next political campaign.
Unfortunately, the saga doesn’t end with Councilman Coffey's barbecued bologna.
July 7: In an historic vote, New Albany's City Council approves Scribner Place project, option #1.
In a long, tense and occasionally strained session, the council approved Scribner Place bonding according to the first option, with the so-called Coffey Plan never entering into the picture.
Councilman Jack Messer spoke eloquently for the majority (6-2-1, with councilmen Coffey and Price opposing and CM Schmidt bizarrely abstaining), challenging New Albany to succeed.
July 10: From fireworks to politics, an unusually bountiful Sunday Tribune yields much for consideration.
While obstructionist Siamese Councilmen Dan Coffey and Steve Price anchored the “no” vote at last Thursday’s meeting, and CM Bill Schmidt incomprehensibly abstained from going on record, CM Larry Kochert used his time to pontificate on the nature of political cooperation between city and county … and a more counter-productive, belligerent sermon it would be difficult to imagine.
July 14: City contemplates plans to finance Scribner Place "on its own"; Kochert's "fair share" to join "Coffey Plan" in history's dustbin.
Appropriately, rebuttal column inches are provided to 1st District Councilman Dan “Wizard of Westside” Coffey, who reprises the immortal Hee-Haw “gloom, despair and agony on us,” lyric, and the 4th District’s “Slippery Larry” Kochert, who repeats that he is inalterably opposed to what he’s clearly for unless the people he detests come forward with a love offering like the ones at Mullah Goebel’s anti-porn church.
August 1: NAC says: New Albany's City Council should approve the appointment of Jack Messer as interim ordinance enforcement officer.
We recognize that nothing good comes easy when the guest list includes the likes of Councilman Cappuccino, and that this refreshing appointment, which ranks alongside looking both ways before crossing the street in the lexicon of monumental no-brainers, might well be a struggle.
That's because it just wouldn’t be New Albany if rumors weren’t already swirling to the effect that the city’s usual troglodyte’s arsenal of accumulated grudges, political paybacks and plain mean spiritedness will coalesce into a witch’s brew of entropy, and result in Messer’s rejection.
If such a repudiation actually does occur, New Albany will be taking a major step backward into the primordial “business as usual” slime that the past months have gone so far toward erasing from the city’s battered self-image.
It’s easy to see that as one of the council’s emerging thinkers and doers, CM Messer is ripe for rebuke at the hands of certain of his reactionary colleagues on the council, primarily those comprising the intellectually vacant, nay-saying Gang of Four, whose obstructionist tendencies over the course of previous months have nonetheless failed to stymie a mounting series of victories for those New Albanians capable of acting – of believing – in the future tense.
August 1: Profiles in abject and supremely petty moral cowardice: CMs Coffey, Schmidt, Price & Kochert publicly urinate on code enforcement in NA.
And CM Seabrook was very close behind them, saying he's all for Jack Messer, but he just doesn't like the numbers involved.
Pathetic, all the way around.
Flash: City Council's obstructionist Gang of Four orchestrates the humiliation of CM Jack Messer as a craven "payback" to the administration for Messer's prominent role in the pro-Scribner Place vote, thus depriving the citizens of New Albany of the single best choice to initiate the enforcement position.
And they did it in the least dignified way humanly possible, by refusing even to second a motion to vote on the matter, a vote that would have gone against Messer owing to Seabrook's decision to suddenly become engaged in the police department's budgetary process and CM Bev Crump's absence, but would have forced the Gang of Four to register their chickenheartedness for the sake of posterity -- which is going to judge these four very, very harshly.
Which, in part, is because we at NA Confidential intend to write the history book.
And these four rarely read, much less write.
CM Coffey, refusing to second the motion to vote on Messer's nomination to the post of ordinance enforcement officer, commented, "I'll wait for Bev to come back and do it for him."
August 2: UPDATED: Councilman (oink) Steve Price for (oink) ordinance enforcement (oink) officer.
Last night, Dan Coffey, Bill Schmidt, Steve Price and Larry Kochert informed the citizens of New Albany that they don’t give a ward heeler’s damn about anything other than the “business as usual” politics that the eldest three have practiced to the outright detriment of New Albany for a combined six decades of encroaching squalor, semi-literate nonchalance, probable venality and fewer truly sensible and creative solutions to the city’s problems than might be expected to emanate from the combined wit and wisdom of the furry denizens of the county animal shelter.
August 3: When it comes to words, a chamber pot is as good as a Ming vase to a blind councilman.
Consider this a challenge to any of the aforementioned "public" servants to answer one or more of the following essay questions, in writing, for publication (sans editorial alteration or comment in their original format) in NA Confidential.
1. Explain how summarily rejecting the best-qualified candidate for ordinance enforcement serves the future interests of the city of New Albany.
2. Explain how the manner by which you did so is something that can be associated with adult behavior, as opposed to juvenile snickering, bickering and nose picking.
3. Explain why, apart from your deceptive public pronouncements to the contrary, that you feel threatened by effective ordinance enforcement, in that an emerging culture of accountability will take away from your vote totals, and why you shouldn’t be castigated for permitting such self-serving interests to interfere with cleaning up the city.
4. Explain why it is that councilmen who have served for so many years still somehow don’t know where to find the information they incessantly and whiningly insist is being denied them.
5. Explain what motives are served by an ongoing, institutionalized petulance on the topic of county participation in the Scribner Place project, other than to offend the very people you seek to influence, and to substitute the cheap thrill of a self-fulfilling prophecy for the verifiable gains to the community of tangible success.
Note: As you know, Pam Badger subsequently was appointed to the OEO position by Chief of Police Merle Harl, and she has done a fabulous job.
August 9: UPDATED: Big Party in Tiny Town – NA’s lunatic fringe shifts focus to the best garbage pick-up bid, while retaining its monopoly on fatuousness.
The worst team in the history of baseball, the 1962 New York Mets, managed to win 25% of its games.
In like fashion, every ward-heeling demagogue reeling from a steady series of crushing defeats, who sees his political future turning ever cloudier, eventually has his day. So it is that at this evening’s special gathering of the New Albany City Council, it would appear that CM Dan Coffey finally succeeded in forcing an investigation into something.
An investigation into what naturally matters far less than winning a round for the first time in recent memory, so we’ll be good sports even if he isn't and congratulate the councilman in taking the first step toward bringing his imaginary city hall ogres to heel.
For those just tuning in to this latest chapter in the struggle for New Albany’s future, we should note that conspiracy theories, class-induced constipation and simple, unvarnished envy constitute the lifeblood of the city’s “no progress at any price” faction of unreconstructed Luddites, who look to people like Dan Coffey for unscrupulous populist leadership in the same way that hormonal lemmings make for sheer face of the nearest cliff.
August 15: Save Our City? Of course, although it would help to recall that the first rule is “don’t harm the patient.”
For all the insensible clamor, and all the violent rhetoric, and all the bile, spite, envy and simple mean-spiritedness running rampant, there has yet to be conceived or introduced any semblance of a plan or a strategy with which our persistent opponents of progress propose to move New Albany into the 21st century.
Neither from CM Dan Coffey, nor from CM Steve Price, although Coffey has a plan to surrender, and Price remains allergic to cell phones and other visible signs of the modern age.
August 18: Council's "Gang of Four" massing on the border of civility; attack against the 21st century expected by nightfall.
Ah, the savory legislative plat de jour … and out from the barbecued bologna kitchen to be reheated for the umpteenth time.
Ignore for a moment the precedent being sought by this maneuver, which in essence is the freedom to break a contract by nothing more so than whim.
Rather, recall that our local political dysfunction grows best in the fertile soil of chaos -- and it all makes sense.
Not unexpectedly, it’s back to the culture wars for New Albany, with the obstructionist lunatic fringe seated to the right remaining determined to hoist the Scribner Place straw man at every opportunity so that it can be pelted with Luddite brickbats, meanwhile ignoring the most simplistic of municipal cost/benefit analyses as though such a concept were written in Sanskrit.
English is challenge enough.
Aside from the random biochemical reactions passing as deep thought amongst the luminaries of the Gang of Four, Scribner Place and the Great Sanitation Debate of ’05 are and have been wholly separate matters, should remain wholly separate matters, and would not be an issue at this juncture in the least if not for the indisputably malign influence of New Albany’s four-headed Mt. Rushmore of ineptitude.
August 19: Councilman Cappuccino threatens to stop the engine of New Albany ...
... unless he gets the keys to a gleaming new public toilet like this one, so unfairly located on the city's northside, and well away from the district the councilman has worked so hard to keep poor.
August 23: 3rd District’s CM Price: “I’m chasing nickels and dimes/ While the rest of the world passes me by.”
It’s a sad day when the council’s Gang of Four has become too numbingly predictable to satirize, but at some point the pervasive mediocrity of these time-serving obstructionists simply must be allowed to stand on its own lack of merit.
August 24: Newly appointed OEO begins work as the hunt for spare change continues.
A team of volunteers headed by 3rd District CM Steve Price found five more nickels and two dimes in a Crown Royal bag hidden beneath a loose cement slab behind the City-County Building.
CM Price and "concern taxpayer" are demanding a full investigation.
August 29: "Those nickels and dimes are ours," growled the councilman.
CM Price, shown here exploring a sinkhole at the base of Brambleberry Knob, has unearthed a rusty Prince Albert pipe tobacco can with 14 nickels, 8 dimes and 3 quarters, adding up to a record haul of $2.25.
Unfortunately, the desperately needed pocket change may not belong to the city owing to the sinkhole's location in the boundary area between city and county.
Floyd County councilman and finance minister Larry McAllister has offered to arm wrestle CM Price for the booty, saying "we've got trials to pay for."
But fellow city councilman Dan Coffey believes CM McAllister is mistaken, and that CM Price's hard-earned find is his to keep -- for donation to the depleted city coffers.
In a party line call, Coffey told reporters, "it just goes to show that they didn't need cell phones, ordinance enforcement or city courts back in Prince Albert's time, and neither do me -- I mean, we."
August 30: Commissioners to host Scribner Place extravaganza this afternoon as Luddite ox carts converge on Hauss Square.
Accordingly, by astutely bribing 1st District Councilman Dan Coffey's chief advisor, Lucky Elmo, with a bottle of MD 20/20, NA Confidential has obtained a carbon copy of CM Coffey's internal memorandum for this afternoon's meeting.It has been edited for legibility.1. Resend Scribner Place ordinance (not air mail - too expensive).2. If they won't resend it, move to put it on the table for all to see.3. With handy Dick Tracy gear, burn it ... FIRE! FIRE!!!
August 31: Blogger NA Girl points the way to a "Council With a Vision."
Meanwhile, CM Dan Coffey’s barbecued bologna and fellow Siamese CM Steve Price’s whining nickel-and-dime defeatism continue to embarrass New Albany regionally.
September 7: Floyd Commissioners board the Scribner Place bandwagon, with County Council expected to follow; investigation demanded.
No matter. Mayor James Garner is quoted as saying he is “pleased” with the decision, while noting ominously that he will “have to discuss the county funding with the City Council,” virtually guaranteeing another encore performance of the Obstruction Chorus by the members of the New Albany Men’s Luddite Glee Club, a..k.a. councilmen Dan Coffey and Steve Price.
"We can't do nuthin', we don't know nuthin', and everyone should be like us," crooned the solo tandem before a packed house of six sewer-obsessed trogs who chanted "no progress at any price" on cue and showered the stage with nickels and dimes after the final encore.
Coffey's and Price's Welcome to the Open Air Museum Tour is expected to last through 2007.
September 11: UPDATED: The Trib's Chris Morris asks and answers a vital question.
(By Jeff "bluegill" Gillenwater).
Like it or not, the Mayor has done his job and offered a workable solution to a problem that’s plagued the city for years. The City Council, despite the predictable yet utterly fruitless reactionary grandstanding of Dan Coffey and gang, has yet to bring anything to the table that helps the sanitation workers or the city at large, let alone both.
If you’re not helping either constituency, whom are you helping beside yourself?
September 22: UPDATED: Did you hear the one about the golf cart?
Mrs. (Kay) Garry’s dispassionate, concise and detailed explanations of the reality of city finances yet again deprived the inevitably pontificating CM Coffey of the Category Five wind required to inflate his considerable gills, leading to the garbled Cappuccino back-peddling that is as much a necessary part of city council meetings as gasoline is to the internal combustion engine:
“We really don’t know how much of what is being spent.”
September 30: Educated vs. non-educated society, and why CM Coffey isn't likely to read this posting.
Universities are confined to the sports page ghetto, and Indiana University Southeast seldom makes the cut when it comes to education news in the Tribune, an omission that handily reinforces the notion that a high school education is sufficient in today’s job market, and college is an institution one watches play ball on television -- and, as (David) Brooks explains, the facts indicate that this simply isn’t so.
And who can forget the night that Councilman Dan Coffey disparaged reading, in public, during a council meeting?