Sunday, August 27, 2006

A Voice in the Darkness

The op-ed in yesterday's News and Tribune " Tucker: A lesson in cliche's for New Albany" is a must read for all. I could not have stated our case better although many of us have been trying months to do so.

Perhaps another cliche "perfect practice makes perfect" will come into play if we persist long enough.

In the interim, go here and read this. Well done Mr. Tucker!!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

I Have the Right To........

The bane of my existence throughout this lifetime has been the frustrating, never ending search for balance and reason in society be it individually, locally, nationally, or globally.

If we lived in a third world country where tribal interrelations still bordered on cannibalism, or in the middle east or India where religious zealotry abounds, or to bring it closer to home, in the post Civil War era of this country when opportunists took advantage of the resulting chaos to create even more strife between black & white, rich & poor, advantaged & disadvantaged in order to feed their greed, I might be able to understand this constant arrogant, self serving pettiness that absorbs so much of our lives.

However, in 21st century post World War II America, I find these behaviors to be unfathomable. Perhaps at the federal or even state level of government, there is some irrational old money sense that playing head games with other peoples monies, lives, & welfare are fair game and that the aristocricy and power brokers are justified in doing so. If that be true, and if there is a God, pray that he save us from ourselves.

At the local level though, it is ego based hypocrisy at its finest! Perhaps in the upper echelons of the political parties in Floyd County, a select few may be summoned to Washington DC for a period of time. Short of that, I've yet to see any Congressional, Senatorial, or Presidential leadership qualities in local government period! For any of them to thump their chests and proclaim any long term sovereignty over anything, save which shoe they put on first is pure arrogance and has no bearing at all on the good of the people they serve. This "he said/she said", it ain't my fault", childish horse shit was beaten out of me by my daddy by the time I was three and I thank him for it! To be fair, however, we "little people" who voted them into office are no less to blame. We did elect them after all and many of them more than once!

In events of disaster, we can actually come together for a short period of time and work together usually only out of the guilt & fear that "it could have been me!" Three days later, however, if two of us met on the street and one of us had a gallon of fresh water and the other had only two quarts of the same, likely as not we would fight to the death for one to take it all as opposed to dividing it up equally. Sadder though is in that scenario there would be a third bystander who had no water at all and the thought of sharing with him would never enter the process. After all, the disaster has passed! Abeit there are numerous exceptions to that story, the ugly truth of American society at the street level is that it is a true one and it spills over into committee meetings, water cooler meetings, and official hearing rooms all too often.

As a citizen of this country, I have the right of free speach and opinion on unlimited topics. I can however, abuse that right and while it remains legal to take a stand & make a statement, it may result in doing more harm than good to whatever cause I am promoting. And this is the crux of my personal dilemma of intelligent reason versus arrogance.

So I pose the question once again. How do we get past the individual egocentric attitudes and work together as common people with the common goal being to make our individual and communal lives better? How do we become a community? What will we leave behind that we and our heirs can be proud of? How will history judge us and the living environment we created?

Will it be something reminicent of our forefathers who created the first storefront plate glass manufacturing facility in this nation? Or will it be the slumlord kingdom that one passes by on his way to Louisville or through on his way to Ceasers?

I along with many other concerned citizens await answers to these questions.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Back To Work You Slackers!

Okay boys & girls, vacation is over! We have a common city council meeting tomorrow evening (Monday the 7th) @ 7;30PM. Come one-come all and join in the festivities!

Tis' your opportunity to see your government at work! Don't miss it 'cause there'll be a test.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

To Flush, Please Deposit------!

As sad and incomprehensible as it is, it appears that the bulk of our illustrious Common Council is once again going sit on their collective hands and do nothing of consequense to alliviate our ongoing sewer debacle.

I attended yesterdays Sewer Board meeting as well as the joint conference of the Common Council & Sewer Board that followed.

At the first, I was delighted to find not one but two sane & responsible voices in the form of board members Todd Soloman & Bill Utz. Bill I take it has been around long enough to have a real life historical perspective and Mr. Soloman is the sharpest pencil I've seen in this city's advisory boards yet. He has done his homework and comes to the table with legitimate real world solutions as far as the infrastructure problems are concerned. He is aware of the financial woes, but understands that the do nothing mode we have been in for all these decades is about to catch up big time.

My elation was shortlived however, for most of his proposals fell either on deaf ears or into the "We need to wait until after September 1st" chasm. It very quickly became painfully obvious that neither of the councilmen on the Sewer Board were into the proceedings save to defend their respective positions concerning past sins. Forward thinking was not on their agenda unless CM Seabrooks concept of reorganizing the sewer board counts as such.

The final act of their meeting was a presentation by Marc McCormick as to the current financial health of the Sewer Utitility during which he uequivocally stated the same information I heard at the last Commom Council meeting. That being the sewer departments income is too low to meet bond requirements & operating costs. The Mayor then asked him to stay close 'cause he would have to repeat it again to the entire counsel (minus CM Blevins) in just a few moments.

The second session was for all practical purposes a near word for word repeat of the previous council meeting save that Mr. McCormick was the object of their misguided objections as opposed to the Umbaugh representatives.

All in all the general consensus was "we should have had this info a year ago" and "we need more information to make an intelligent decision" and " We can use other funds from other places to fill this quicksand pit" and "The taxpayers of New Albany can not continue to be burdened with these defieciencies" and, well you get the idea.

The bell finally tolled 7PM and since there was another meeting scheduled for that time slot, this one was mercifully adjourned. Umbaugh representatives had come from Indianapoils and sat thru the proceedings without comment save to confirm a couple of figures for Mr. Fifer while he was at the podium. At the end Attorney Fifer asked the council if they had any questions for these folks.

Council President Gahan glanced once again at his watch and calmly said "No, we're fine" , dropped the gavel, and that was that.

After all is said & done, my read of the tea leaves is that, with the possible exception of two CM's, there are none on the council that have the foresight nor understanding, let alone the will, to bite the political bullet and pass a sewer rate increase period. However, that quicksand pit is growing by the moment!

So rally 'round the flag folks, 'cause we got serious work to do!!