The King is Dead...Long Live the King!!
Well it's officially over! The gang of four is now one and a half; (ooops, make that two!)
The call to order came at precisely 1600 hours with an admonition by his majesty that the meeting be short, sweet, and to the point as he had houseguests coming in from afar.
Without ado the Right Reverend Donnie Blevins gave the invocation followed by the pledge of alliegence and roll call. Suprisingly enough, all nine members were present even though it was prior to the dinner hour (or was that happy hour?) Which reminds me, CM Coffey arrived at his post without his ceromonial stainless steel mug!
CM Blevins then took the floor to apologize to the council and public for his unprofessional behavior at the previous council meeting. He acknowledged that it was an emotionally motivated outburst and that he regretted losing control. His apology was noted and council President Kochert thanked him for his efforts.
This was followed by public comments at which time Mr. Randy Smith came to the podium in support of the commendable work that Haven House has done for New Albany's less fortunate and encouraged the Council to support those efforts with (God forbid) an outlay of cash!
At this point resolution R-07-45 was introduced by CM Zurschmeide to provide funding in the amount of $50 K to the afore mentioned. Discussion followed in which CM Coffey was in agreement with doing so and CM Zurschmeide was reluctant on the grounds that the monies may be confiscated by the IRS for delinquient payroll taxes instead of going to the needy in question.
City Controller Garry confirmed that if (and only if) she received a form from the IRS instructing her that any contributions submitted by the city were to to be forwarded to that federal agency, she would have no legal recourse but to do so.
This was countered by Ms. Anderson of Haven House stating that as of now, the IRS was working with them to resolve their situation and that issue was not currently a reality.
CM Price then began an interrigation of MS. Anderson concerning the organizations finacial management since 1999 from figures that he got from who knows where. Most of his objections were based on staff pay increases over the past several years that Ms. Anderson denied.
At one point she got frustrated enough to ask Mr. Price if he had ever turned down a pay raise as a Councilman. His reply was " No, I deserved every penny I got in this job."
Ms. Anderson finally conceded that New Albany was free do as it wished and if after twelve years of caring for this cities homeless with no help from us, she was (relunctantly) more than willing to send them back here for us to deal with when Haven House was forced to shut its doors for good!
Council at long last elected to appropiate $5K to the project with the promise to revisit it in January. Some of the residents of that facility then came forward to thank the Council for keeping them from loosing their children for at least another 30 days!
Next on the agenda was an increase in salary for the Mayor & the City Clerk for next year. After being assured by the City Controler that there was no legal reason not do as long as it was done prior to December 31, 2007 this also passed with a 6 to 3 vote.
G-07-20, an ordinance to amend the Sewer Board was tabled until 2008 by CM Gahan.
All that was left was G-07-19 (the redistricting Ordinance) and after a discusssion period in which CM Blevins questioned Councils attorney concerning its legality, it also passed with a 6 to 3 vote on 2nd and 3rd readings.
And so it is, December 27, 2007. The end of an era in New Albany's history. Dare we hope for the next four years to be more progressive?
Happy New Year 2008!!!