Friday, November 30, 2007

Just For the Fun of it.....

I had every intention of going to The Keg's final beer tasting of the year last evening so late in the afternoon I called Rog to see if he was going to be there.

As luck would have it, he said he was getting ready to phone to inform me about Frank Thackery's retirement bash at the BBC Taproom and inquire if I was interested in going. While I've never attended IUS as a student, I've been drinking beer with Prof.'s Thackery, Sloss, Newman, and others for nearly as long as Richo's has been open so I said Hell Yeah!

I'd also never been to the Taproom so I picked Roger up at the Pub and proceeded across the river to imbibe & visit. We arrived early, grabbed a couple of pints, & commenced munching on the pizzas we'd carried over with us. Jon and Ed showed up a short time later, ordered another round and we had a nice quite visit. (I know Ed, quiet is relative)

Eventually Jake, Bob & Mindy, and the others wandered in, we mingled for a while and then elected to roam back to the Public House for another pint before going home.

Somewhere between pints two & three Bluegill and his friend Roy popped in and I knew it was going to be a long night.

Jon & Ed checked out but the rest of us remained and had one of the most enjoyable evenings I've had this entire year. It was the first time in probably two years that I've been there with Roger that late as both of us rarely hang out there at night anymore.

For me it was refreshing and reminicent of days gone by consuming great beer and conversing with friends both old and new.

Thanks guys & gals! We need to do it more often.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Celebrate, Celebrate-Dance to the Mu....!!

In spite of the many roadblocks New Albany Community Housing held its final Board Meeting of 2007 this past Monday evening and opened a bottle of bubbly to celebrate a successful year!

Celebrate you say? When all I see is a bunch of empty houses sitting on stilts surrounded by mounds of mud? What’s to celebrate?

Ahh!! You apparently haven’t been by of late! All but one of the houses in the Meadow is now in place on their foundations, the street is paved, the lots surrounding them have been leveled and grass seed has been sown!

In addition, two of the Linden Meadows homes as well as the New Home we built on the corner of 8th & Oak Streets have buyers whose credit has been approved and are scheduled to close before the end of the year!

On the human interest side, one of the prospective buyers is a single parent of four who was for all intents and purposes homeless. The five of them have been living in a two bedroom mobile home. She attempted to buy last once before but the company she worked for closed its doors and she had to start over to meet the credit/work history requirements. The same company reopened under new management, rehired her at her previous position plus gave her an increase in salary. Since then he has met all of the criteria for qualifying to this program and is looking forward to being not only a homeowner but a part of a community. We all wish her well.

Finally, the staff recently moved their office into one of the houses in the Meadow which puts them onsite to more closely monitor the ongoing refurbishment of the project, show the homes to prospective buyers, gives them room to expand staff and a place to hold first time home owner education classes for said buyers. Plus having occupants should go a long way to cut down on vandalism and we don’t have to pay rent on the facility!

The obvious downside here is this house may be the next one to sell. But what the hey? We have 20+ more to move into and out of when necessary!

Oh! I almost forgot that we have a new addition to our staff. Pat Woosley is now our Housing Services Manager. She will be in charge of the education classes and much of the paperwork involved in the sales side of things which will free John up to concentrate more on acquisitions and construction issues.

After closings all of this adds up to matching funds to buy more homes for renovation or more lots to build new homes both of which equate to an increase in the numbers on home owning taxpayers which leads directly into improved neighborhoods in our fair city.

What’s not to celebrate?? A toast to all of those who have worked so hard to make this a reality and looking forward to much more of the same in 2008.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ho Hum...Are We There Yet?....Elector Please!!

This evenings Common Council meeting was blas'e at best and boring at worst. There was no Lakota Souix Holy Man to give the invocation so the routine was followed without preamble.

Following the Pledge, the minutes were quickly dispensed with as were CF1 forms approval, Communications from City Officials, the Mayor, and Committee Reports (there were none).

Communications from the public consisted of Ted Fulmore Speaking encourage them to approve the paperwork for R-07-40 (Authorizing a Matching Grant from Preserve America), and Lloyd Wimp asking for support and passage of G-07-15 (the Animal Control Ordinance). Both of which later passed without objection. (sometimes we just get lucky.)

Also approved was R-047-38 which addressed a tax abatement for Luckmeier Industrial Mold & Machine Co., Inc. Following questions about the number of potential jobs that would result from this expansion and brief discussion of the tax implications involved, this Resolution was amended to allow five years of relief as opposed to ten as originally proposed. Miraculously, this followed the precedent that was set at the last preceding Council Meeting. ( Again, occasionaly luck prevails.)

A-07-30 (an appropriation ordinance allowing Animal Control to use a Grant they have received) and A-07-31(approval to use LRS funds for paving our streets) were passed with little to no fanfare.

G-07-16 (an ordinance concerning Garbage & Refuse) was pulled from the agenda with no explanation expressed or implied. I learned after the fact that it had been rejected by the Board of Works. (now the lucky streak is starting to scare me.)

G-07-17 was the hotspot of the evening. It was an ordinance to replace the present Sewer Board with one that meets the Indiana Code requirements. It's introduction led to as near a heated debate as we were subjected to this night. CM Coffee was flashing around in his hot little hands a 27 page copy of the specific statute and singing its praises. (he swears that he went online and secured the aforementioned) CM Kochert and Zurchmeide on the other hand were expressing caution and concern about the administration having a free hand in the appointments to said board. Following a short bit of bantering back & forth, this one also passed on the first reading.

Then came G-07-15 (the Animal Control Ordinance) which passed 2nd and 3rd readings with no debate. (by now, I've broken out into a cold sweat)

Lastly there was the Vacating of a Public Way which was dispensed with quickly.

There being no further business, thankfully the gavel dropped and my cohort in crime and I retreated to the Speakeasy for a pint or two or three of Elector! (WHEW!! that was too close for comfort!)

Sleep well New Albany, for tomorrow is another day!

Monday, November 05, 2007

And We @ the View Endorse....

Here are our picks for tomorrows municiple election;

Mayor: Doug England

City Clerk: Marcy Wisman

1st District: The Cat (See NA Confidential for further information)

2nd District: Bob Caesar

3rd District: Brenda Scharlow

4th District: Pat McLaughlin

5th District: Dick Bliss

6th District: Jeff Gahan (everyone is allowed an error in judgement on occasion)

At Large: Jack Messer, Kevin Zurschmeide, & John Gonder

A perfect slate of candidates? Probably not, but the best we have to choose from undoubtedly. With them we get a mixture of new faces complimenting the better of the existing ones.

So here is your long awaited chance blogisphere. Now get off your duffs, put your money where your mouths have been, and get to the polls and vote!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Pardon Me your Honor, But Do You Have a Clue???

Once again the old axiom comes home to roost...The more things change, the more they stay the same! Thursday's New Albany Common Council meeting played to the script verbatium.

The first item on the agenda was Resolution R-07-39 which was introduced by CM Messer. It basically stated that if passed it wouild make null and void Resolution R-07-35 which the Plaintiffs have made clear that they will not sign.

After a brief discussion in which CM Krump asked for reassurance from Council Attorney Ulrich that this resolution and its attached consent decree (which the Plaintiffs, their attorney, and three Councilmen have signed) would in effect cancel out the pending lawsuit, a vote was called for. As predicted, it failed to pass muster with a vote count of 6 Nays and 3 Ayes (those being CM's Krump, Messer & Zurchmeide).

G-07-15, a proposed Animal Control Ordinance (patterned after the one that the Floyd County Commissioners recently passed) was next on the agenda. This issue served to prove another axiom (Never say never!) as Dan Coffey and myself came dangerously close to agreeing on something. For whatever reason, CM Coffey called for amending the rules of Council and asked for all three readings of this bill to be completed at this meeting so as the Animal Control officers could get on with the gettin' on.

David Hall of the Animal Shelter approached the podium to comment and CM Gahan asked if it was vital that it be passed this evening as he (Gahan) had not taken the time to study it thoroughly. Mr Hall's response was that the sooner the better but if the Council would be more comfortable postponing the 2nd and 3rd readings until the next meeting, so be it.

The vote was called for and it passed 1st readiing 9 to zip.

Following that were two ordinances. One pertaining to vacating a right of way that had been abandoned by the city eons ago, and the other amending salaries for 2007 Non Bargaining Unit Employees.

Then came the nailbiter. G-07-14 otherwise known as the Schmidt Redistriting Plan. Again with litttle to no discussion it passed both 2nd and 3rd readings with a 7 to 2 vote with Messer and Zurchmeide voting no. CM krump voted yes with the proviso of "Don't call me after December 31st"!!

This was quietly follow by an ordinance concerning Amendeing the Code for a building project that I honestly didn't catch. It passsed 9 to 0 and there being no other business and no non agenda public commentors, the meeting adjourned.

Myself and two of my cohorts in crime made our way to the Speakeasy for NABC Elector, wings, and intelligent conversation as we disected that which we had just witnessed. The beer, food and conversation was excellent but alas our conclusions were non conclusive.

For me now the burning question is what kind of suit to buy for court. Do we all dress alike to confuse or do we we each don our individual fashion statement?

Ahh the perils of life! A courtin' we will go, a courtin we will go, high ho a merry 'o a cour......