Good Ole "Nawlbany Culture"
There is in our community a prevailing mind set that those who have had to deal with it for the past few decades have dubbed the New Albany Culture.
Like all cultures it has many facets but there are a couple that appear to be dominant in our particular case. So much so in fact that they have created a log jam against forward flow that a train car load of dynamite can’t seem to dislodge.
One scenario goes something like this. A pile of rubbish had accumulated on a vacant lot across the street from where I live. I’d tried to contact the owner but as luck would have it he'd moved Tahiti and couldn’t be reached. I then resorted to calling the appropriate city departments & officials on numerous occasions over a period of months with no results. Finally out of sheer frustration I began rallying my neighbors and we collectively decided to ascend on city hall as a group to voice our displeasure. Lo and behold the rubbish at long last got transported elsewhere.
A few months went by and a similar situation reared its ugly head in a neighborhood adjacent to ours. The aggrieved in that location heard about our success and wanted to follow suite. However in his case instead of having next door neighbors as we had, he was surrounded by empty lots & vacant houses.
Quite by chance he ran into myself and a couple of other folks from our section of turf and asked for our attendance to back him up at city hall. With much nodding in agreement & proclamations of unity we agreed that we’d be there.
Oddly enough, on the day of the event, we failed to follow thru. We later express our regrets to him with such excuses as “I completely forgot the date & time!”, “My daughter had a soccer game and I didn’t dare miss another one!” or “ I was expecting an email to verify but never received it!”, etc, etc….
Afterwards sitting on OUR front porch, drinking OUR beer, inside the borders of OUR neighborhood the conversation went something like this: “Well we Really didn’t know that guy anyway!” or “Hell, that’s five blocks from here and it really isn’t any concern of ours!” or “Old Mrs. Smith across the street from us said that guy’s daddy purposely destroyed her newly planted rose garden back thirty some odd years ago. Therefore with the age old tradition of heaping the sins of the father onto the son, he probably deserved what he got!”
The second example takes place in the hallowed halls of city government. In a city our size there are two constants that seem to have a life of their own.
The one is that when an elected (and in many cases an appointed) public official is ever unseated is a half decade after Alzheimer’s sets in.
The other is the nearly impossible chance of finding anyone who is willing to serve in local public office that is not currently or has been in the recent past, employed by, married to, divorced from, related to, indebted to, or has been in some fashion, directly or indirectly, put upon by one or more of his/her fellow public officials or their forbearers.
Therefore, still waters run deep, elephants never forget, and the Hatfield’s & McCoy’s are alive and well right here on the sunny side of Louisville.
As a result most any issue that comes before either the Common Council or the Administration is dealt with not on its merits as it may or may not benefit the city as a whole, but rather on from whom it originated. Gridlock perfected anyone??
All of this is a long boring way of saying that both the served and those serving need to grow up and act like reasonably intelligent, informed adults as opposed self centered, uneducated spoiled brats.
The alternative is to continue down this well trodden path until even Mansion Row and the Charlestown Road “burbs” look like the alleyways of Elm Street, Oak Street and the West End (to name a few)!
Take the personality differences out behind the bowling alley and settle them and let the light of day shine on bringing our city back to a place we are proud to call home.