Thursday, September 29, 2005

Gang of Four = Union Busters

What is it that the Gang of Four have against low-income New Albanians and what is it they have against unions?

They continue to demand that the sanitation department bleeding is a chimera, full well knowing that the only alternative to the mayor's plan is a 50% increase in residential fees - an increase that would severely impact widows on a fixed income, single-parent families in financial straits, and retired couples on fixed incomes.

They continue to hold out false hopes to the city's sanitation workers, leading them to believe that their jobs are safe, when it is obvious they are not "safe." But it makes a great political tool to use against the mayor. Tell me truthfully - if the mayor had come forward with a proposal to make the sanitation department self-supporting, wouldn't the Gang of Four have jumped on that with just as much vigor and obfuscation? You know they would have.

The Coffey diversionary plan to abandon downtown redevelopment to the YMCA would likely have resulted in the construction of a minimal facility. More to the point, it would have been built by non-union trades workers. What do they have against unions.

Now, they have their long knives out for the police department. My experiences with the police department have all been positive. I've listened carefully to the rational basis for the city's take-home car policies. It is a presentation all should hear. Any doubts that linger about its benefits to the city would float away. I invite the leaders (or detectives, or street cops) to explain it. They can show definitively that this is NOT a perk for the cops, but rather a rational approach to making the best use of a short-staffed police force.

Using unions as playthings and straw men, these so-called Democrats are the city's biggest union bashers and it's time they were called to account for it.

Remember it now and in 2007.

The Gang of Four
Larry Kochert
Steve Price
Bill Schmidt
Dan Coffey

...otherwise known as the right side of the room at city council. I'm a progressive. I lean left.

Monday, September 26, 2005


Thanks to Roger Baylor for pitching in during a time-sapping Monday.

Wouldn't it be grand to be discussing something good? For example, I'll bet you weren't aware of the tremendous number of folks involved in a books drive for our newest New Albanians - the evacuees from Hurricane Katrina. City Clerk Marcey Wisman, she of the apparently unspellable first name, and her staff have organized this drive for new and used books. The goal is to gather in 1,000 books for children and young adults, and another 500 for their parents and other adults displaced by Mother Nature from the Gulf Coast. Our store is a collection point and a participant in the drive, so if you have children's books gathering dust, haul them out for kids who've lost everything. An anonymous donor will match cash donations and the value of new books purchases, too, so be sure to consider that option.

Alas, talking about good news is not possible. Like a festering sore, the Gang of Four continue to infect the polity of New Albany. The recalcitrant Dan Coffey scurries like a roach from the light in the kitchen upon the revelation that his partner in obstruction Bill Schmidt illegally commissioned a public works project in the 1st District - one which coincidentally diverts runoff at the rear of Schmidt's niece's house.

Good sense would have dictated that Mr. Schmidt make haste to confess his confusion and wrongdoing. That is something he could have survived. This very real violation can be forgiven, but if Mr. Schmidt continues to insist that he did nothing wrong, it rises to obstinacy and falls under the rules of removal for misconduct in office.

Li'l Buddy Steve Price seems to have shut his trap for the moment, wondering if hitching his wagon to the Coffey/Schmidt train was such a good idea after all. Most elected officials determine to please the constituents who vote for them. Price continues to curry favor with everyone except the residents of the 3rd District. Where is "councilman3d" when you need him? In any event, it seems that the Prices and their minions have decided that the time for talk is over and have moved vigorously toward the alternative of action, collateral damage be damned.

And old pol Larry Kochert continues to spend his retirement burnishing his reputation as the biggest gossip in the political arena, crossing back and forth across the partisan line, and seeking just that one last little piece of trivia that can make his life whole.

Hey guys! You didn't think a little computer problem was going to make me go away, did you? We're still waiting on that plan you guys keep promising. Personally, I agree with bluegill that your continued yammering that "there has to be another way" is a cruel trick on our city workers.