I have been working on a new posting in which I want to cover two issues very carefully. Those issues are the Stormwater Compliance plans, and the EPA & IDEM compliance problems with the sewers, which has New Albany in a stranglehold right now.
In order to address either of these issues requires that I look closely at what has transpired so far, in terms of what decisions have already been made, what's on the table now, and what will be the end results of the final decisions, once they are made.
Most importantly, what are the choices we have concerning those decisions? Who is ultimately responsible? The Council for allowing it, and the citizens for continuing to pay for it.
Folks, I cannot stress how vitally important these upcoming decisions are to the citizens, businesses, and future of New Albany.
I have often lamented the inability of our Mayor to make good decisions.
Only, this time, I am also holding the Council Members responsible for the role they play in approving, or more like acquiescing, to the well-sold, plans of the Mayor, and the decisions such plans have ultimately led to.
(you know, this guy really should have been a salesman).
After all, Council is the City's "...legislative authority (IC 36-4-4-4) [and] makes the laws that govern the City and appropriates the city's monies."
Since "the gang of four" have taken it on the chin many, many times from other blog sites who like to blame them for everything from fiscal shortfalls to the sewage fiasco, to the decisions that were made decades before they ever entered the Political sphere in New Albany.
This time, let's take a look at the Council Members we refer to as "Garner's Goons". The ones that are just doing whatever they're told because they're not really paying that much attention anyway. They have other things to do, and they don't need this aggravation.
You know, the LEFT side of the table that chastizes the public for not showing more respect to our elected leader? After all, he IS the Mayor.
Their logic? We elected him, now we must deal with it, and show some respect... even if he hasn't earned any.
But, something always tugs at my conscience as I try to absorb their logic that the title alone denotes some measure of respect.
It's something my Dad taught me a long time ago, and it has always held true, no matter what the circumstances.
"Respect can't be demanded, it must be EARNED."
Thanks Dad. You've never let me down when it comes to good advise, or anything else for that matter.
Because of the consistency of good advise from my Dad, and the Mayor's utter lack of ability to earn any respect, I simply cannot afford any genuine respect to James Garner just because he holds the title of Mayor.
Show us some good decisions, and convince us we should put our trust in you and your 'plans' of how to work things out.
Make some effort to show us a true desire to pull New Albany out of the muck it is mired in, instead of standing there with that smirk on your face, saying, "I dunno". You act as if there is absolutely nothing to be concerned about, and you have it all under control.
Sometimes we get, "I'll have to get back to you on that". And I think we've heard a few instances of, "I'll have to check on that".
I must say, on the few occassions I've heard actual data, I find it strange that you appear to be in quite some distress when you're trying so hard to remember the data they told you to say when you are actually advocating for a particular vote.
Your head throws back, eyes are squinted, and suddenly, out comes...... yeah, your first guess is true, but what actually comes out is some idiot 'Plan' of how you've already got everything all figured out.
That's how we got Privatized Sanitation*, a Mayor as Director of the Sewer Board* (violates Attorny General's dual lucrative office holding opinion), a 'interim' Building Commissioner*, more than a handful of Lawsuits/Grievances aginst the City* (at least 7 I know of), a "Bombed Out Downtown Ghetto"* (Tribune), with increasingly deteriorating, vacant, historical buildings (many thanks to the Historical Society and everyone who works so hard to protect our treasures) in desperate need of repair and sustainment, and 2 years to acquire a Code Enforcement Officer who now can't complete her duties*, an old woman fleeing her home of 30 years due to 'Selective Enforcement'*, and on and on and on and on, etc.
What IS Garner's 'Plan' that makes him think everthings OK ?
How can he expect us to buy his "everything's OK" bulls**t?
It should be:
We MUST meet the EPA mandates and earn Sewer Credits
We MUST meet the Federal mandates of Stormwater Rule 13
These are 2 things we Must do, no ifs, and's or buts about it!
Let's do whatever we must to get these things done, so New Albany can move forward without encumbrances to economic revitalization, and make real strides in bringing beauty & activity back to Downtown.
Just show us, Jimmy, show us you would do whatever was necessary to correct Governmental mistakes and non-compliance issues in good faith and with the greatest concern for the well-being and the economc opportunities of the people who live among it.
You know the drill: The greatest good for the greatest number of people.
Your administration has been offered help in various Departments, free of charge, from private citizens who are so concerned with New Albany and its future, that they will, and have, volunteer(ed) in the Clerks Office, the City Attorney's Office, the Building Commissioners Office, and a bunch of others that I can't even remember right now*.
Yet, if the Mayor, or one of the Political 'inner circle' people serve on a Board or Committee, you can bet it's a PAID position.
This City is in an Economic Revival Stranglehold, and we have people in charge, or people who know those in charge real well, who are getting 3, 4, 5 salaries/payments from the City coffers. We're buying their cars, furnishing their cell phones, paying for their gas (no IRS mandated Log-Books are being kept), buying furniture, buying the office party goodies for B-Days, engagements, etc., and even the spring water they drink.
Hear any of them offering up any of their time for free? See any of them stand up and say the citizens should't have to pay for our mistakes?
See any of them lay down their keys, their cell phone, their gas card, when they leave work in order to help get the money it's going to take to fix the sewers, and do only what we MUST do for the Stormwater mandate, and don't let it become a monster money eater.
We really have had enough!
Council, we are begging you to think about what is right for the people who elected you and gave you these opportunities in your life.
To serve the public good.
Please, do the work you signed on to do, and take a stand for the citizens.
Don't ask us for any more money to fix what they did wrong with what we already gave.
The money is spread out among 'special' projects, and paying for things out of the wrong funds. It's all there in the audit.
The number ONE, the first thing, on the agenda for us as Citizens is to insist that things be straight again, and we start right now. Any Council Member who has what it takes to take the lead on this will be highly appreciated. Either way, the buck stops here...on the Mayor's desk.
He is responsible for this mess, and he must be held responsible for fixing it. The ratepayers and taxpayers, the residents, owned or rented, of New Albany will NOT pay again for political screw-ups.
As a previous commentor mentioned, we've already lost Georgetown along with Greenville, so the Sewer situation is only getting worse.
See what happens when you ignore the nitty-gritty going for the bling-bling?
Reel in the EDIT dollars, and put them back where they go. Stop the TIF madness, and the tax abatements, and start collecting those delinquent bills Valla Ann, a private citizen, managed to get copies of (thanks for citizens with a sense of civic advocacy).
Start doing your jobs we payyou for. Protect the best interests of the Citizens you serve. Hold the Mayor to task for the decisions he's made, the promises he's made, and the plans he's made, and ask him why we are in our present condition.
We also think everyone should take a good long look over at another blog that is working diligently to provide documents and information that helps folks see all the dots that go into making our "Connect the Dot" game we promised not long ago.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH
*More information on these subjects will be forthcoming.