Speak Out Loud NA

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Back to Work

There are so many issues facing our city, and the people who live within it, that we cannot afford to waste any more time playing ugly, juvenile games.
This effort will be revitalized and returned to its original intent by continuing to discuss pertinent issues that are facing us in our daily lives.
How can we lose sight of all the things that have been bringing more and more people out to the city-council meetings these days? Why are people in this city asking more questions, and wanting more answers? Why is expecting accountability from our elected officials a bad thing? Why are we being treated as though we are the enemy?
Look around at all the “For Sale” signs up and down every street. Every one represents another family that is pulling up roots because they are unhappy or dissatisfied with something about where they are living.
Is it the neighborhood, the neighbors, or the city as a whole? Perhaps something else altogether, but it IS something that is taking them away.
At least some of these folks who are moving are families who have been residents of New Albany for decades, but have now decided that life must be better elsewhere. Better, safer, cleaner, cheaper, fairer.
And what a shame that we can just stand and watch as they leave. A shame that we know that another home will likely become another rental, or another meth-lab, or another dilapidated structure that brings the word “blight” home to every neighborhood.
What do we do to stop the out migration of friends, family, and neighbors? How do we convince them, or even ourselves, that this city is still worth fighting for? How can we expect that things will change if we don’t change our attitudes?
We need the fighting amongst ourselves to stop, and the fighting for a better quality of life to commence.

88 Comments:

  • CITY OF NEW ALBANY NEEDS TO SPEND PROPERTY TAX MONEY ON: (1)Pave Our Streets: Our cars are being torn up by potholes and street cracks. Dangers on Daisy Lane as the shoulders are all broken off and you run off into the ditch. (2)DRAINAGE: Homes are being flooded and yards torn up from flooding. People of New Albany are crying for help with drainage to save their homes and furniture. Our cries fall on deaf ears in New Albany. (3)GARBAGE PICKUP: Sanitation Dept. is in the hole about $4.8 Million Dollars as of December 2004. We pay a garbage fee monthly. Recycle items are seen tossed in with regular garbage and we pay an additional Recycle fee each month. How can New Albany climb out of this sinking hole? (4) DEMOLITION OF TRASHY HOUSES: The former Administrations had a list of trashy houses to be torn down. They helped clean up NA by tearing down those houses. This Adminstration seems to have shredded that list of Trashy Houses.

    By Anonymous Concern Taxpayer, at 1:21 AM, June 14, 2005  

  • We need ordinance enforcement, but you can't enforce the ordinances without using some of the money to pay for enforcement.

    The government needs to invest in infrastucture that makes the city a better place to live for families in this day and time, things like Scribner Place and Cannon Acres.

    If you do these things, the tax base will get bigger, and the money will come to us - we won't have to raise taxes.

    By Blogger H.L. Mencken, at 8:12 AM, June 14, 2005  

  • We need a Fire House to cover the West End Area.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:39 AM, June 14, 2005  

  • It's too bad CM Kochert screwed up the drainage fund. If I lived on Clark St., I'd be calling for an investgation of him.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:07 AM, June 14, 2005  

  • How did Kochert do this?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:18 AM, June 14, 2005  

  • I hope none of you voted republican. The state gop is taking away the money. You know what we say - a working man who votes Republican is like a chicken votes for colonel sanders.

    By Anonymous Proud Democrart, at 9:55 AM, June 14, 2005  

  • UNSAFE HOUSES--The City administration is
    ignoring the need to clean up the unsafe and trashy houses and buildings. It is
    scary to see children in Louisville dying due to fires in unsafe buildings. We need to protect the children in New Albany by
    demolishing those trashy houses. Mr.
    Building Commissioner---where are you?
    There was a demolition list of houses to be torn down. What did this administration do with that list?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:18 AM, June 14, 2005  

  • To h.l. mencken: I am sure that your intentions are good, but, sonething needs to be clarified. The taxes to be
    collected in the Scribner Place area will be placed in a TIF fund for expenditures in that area. Scribner Place is in the downtown TIF area. Those taxes will not help to lower or keep down our property taxes that support the General Fund to run the city.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:28 AM, June 14, 2005  

  • Downtown junk yard----------
    Why did the city allow a junk yard to go in on State Street next to the gas station? In that the same person who has
    all the problems with a junk yard in Floyd Knobs? What is all of the dumping down behind that business? Is that safe
    for the environment?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:35 AM, June 14, 2005  

  • What I meant was that the tax base in the city as a whole will get bigger if dwntown does better and there's a better quality of life so that folks want to stay here.

    That's why it seems like a good idea to me that we have Scribner Place and Cannon AScres, and why it'd be better to have ordinance enforcment that makes the slackers pay up.

    By Blogger H.L. Mencken, at 11:01 AM, June 14, 2005  

  • Kochert is the chairperson of the special commitee set up for drainage issues last year. They set up an annually renewable fund to help pay for drainage emergencies.

    It's the commitee's responsibility to ask that the council renew the fund each year. The commitee didn't ask and the fund wasn't renewed. That's why there's no money to fix the cave in on Clark St.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:20 AM, June 14, 2005  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:21 AM, June 14, 2005  

  • If that's true, then Kochert need to get investigated too, just like Ms. Bolvshak is doing with the mayor. I'm tired of city councilman screwing up.

    By Anonymous Ed Norton, at 11:44 AM, June 14, 2005  

  • Add Price to the list too. He's said stuff in public that isnt true. Makes it hard to get information when coucnil people don't tell the truth.

    Who's going to investigate the council?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:16 PM, June 14, 2005  

  • If you ask me, Coffey belongs with them. That's a pretty good question - who does the councils investigation?

    By Anonymous ed norton, at 12:28 PM, June 14, 2005  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:46 PM, June 14, 2005  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous ed norton, at 1:01 PM, June 14, 2005  

  • The money in the drainage fund was returned to the general fund. Mrs. Garry at the last council meeting told the council that it was there for them to use, no money was lost.

    I think the they set up these funds for accounting purposes, same way the riverboat fund was pre setup before the council approved it last month. Nothing criminal was done, no money was stolen or mis-spent, just the way accountants do things. It would be no different than you writing in your check book at the begining of the month that you have an automatic withdrawl on the 15, the money is there until the 15, but you think it is already gone to keep you from overdrawing! (at least that is the way I try to look at it!)

    Even though I am going out on a limb here with this explanation, wife is an accountant and we have talked about this in the past.

    Investigations cost lots of money, taxpayer money, the budget is audited by the state, of course from the past few weeks we know it's done sometimes years past the administration that was in office has moved on, but I wonder if criminal findings develop if the past administration can be held accountable? Can they face charges?

    Please don't imply that I think there is something going on with this administration, there are plenty of people already doing that, more or less I am just thinking outloud, any of you leagle beagle's have any ideas?

    After all that is what we are here for to debate!

    By Blogger Rick Carmickle, at 1:02 PM, June 14, 2005  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous ed norton, at 1:03 PM, June 14, 2005  

  • Thanks, Mr. Carmickle, I understand it better the way you put it.

    If nothing was illegal, I don't understand why there's an investigation, although I'm new to all this.

    By Blogger H.L. Mencken, at 1:06 PM, June 14, 2005  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Ernest T. Bass, at 1:09 PM, June 14, 2005  

  • Thanks Mr or Ms, Mencken, however, I can not say wither anything illegal has or has not been done.

    Hence, I guess the need to investigate, but do we spend the money now, or wait until the state board of accounts does its thing which could be several years from now.

    That is the questions I ask.

    I really think that Mrs. Garry would resign her position than do anything illegal, even if told by someone in this administration do it or else!

    If communication is what this blog is about let us communicate, but not try anyone in the court of public opinion!

    By Blogger Rick Carmickle, at 1:17 PM, June 14, 2005  

  • Is there an investigation going on?

    What did Price say that was untrue?

    Does anyone know if Kochert knew the money was non-reverting?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:27 PM, June 14, 2005  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:30 PM, June 14, 2005  

  • No investigation at this time, however a local business woman has called for one. From her past comments at a council meeting, she indicated that the Floyd County Prosecuting Attorney would be the one to do an investigation. However with most of his team working on the Camm trial, I wonder how much real investigation could get done.

    By Blogger Rick Carmickle, at 1:31 PM, June 14, 2005  

  • Hello, I dont know why Steve Prices name is here, hes a good guy,and you can take it to the bank. Does Steve sill have those rent units? Im looking for an apartment, I dont have stevs number.

    By Anonymous j page on culbertson, at 1:34 PM, June 14, 2005  

  • I'm reading this on my lunch break, and here's one ordinance they can enforce - noise.

    Those cars go up and down my street with that thumping night and day, it'll make you crazy.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:38 PM, June 14, 2005  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Manerd G. Krebs, at 1:44 PM, June 14, 2005  

  • I agree on the noise! These kids will wonder why they are deaf by the time they reach 30!

    By Blogger Rick Carmickle, at 1:45 PM, June 14, 2005  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous proud democraat, at 2:15 PM, June 14, 2005  

  • Att: Mr. Carmickle: According to Indiana State Board of Accounts procedures, a Fund is established by an
    Ordinance approved by City Council. The Riverboat Fund was established and approved a few years ago.

    An Appropriations Ordinance is then approved by the City Council to allow expenditures out of that fund. The expenditures should not EXCEED the
    the amount in the approved Appropriations Ordinance.

    For further info: See the State Board of Accounts Manual as it appears on the
    internet for the public.

    This response is intended to be courteous and helpful.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:55 PM, June 14, 2005  

  • Thank you, Thank you, Laura, for
    giving us a chance at free speech in New Albany without fear of retaliation.

    Let us hope and pray that our city officials will read some of these concerns and help us CLEAN UP this city.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:03 PM, June 14, 2005  

  • NOISE------ Someone mentioned noise on their street. I heard that we do have a law on noise in the city law book. Could someone who has access to that law book please give us a line on what that law says?
    Thank you.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:08 PM, June 14, 2005  

  • Thank you anonymous, and I considered your post both courteous and helpful. We may get some milage out of this blog yet!

    So, then in regards to the drainage fund, the unspent monies go back into the genral fund to be used at a later date, or is the money lost, and if it is lost, where does it go, can't just disappear?

    By Blogger Rick Carmickle, at 3:09 PM, June 14, 2005  

  • Drainage money----I don't have the answer, but, will sure try to find out.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:34 PM, June 14, 2005  

  • I must agree with Concern Taxpayer about the potholes and the drainage problem, not to mention the trashy houses. I did not know a list existed. Someone said we need a firehouse in the West End, we did have one until Ms. Overton decided that it was more needed downtown.

    At this rate there will not be a West End. Between the threat of fire or floods that part of town will disappear. That would be a terrible shame, there are a lot of good people in that area.

    If we spend all of our tax dollars downtown, the shoppers will have to worry about potholes or even the street caving in before they can get to our beautiful new downtown.

    I know Scribner Place will be built because there are investors
    who will make sure it does. But our tax dollars need to be spent on the WHOLE city, not just the people who can afford memberships at the "Y".

    By Blogger shirley baird, at 4:21 PM, June 14, 2005  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:48 PM, June 14, 2005  

  • whats wrong with steve price? He is one councilman who doesnt cut deals, like I said before I wish we had 8 more steve price's on the council.

    By Blogger Tim Deatrick, at 7:08 PM, June 14, 2005  

  • New Albany Code Book -
    #96.15--96.17 Light motor vehicle noise control

    _________________________________________________
    #97.07 VEHICLE WITH OFFENSIVE MUFFLER
    It shall be unlawful for any person to operate any motor vehicle with a loud and offensive muffler.
    Penalty- See #97.99

    see New Albany Code Book at
    www.amlegal.com/new_albany_in/

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:32 PM, June 14, 2005  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:55 PM, June 14, 2005  

  • Steve Price is a good councilman who listens to citizens in his district. He has the courage to ask questions. We should all be thanking him for being a good representative for the people.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:42 PM, June 14, 2005  

  • I'll call you on that one, Timmy.

    Donnie Blevins is conscientious, honest, doesn't blurt out self-serving propaganda and wouldn't know how to showboat f you held a gun to his head.

    Contrast his integrity with a couple of your council heroes, at least one of which didn't finish high school, and you should be able to see the difference.

    I'll take nine Blevins any day.

    On the other hand, your Bush-Chenyite bit's right on the money. Valla Ann herself's just another businesswoman, and pretty good at it -- but it's those GOP ideas that should scare us - unless there's some of 'em here, easedropping.

    By Anonymous lawrence welk, at 12:00 AM, June 15, 2005  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:15 AM, June 15, 2005  

  • Apparently, asking about someones political affiliation is off limits, too.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:51 AM, June 15, 2005  

  • To Concerned Taxpayer,
    I too would like to know if there is a plan in the works for repairing the streets in town as I would venture to say that should new businesses actually locate in the inner city, patrons will have to endure the rough ride to get to them. Let alone the sights of the blighted neighborhoods along the way that scream low-income.
    As for the dilapidated housing and other structures (sheds, garages, etc), this is not only an eyesore, but is a breeding ground for rodents and other unwanted creatures. Let's hope this administration can find it in their money belts to provide better clean-ups of the streets and alley-ways.
    Yes, the previous administration made progress with ridding several dilapidated structures, but only 7 were actually torn down by the city. The others were delt with by the property owners under admonishment by the Overton administration to do someting or the city would do it for them and the charges would be tagged on the property taxes.
    Kinda makes you think that Code Enforcement might just work if only properties were identified and letters written to adhere to codes.
    The fines collected might just pay for the position.

    By Blogger East Ender, at 1:01 AM, June 15, 2005  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:07 AM, June 15, 2005  

  • I found your blog by using the NEXT BLOG link at the top. I'm not sure where Newalbany is (Indiana?) but when I google it I keep running across a site called NA Confidential (http://cityofnewalbany.blogspot.com). I notice that on their blog, when they disagree with someone's comments, they actually debate it. Sometimes, they will delete it, but they always explain their reasons, too. Once, at least, they invited tth comment to delte it themselves. Im unable towork so I have spent much of the last four years on the web and find a lot on th web and bloggs that makes my life as a disabled person more helpful. I'd like to know why your blog has so many deleted comments. In my experience thats very unusual.

























    If anygoby wants to write me, I ready to communicate as owing to my disability I can e-mail around the world most of the time. Wheelchairs suck, but my computer lets me talk to the world. Write me at wheelmouse@hotmail.com

    By Blogger Wheelhouse, at 1:37 AM, June 15, 2005  

  • It's good to see folks talking about the ISSUES again. That's what this forum is for. It is not about politics (although some still try).
    There are some interesting comments here that raise some interesting questions that need answers. Mostly, how do we find a way to make our city better?
    Yes, the YMCA/Scribner Place project will most likely move forward regardless. There are too many invested interests now. But, we CAN object to the property tax bond guarantee and make our voices heard. I will have more info on this soon.
    Regarding the drainage fund, CM Kochert remarked at the last council meeting that he was not aware that the fund was not a non-reverting one (meaning any unused portion would NOT revert back to the general fund) but would have to be re-appropriated, by request, back to the drainage fund.
    Thanks Rick C. for sheding some light on some of the issues raised. Your participation and information are appreciated.

    By Blogger East Ender, at 1:47 AM, June 15, 2005  

  • I feel/agree that a proposal to appoint the YMCA the agency to head the Scribner Project and not the City. Let the YMCA proceed and then,raise their funds and not put the City in debt $15 or $16 million dollars. And also keep the Parks Dept. out of it. Let the YMCA foot all the bills. The City has greater needs/problems then the YMCA to worry about.

    By Anonymous Legalbeagle, at 6:45 AM, June 15, 2005  

  • Legalbeagle I am for this plan you mention. The only drawback to this plan is that the YMCA would get to cut the ribbon and not Our Mayor. So then we all get what we want. And then we can focus on the real problems of New Albany. Got a question Legalbeagle. If there is an investigation can the previous Adminstration be held accountiable? Or current Adminstration?

    By Blogger One voice, at 7:06 AM, June 15, 2005  

  • From what I understand it would cost the taxpayer's for an Independent Audit. Unless the Council votes for an Investigation and calls in the Proscutor's office. And "Yes" people would be held accountiable. I firmly believe an Investigation should be done.

    By Anonymous Legalbeagle, at 7:17 AM, June 15, 2005  

  • Who do you think pays the prosecutor?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:20 AM, June 15, 2005  

  • Some of you really make it sound personal about the Y and Scribner Pl. Its almost like your saying that you don't like the kind of people whod go there, but how do we fix the bad neighborhoods and strreets without starting out by investing in something?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:25 AM, June 15, 2005  

  • We do! The Taxpayers. This adminstration waste alot more money then what it would cost to find out the truth. I feel an Audit should be made from 2002 to Present. I have talk to several of our Council Members and they also do not feel they have all the facts. Without the County going in on Scribner place it will not be voted to attach property taxes. Seems like the County made the "RIGHT DECISION" to move and build on Grantline Road. Council Meeting tomorrow night should be very Interesting. Anyone interested in finding procedures and information can contact: Charles W. Pride - STATE BOARD OF ACCOUNTS. 317-232-2521 or email cpride@sboa.in.gov Or Denny Stroud.

    By Anonymous Legalbeagle, at 8:27 AM, June 15, 2005  

  • Let the boat and YMCA pay for Scribner Place. It's more important to keep people employeed.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:29 AM, June 15, 2005  

  • Any of you screaming here about business this and business that actually own one?

    Didn't think so.

    By Anonymous body shop, at 8:33 AM, June 15, 2005  

  • The City would have alot more money if they stopped giving Tax Abatements. From the figures I have seen around $18 Million Dollars. I had a conversation with Mr. Denny Stroud and his words to me was. This will come back and bite New Albany. And it has! I feel all spending and all projects should be put on hold at least a year or longer. Tell this mess is figured out and cleared up.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:38 AM, June 15, 2005  

  • I've been following this thread since yesterday, and is seems out to me that no one has ideas to increase revenue - just what to oppose, to be against, and to denounce.

    I suppose anger and hatred are issues in a way, but it's hard to see how that should matter when you're talking about doing something that would benefit everyone, like revitalize downtown.

    What do you guys propose to do to bring money into town, to lift the base so that people don't have to pay more taxes?

    Seems to me that we've all decided to live in a city, and this means that we're all living together, but sometimes here it sounds like people only think of themselves and not the greater good.

    That's not what they preach where I go to church - don't know about the rest of you.

    And when someone comes here and says something different, they get run off. How's that fair?

    Just wondering. I'm new to this.

    By Blogger H.L. Mencken, at 8:40 AM, June 15, 2005  

  • Is that you, Yvonne? You running for mayor this time? We could use you.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:41 AM, June 15, 2005  

  • MY LAW FIRM.

    By Anonymous Legalbeagle, at 8:42 AM, June 15, 2005  

  • Tax abatements need to be examined, for sure.

    But this doesn't have anything to do with the current mayor or his people.

    All of them have done it.

    By Anonymous jeeves, at 8:43 AM, June 15, 2005  

  • legabeagle, are you trying to say you own a law firm?

    But I thought little poeple like us hated all lawyers.

    By Anonymous clarence darrow, at 8:45 AM, June 15, 2005  

  • Body shop, I own a business and I am in favor of Scribner Place, always have been, and have never once been afraid to say so!

    I keep hearing locals and politicians (council members) complain that we (city of NA) lost the boat, and now all we have is the traffic!

    This is true, the county did vote the boat down, now get over it! Nothing is going to change that fact! However, we do get money from the boat via the Caesars Foundation Fund, this is the money from Caesars that will support the Scribner Place project.

    The three options that have been given to the council provide several avenues of funding and backing the project.

    No one has said one thing about raising property taxes, one option is using the property taxes as collateral against the bonds, that means, if the bonds (loan) go into default for any reason, such as the Glory of Rome sinks, an earthquake destroys the Caesar property, or the stock market just plain crashes (again), the city of NA will be held liable for the bonds (loan). Then property taxes will be used to pay the loan.

    The city has limited its liability to the project to $400,000.00 of edit funds per year over the life of the loan; this means it has leveraged that money against the bonds (loan).

    Caesers has donated 20 million dollars over a twenty year period to the project, it is amazing how the projects cost is around 20 million dollars, therefore in the long run who is really paying for the project?

    Look at this way, you want to build a $100,000.00 house, you only have $800.00 a month to spend on your house. You want to build as you go, not borrow money to build this house, how many years will you have to rent another place to live before you finally reach a point in your house before you can move in, wouldn't it make sense to borrow the money for the house from the bank, move in 120 days later, enjoy your new home, and make payments to the bank!

    Isn't that the way most of us do it? Now, the bank charges us money to borrow money, thus interest on the loan. The way the City of NA-YMCA-Caesers has approached this project is for the city to fund the project because it gets the best interest rate on the loan.

    How do you figure if we build Scribner place, that for the next twenty years, streets will not get paved, snow will not get removed, garbage will not get picked up, police and fire protection will not exist. Folks it AIN'T going to happen! Life in this sleepy little town will go on!

    Sorry for the rant, I am sure I have made it open season on myself for as many pot shots as you want to take, but PLEASE don't blast my character, my lively hood, or my person! If you objections to my post by all means lets debate the details of it!

    I look forward to our discussion!

    By Blogger Rick Carmickle, at 9:02 AM, June 15, 2005  

  • Good job bluegill in explaining this information. I checked back over the many comments you have written on both blogs and you keep saying the same thing. So my question is this: Do you feel the YMCA and the boat money should pay for this without City Bond Money? And leave the city outta the deal? All the Council Members I have spoken too will not go along with putting property taxes to back up loans. So let's have a WIN-WIN sisution for all of us. You all get Scribner Place. And we don't back the Bond Money!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:21 AM, June 15, 2005  

  • If the last post is a question to me, I am not bluegill, haven't got a clue to who that is!

    And my answer to your question is the city cannot be left out of this, there may have been a time in the beginning it would have been possible, but now it is to late to change the direction the project has taken.

    And with all the problems we have had lately with both the city and county governing bodies, I for one am ready to start talking merger!
    Not that we would ever see it in our life time, but at least we could wipe the slate clean on both sides and start over. This time putting checks and balances in the local government.

    By Blogger Rick Carmickle, at 1:37 PM, June 15, 2005  

  • Why is is that no matter how many times the people here are reminded that property tax backed bonds are only one of three options, that the drum keeps getting beat that "our property taxes are going to be used to pay for something we don't like used by people we hate."

    Folk, three options. Three. One has a property tax back up. One.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:05 PM, June 15, 2005  

  • Concern taxpayer - where are you, good buddy?

    Like your namesake "Dick" Nixon, we need ya round here.

    Your whale oil generator go out and you can't log on?

    By Anonymous Mark Felt, at 2:06 PM, June 15, 2005  

  • I'd still like to know why Laura keeps deleting posts that refer to her run for city council. Does she have some political ambition she's not telling us about?

    What's she got to hide?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:55 PM, June 15, 2005  

  • There is a miasma of intrigue about the site: reports of "easedropping," the suggestion of cloning councilpersons (how transgressive!) and questions of ethics per blog administration. rather than platitudes at the tops of one's lungs - this quite a bramble to ponder.

    By Blogger jon faith, at 3:10 PM, June 15, 2005  

  • Sounds like a political agenda to me.

    As best I recall it, she ran in 2003 as an at-large for council, and lost in the primary. Might have finished last, might not.

    If she were aware of things like full disclosure, we wouldn't have to be the ones reporting facts, rather than deleting them.

    By Anonymous w. bernstein, at 3:29 PM, June 15, 2005  

  • Funny how legal beagle won't answer my question.

    By Anonymous clarence darrow, at 3:30 PM, June 15, 2005  

  • I don't understand this property tax phobia.

    My property taxes went down last year when the state switched to the market-value method of assessing property. I know for a fact that I am not the only property owner who had this experience.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:20 PM, June 15, 2005  

  • Let me explain it to you.

    If it weren't property tax, it would be something else.

    Try to imagine never driving your car because of what might happen to you out on the road.

    These people want to never do anything as a city, as a community, and maybe even as individuals, because some day a tax might go up, or someone might fall down, or wthe sky might come tumbling down on their heads.

    And so, they keep throwing property taxes around like buzz words to impress other no-brainers into no-braining some more.

    Here come da axe.

    By Anonymous Rodney Dangerfield, at 4:44 PM, June 15, 2005  

  • I am a little confused about the discussion concerning the YMCA and/or Ceasars paying for the Scribner Project. Mr. C said the city could have backed out at one time but now they can't. Why not? And as for cutting the ribbon, who cares? If ribbon cutting is so important to our mayor, he can invest his own money in the project.

    It also disturbs me that everyone is questioning Laura and Valla Ann's motives. Does it matter whether or not they have a political agenda?

    If either of them DO run for political office and anyone does not like them, the answer is simple. Vote for someone else. It's the American way.

    Sorry to ramble, but I am kind of new at this myself.

    By Blogger shirley baird, at 4:46 PM, June 15, 2005  

  • Laura has permitted people to question agendas and political motivations, and left the posts stand. Concern taxpayer does it all the time.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:54 PM, June 15, 2005  

  • Hi Shirley, seems to me that people want it both ways. They say the governments no good, and at the same time, they want it to break faith with people who might invest their $$$ downtown after the YMCA gets up and running. Seems to me that the governments making a good deal, not much up front in return for a better downtown when its all said and done. Guess theres no pleasing some folks.

    By Anonymous born and raised here, at 4:57 PM, June 15, 2005  

  • Shirley, I did not mean to imply the city could have backed out in the beginning, but that would have been the time to do it.

    The so called Coffey plan, which is let the YMCA and Ceasers take on the project by themselves has came to late in the game to even consider. Had it been proposed several years ago, it may have had a chance. Now, the city has invested money in purchase of land and clean up that there is no way the city can withdraw now.

    Scribner place is what this city needs, not just the downtown area but the whole city, we need to see some progress towards a brighter future for our town. This is not a pipe dream, it is reality. Look what Jeffersonville has done with their downtown, I hear all the time what a nice town Corydon is, and Madison too! I ask why can't we be a nice town, why can't we have thriving stores and shops located downtown and the only reason I come up with why we can not, is that the people don't want to belive we can! The people are so afraid of progress that they cut their nose off to spite their face!

    The next few weeks are critical for the city of New Albany, if you are a suppporter of Scribner Place then let your councilperson know it! AND, if your not, let your councilperson know it! They have to know how you the public feel about the project, either way folks this is politics at its finest hour!

    And a side note, if you did not vote for these people, then don't complain how they run YOUR city!

    By Blogger Rick Carmickle, at 6:07 PM, June 15, 2005  

  • Maybe Concern Taxpayer works like the rest of us little people. I would like for someone to tell me the three options pertaining to Scribner Place? Before we go to the Council Meeting tomorrow night?

    By Blogger One voice, at 7:17 PM, June 15, 2005  

  • I have to agree with legalbeagle's assessment of the YMCA /Scribner project.
    And thanks for the insights into an audit investigation.
    I also agree that previous administrations have done most of the same things in-so-far-as borrowing money for projects.
    The issue is more about the general population finding out more and more, and thus wanting more and more information.
    Whichever administration is responsible for bringing us to this precipice should be held accountable, but we don't want this administration to make more bad decisions.
    The YMCA/Scribner Place WILL happen. Hopefully, all will work out as well as predicted. But, I don't think the Parks Department should be the operating entity for the water-plex. They have a very busy future agenda as it is.

    By Blogger East Ender, at 8:42 PM, June 15, 2005  

  • Could you please explain to me why contracting out the management of the city parking garage is a bad thing but contracting out the running of a swimming pool is a good thing?

    Do you have some reasoning behind your opinions?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:52 PM, June 15, 2005  

  • If you're speaking to me, I never said contracting out the parking garage management was bad.
    All I've ever said about the parking garage was that it is costing us a ton of money ($615K of EDIT per year), and I'm told there is never an attendant from the management company on duty to take money.
    This was the last "great savior of Downtown" idea, from a previous administration, that didn't work out so well.
    I would have rather seen an investment by the city to subsidize the purchases of Downtown buildings to new businesses.
    Small business growth is what rebuilds bad economies and stimulates larger retailers and eateries to establish outlets in locations of close proximity.

    By Blogger East Ender, at 1:38 AM, June 16, 2005  

  • We don't want large reatialers and eateries in close proximity. That's what kills small businesses.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:01 AM, June 16, 2005  

  • New Albany Resident: bluegill offered those options previously, but thank goodness bluegill's not here on our blog anymore. We can do without that INFORMATION.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:00 AM, June 16, 2005  

  • Do you have documentary evidence of anyone saying that the parking garage was a "great savior" of downtown?

    Didn't think so. But according to your value system, all opinions are worth the same, anyway, so it doesn't matter. Now it can pass on to being a "fact" without evidence.

    By Anonymous ockham's razor, at 1:15 PM, June 16, 2005  

  • As I remember the parking garage it was part of the deal with Community Bank that resulted in the corporate headquarters of a growing banking corporation being located downtown.

    Community Bank employed almost 200 people last year--most of them in Floyd county. (If you suppose an average salary of $25,000 that is $5,000,000 added to our economy from salaries alone).

    If you want to talk about small business development you should ask some existing small businesses about doing business with Community. I think you will find they are very supportive of local, independent businesses.

    Sounds like economic development to me.

    If you want to attract businesses the infrastructure needs to be in place first.

    I keep hearing this $615,000 thrown around. What does that mean? Is that what it costs to service the debt? Does that figure include the operating costs? Is that gross or net? After all, it is an income producing property. When will it be paid off? Won't the city then have a debt-free, incoming producing property? A parking garage has to have a market value. There is an entire industry devoted to owning and managing parking lots and garages.

    I actually went down to the parking garage for a look around. Most of the spaces are rented on a monthly basis. There are a few spaces for short-term parking. The short-term spaces are paid for in a drop box. This is a very common way for Systems and Central (2 major players in the parking industry) to run parking lots. You will find this all over downtown Louisville as well as other large cities. It seems to work very well for them and would appear to be very cost-effective.

    With the few spaces that are available for short-term parking an attendant's salary would exceed the possible revenue.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:52 PM, June 16, 2005  

  • Responding to questions regarding the the parking garage...I am aware and appreciative of the investments Community Bank makes to Downtown and New Albany. A friendly, supportive, small business banking service is vital to re-growing the Downtown district.
    As I recall, it was originally proposed to provide adequate parking for Downtown shoppers, which was viewed as one obstacle to sustaining businesses, and was supposed to spawn more development, thus paying for itself in the short term.
    The $615K yearly costs are for a 1997 bond issue for the garage. I do not believe this includes the operating costs, but I will check to make sure.
    I do have a document that shows this expenditure out of EDIT funds through 2007. That's 10 years.
    I would be curious to compare economic data and building occupancy rates for that 10 year span of time.
    Meanwhile, I will look for more information regarding current occupancy rates vs. potential.
    When Downtown gets a heartbeat again the parking garage will indeed be needed and profitable. It's just that it's an example of getting the cart before the horse.
    I'm not so convinced on the "build it and they will come" theory.
    I'm more for getting a population living Downtown then providing the basic services and needs with small business start-ups, and letting the growth be dictated by the wants and needs of the population, thus increasing the potential for successful, controlled, smart growth.

    By Blogger East Ender, at 2:52 AM, June 17, 2005  

  • Laura said:

    I'm more for getting a population living Downtown then providing the basic services and needs with small business start-ups, and letting the growth be dictated by the wants and needs of the population, thus increasing the potential for successful, controlled, smart growth.

    Sensible, but won't Scribner Place help jumpstart this process?

    And if you agree that in some way it does, why continue to encourage the mistruths?

    By Anonymous Lawrence welk, at 9:26 AM, June 17, 2005  

  • DOWNTOWN PARKING GARAGE EXPENSE:

    Annual Bond Payment...... $615,000
    City pays electric bill...$ 8,400.year
    City pays elevator costs $ 1,955.year
    City pays other maintenance costs. $$$$

    City contracts out operation to a
    private firm.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:27 AM, June 18, 2005  

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