Speak Out Loud NA

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Take a Look Around... (Part 1)

Hope everyone has had a nice relaxing weekend. If you're household is anything like mine, we have been taking advantage of this wonderful November weather to get some much needed work done around the house. After all, we can't spend ALL our time trying to right this listing ship called New Albany. It will wear a body out.
Every now and then, we need to step back, away from the flames, and take a new look at the surrounding landscape, take in the larger picture.
There are a lot of things to be thankful for, if we look hard enough for them. Even with all the issues we are facing, and all the work that must be done, we cannot lose sight of the things that keep us going, the things that keep us here.
I believe that most of the folks who participate in the discussions we have here, are folks who truly love New Albany, and feel a 'duty', so to speak, to repair the things that are no longer working well for the City, and to improve the things that can make our community a better place to live for EVERYONE who calls New Albany home. It matters not, whether a person is a home owner, or a renter. We all have a home in this city, and the functions of the administration that runs this city affects us all. So, take a look around at your neighborhood and ask yourself, "How much of the conditions of this neighborhood are accountable to the City and the services its supposed to supply to its residents?"
We are all conscious of our immediate everyday surroundings, and we just naturally do the things that make our little spaces nice for ourselves. For those who are fortunate enough to be home owners, the constant work sometimes seems overwhelming, but the benefits far outweigh the costs. Not only the costs to our pocketbooks, but to our time, and to our energy. When you have invested in a home, you do all you can to make it nice, to make it a reflection of yourself, to make it something you can be proud of. The greater the sense of investment, the greater the efforts are to protect that investment. Thus, in the neighborhoods where owner-occupied housing is greater than renter-occupied, usually, the upkeep of the homes and the yards reflect those efforts, and those investments.
Now, this is not to say that anyone who rents is a lousy housekeeper. Indeed, it can be quite the contrary. My own mother, my sister, and many of my friends are renters, and their places are always very pleasant, and very beautiful, inside and out.
However, these are folks who have 'chosen' to rent, and have chosen who to rent from, due to some of the benefits that come along with renting from a responsible property owner. Benefits such as major housing upkeep expenses, as well as the costs of things like homeowners insurance and property taxes. These expenses make a huge impact on the household income, and can be the difference that allows for the discretionary income for things that make life a little nicer.
However, there is a huge number of folks who, unfortunately, have not chosen to rent, but rather, are 'stuck' in rental housing due to the ever growing cost of home-ownership, and the limited availability of safe, decent, affordable housing. The sad part is, because of this City's lack of effective housing standards, the availability of safe, decent, affordable rental housing is also limited.
So, what's the REAL choices? Scrimp and save for years only to have the minimal down payment necessary to purchase an "affordable" home, which means it will most likely be in need of $10-$15,000 worth of repairs, or rent some strangely configured apartment that's been carved out of a once single family residence, with a landlord who's obliged to doing nothing but collecting the rent check?
C'mon, what's YOUR choice?

62 Comments:

  • Laura, One of the loopholes in the City's ordinances involves "weekly" rentals. These properties seem to be exempt from "housing" rules / ordinances / inspections, etc. We found that out the hard way, and tried to remedy same, but to no avail. Travesty is what it is, travesty.
    In Louisville, in my rental property, that building inspector and the fire marshall are required to enter our building to ensure residents' safety. Gotten calls while we were out of the country about a violation that needed to be taken care of asap, 3 or 4 thousands miles away; but hey, that's why we own one. Some people don't deal or think the way the rest of us do. And then, when we do try, they say we just don't want renters in our neighborhood. It's tough educating the renters, too, Laura. Vicious circle.
    Thanks for your comments.

    By Anonymous Person with Rental Property in Louisville, not NA, at 7:53 PM, November 13, 2005  

  • I lived in University Woods Apts. for 5 Years. It was truly a nightmare. The constance presents of police and fire trucks being called all the time. They would not do much maintance at all. I did not feel safe the whole time I lived there. Drunks,drugs,fights, and police officers their all the time.

    I worked 2 jobs for 5 years and lived on one pay check and saved the other. I am proud to say I am now a first time homeowner.. I now live in a great safe neighborhood. And my neighbors look out for each other as well as help each other. It is truly a great feeling when I pull up in "My drive way" knowing I am busting my ass to pay for my own home.

    And that is a great feeling..

    The things that are now at the top of my priority as a new homeowner is:
    1. Property Taxes
    2. All the additional fees
    3. Sewer Bills going up
    4. Sanitation going up
    5. Heating this winter

    I have been a renter for the majority of my life. And truly experienced one nightmare after another as a renter. So even though I feel my story is a success story.

    Been there done that!

    And I highly suggest to any and all renters buy a starter home if you can.

    By Anonymous VERY PROUD HOMEOWNER, at 8:36 PM, November 13, 2005  

  • First of all, let me say: CONGRATULATIONS!!!
    You certainly sound like you set a goal, and made up your mind that you were going to succeed. You did just that, and you are a big inspiration to those who might think home-ownership is an impossibility.
    There are wonderful non-profit organizations in town, such as the CHDO (Community Housing Development Org.) that do a wonderful job of helping first time homebuyers realize their dreams.
    I will speak more on this in part 2 of this posting about housing in New Albany.
    Most importantly, if first time home buyers are going to be successful in the long term, the City must be more conscientious of the financial burdens they place on homeowners.
    If you're trying to attract economic development, you must maintain a population that can represent potential consumers of goods and services.

    By Blogger East Ender, at 12:28 AM, November 14, 2005  

  • At risk of attack, I am going to go ahead and post this info on here for interested individuals.

    The Storm Water Advisory Committee meeting has been postponed until November 28th, 6:15 pm, third floor City-County Bldg. The room was booked for tonight; thus the delay. FYI

    By Anonymous Yvonne Kersey, at 12:36 PM, November 14, 2005  

  • Laura,
    Why are we running advertisements for our empty apartments within the Housing Authority? Is it tied to the lack of Section 8 credits available now to the needy?
    I have heard there is a SEVERE lack of section 8 credits available for the homeless/needy. Did they reassign the local individual somewhere else that takes cares of those things?
    Alot of people approach me about these issues and I can't answer them. Thanks.

    By Anonymous Interested Citizen, at 12:40 PM, November 14, 2005  

  • P.S. The advertisements (I meant to say) are appearing in the Louisville's apartment rental sections. That's the part I don't understand. Thanks for letting me add this correction.

    By Anonymous Interested Citizen, at 12:41 PM, November 14, 2005  

  • Personally, I feel we should bite the bullet and rewrite our building codes and ordinances, like the County finally did. These laws need a major overhaul and it was painful when the County went through the process, but they selected different citizens and developers, etc., to come up with their plans and new laws. Wish we could get stir up some action here about the same issues. Twould benefit us all. Our opinion.

    By Anonymous Call for Update of Laws, at 12:46 PM, November 14, 2005  

  • I agree with rewriting the codes, along with giving that department more support via manpower.

    Our OEO is doing an awesome job, but so many of the slumlords are connected that it's hard to enforce.

    By Blogger ceece, at 3:23 PM, November 14, 2005  

  • Who's connected, Ceece? And to whom?

    By Blogger bluegill, at 3:33 PM, November 14, 2005  

  • oh, my. it was so peaceful there for awhile.

    By Anonymous tree hugger, at 3:58 PM, November 14, 2005  

  • wasn't it peaceful?

    Some of these people are my "neighbors" and I really don't feel like getting my ass marked. They know who they are and so do you.

    By Blogger ceece, at 4:09 PM, November 14, 2005  

  • Tree hugger, LOL!!! Hang in there Ceece.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:11 PM, November 14, 2005  

  • The point of my question wasn't to start an argument but to get an answer. I take the landlord/rental situation seriously.

    As such, I don't want it to dissolve into a matter of baseless accusations. If the conversation is going to be meaningful, we must deal with documentable facts.

    If you have real evidence of wrongdoing, i.e., landlords illegally greasing the palms of inspectors, politicians, etc., then present it and I and a whole host of others will stand with you in addressing the problem.

    If you don't, then making easily refuted public allegations is damaging to the process, essentially crying wolf at a time when it's crucial to build credibility if clean up efforts are to be successful.

    It still amazes me that a question from someone is viewed as an attack. It also amazes me that public accusations are so casually made with no expectation of having them challenged.

    If progress is to be made on the bad landlord issue, those with specific knowledge of illicit activities are going to have to step forward and be willing and able to answer questions-- lots of them, repeatedly, from people a lot scarier than me.

    Without that, it’s just lip service that’ll be laughed out of every office and courtroom in town.

    If that sounds harsh, it's because it is. Unfortunately, it's also reality.

    By Blogger bluegill, at 5:09 PM, November 14, 2005  

  • As Bill Crosley said, who was the Building Inspector under Bob Real, and then became a State Building Inspector, the hardest thing about being a building inspector is "keeping your hands in your pocket".
    We have several instances and documentation of administrations not dealing with landlords, come hey or high water. Let us know how we should forward or get with you to give you these records. We even have tape recordings. Been going on for a long time -- can't you tell by looking around you?
    Thanks for talking with us and let us know how we can show or prove to you without inflicting harassment from certain individuals who are in on it. Thanks, our opinion.

    By Anonymous Been there, Done That!, at 6:03 PM, November 14, 2005  

  • You can email me, just click on my user name and go to my profile.

    I'm not trying to be a smart aleck, but I can't meet with or advocate for an anonymous person.

    I'm sure we can find a time to meet, discuss, and review information.

    By Blogger bluegill, at 7:43 PM, November 14, 2005  

  • The real choices are trying to reclaim the attitude of many individuals who want and demand immediate gratification.

    Teaching people to spend less than they earn and save for things important. I give a huge applause and pat on the back for the new homeowner who worked 2 jobs to get out of their situation.

    Getting rid of credit cards and the ease of bankruptsy that we have created. Teaching our kids to save for things they want. Electing officials to do what is right and not what is politically correct.

    These are choices we can all begin to work on. This mindset has been created over the last 40 years and it will take another generation to reclaim a new mindset of working for what you get.

    Debt is a major downfall that many cannot or don't know how to turn around.

    By Blogger Healthblogger, at 7:55 PM, November 14, 2005  

  • Unfortunately, HB, debt is a reality for a lot of people who've always worked, saved what they can, and have still struggled just to scrape by.

    No doubt poor choices are the culprit in some people's situations. The big challenge, though, is figuring out how to empower and educate those who are willing to learn and work to do so in a manner that actually makes a difference.

    By Blogger bluegill, at 8:00 PM, November 14, 2005  

  • I must say, I agree with the assessment of 'been there, done that'. This is a problem that has plauged New Albany for decades.
    There are many documents, that I have seen myself, that attest to the 'greasing' you speak of bluegill.
    You must understand, that when an issue such as this is brought up, it is not just baseless allegations, or people simply deciding to make stuff up. Although that has been a consistent allegation against the folks who speak here, it is not, in fact, the case.
    Our business here, our purpose, is not to haphazardly throw around "baseless allegations", but, to bring to light the VERY REAL issues and circumstances that are affecting the quality of life in this community.
    People participate here because they care about New Albany, not because they are journalistic thugs.
    Please try to assume a little more integrity than you are allowing. We certainly respect your opinions, and are asking for nothing more than a little respect from you rather than stoic demands of "proof".
    You might consider that you may be asking people to put themselves in harms way by exposing names of folks who, by their actions, could be expected to behave in a less than lawful manner.
    Knowledge is often proof enough.

    By Blogger East Ender, at 8:08 PM, November 14, 2005  

  • I understand where you're coming from, East Ender but, unfortunately, knowledge alone doesn't solve the problem. As someone suggested, look around you.

    If evidence can't be produced, the less than lawful will just continue being less than lawful. I won't insult you with quotes from the various human rights movements, etc, but somebody has to be willing to stand up and well, speak out loud.

    When accusations are "sort of" made and questions about them continuously go answered, most reasonable people will conclude, even if incorrectly, that there is no evidence.

    It undoubtedly takes courage to make it happen. I don't know if you have it. I don't even know for sure if I have it. I just think it's worth finding out.

    What happens if we can actually cooperate and get a lot of people to put themselves in harms way, if necessary?

    By Blogger bluegill, at 8:26 PM, November 14, 2005  

  • Our families' condolences to Ted Heavrin and his family upon their losses. We did not find out until this evening. Ted, you are a great representative for our area, and your consituents feel your pain. Please take care.
    Again, our condolences.
    Thanks,

    By Anonymous Y Kersey, at 8:34 PM, November 14, 2005  

  • it's worth mentioning that those who don't play by the rules usually try to leave as little "evidence" as possible, this being integral to their continuing patterns of skirting the law.

    By Anonymous just try to prove it, at 10:17 PM, November 14, 2005  

  • Isn't that the God's truth!!! Preach it, any paperwork or tapes we have we have paid for with our hard earned monies. Preach it.

    By Anonymous Taxpayer Advocate, at 11:18 PM, November 14, 2005  

  • bluegill-
    You have hit the nail on the head. What it takes is many people coming together in a united effort to stop the sorts of things that are detrimental to the well being of the City.
    It is almost never easy to find the documentation, and present it, as a stand alone campaign against corruption in the "system".
    The more we come together, the more information that comes to light, and the safer it becomes to move forward with exposing illicit and illegal acts.
    These undertakings must be calculated moves, with calculated risks. You understand.
    Just a note to 'interested citizen'-
    I was not aware they are advertising apartments in our public housing units, but I will get more information about this.
    I interned at the housing authority for 2 years, and still know some good folks there.
    I'm sure we can get answers.
    Thanks for the information.

    By Blogger East Ender, at 11:21 PM, November 14, 2005  

  • east ender,
    I don't agree with you and will tell you why. It's easier than you think to get your hands on certain pieces of information. You just got to know the right people. Who like yourself sees and knows their are alot more going on then what some people know. Don't ever under estimate some real determined people in New Albany.

    By Anonymous IF YOU ONLY KNEW, at 12:04 AM, November 15, 2005  

  • Laura, to me, it's more a case of them not looking at the documents, which are available. This stuff has been documented with the Feds, the State, the Attorney General, the State Building Commissioner, the State Board of Accounts, whomever would listen. I swear, we're tired of collecting all of this information and trying to keep the monies straight.
    The two sets of books were made public, not only to council, but to a local civic group -- anyone who would listen to us, for years now. But, the credibility issue will soon prove itself in and for a bunch of people who some feel just don't have the facts.
    It will soon be a sad day in NA. All of the preaching done, just over the sewers is enough to keep people talking for hours.
    It will all come out; just waiting. Take care and thanks for the discourse Jeff and Laura.

    By Anonymous $$$$$$$$$$$$, at 2:07 AM, November 15, 2005  

  • Yes, they have no idea what is documented just by people who have known enough to pay attention and get documentation when they see something happen that they know just isn't right.
    Many, many folks have had this committment for many years. All because they care about what is happening to New Albnay.
    It will all pay off soon.

    By Blogger East Ender, at 2:24 AM, November 15, 2005  

  • bluegill,

    Conspiracy- Yes
    Cover up- Yes
    Evidence- Yes
    Baseless allegations-Your totally wrong on that one! These people have not been smart enough to cover: Follow the paper trail.

    What many of you don't realize the laws have been broken. And it can and will be proven.

    And then the little people will say..."We told you so"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:03 AM, November 15, 2005  

  • Excuse me kind sir, but we know the laws have been broken, over and over. The citizens and certain Council people tried to file charges under the last prosecutor over the Controller keeping two sets of books.
    One citizen went to the FBI about 15 years ago and was thrown out.
    When citizens fought the sewer bonds, because of a lack of rate study, etc., we had boxes and boxes of documents backing their case; but they wanted 1/2 to 1 million dollar bond just for us to resolve this issue within two weeks, as required by law.
    I guess you are talking to frustrated people here who would love to empty their houses of all of their legal and financial paperworks. It's hard keeping that attorney on retainer, but that's the only way some of us live here. Those are facts, unfortunately for those that have been in it for awhile, just the facts. Thanks for listening.

    By Anonymous $$$$$$$$$$$$, at 11:14 AM, November 15, 2005  

  • About every "Civil Rights" law that has ever been written in The United States has been broken in this town. Including about every other law as well. When new comers to this town accuse us of ranting about fraud,corruption,conspiracy, and say prove it! It will be proven! Just sit back and watch. And in the end we will say we told you so! You all really don't know the whole truth about what is really going on in this town.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:42 PM, November 15, 2005  

  • Thus begins the subtle transformation of this thread from worthy (rental housing, etc) to conspiracy theories about public officials.

    Nice try, blogerator. You almost had it, but some of your people are just too mad to play along.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:25 PM, November 15, 2005  

  • Are you one of those people who own a slum property, or who are a freeflusher? This all ties to the past due sewer bills -- rental housing in this city; lack of charges for some; charges for sewers people didn't have, and officials not having sewers nor paying our fees. The infrastructure for NA is broke.
    Period. No ifs, ands or buts. You really do need that for economic development, but...

    That's why we have so many rental houses, and the cry for a code enforcement officer was so loud, because of the lack of enforcement of laws in this town. It all plays. Period. You may call it insinuations, slurs, slanders, etc., we do not care.
    There are people who have been hurt in this town because of lack of enforcement for building codes and other basic rights, like the ADA lawsuit, for example. Do you know we are in contempt of same?

    If I didn't feel you may represent someone who would like nothing better than to know what documents, evidence, etc., we may have, I'd be more than happy to discuss whatever. I just don't have that warm fuzzy feeling it would take for me to overcome that hurdle. That's how well some of us have learned our lessons in New Albany. But, thanks anyways. And, please, don't take any of this personally. Our opinions, only.

    By Anonymous $$$$$$$$$$$, at 1:46 PM, November 15, 2005  

  • $$$$$$$$$$,

    What's wrong with these people. Everything is hand in hand. Alot of people have a big free ride. When the rest of us know what the hell is going on. This city is in big trouble....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:56 PM, November 15, 2005  

  • To me, honestly, it's called BLIND FAITH. As you and I know, it can't be ignorance, because ignorance IS NO EXCUSE. Our opinion.

    By Anonymous $$$$$$$$$$$$, at 3:02 PM, November 15, 2005  

  • To all of us, as much as I'm enjoying blogging, me thinks it may be time to power down those computers and turn 'em off!
    CJ is extremely worried about these forecasts and are gearing up for same. Tells me all I need to know. Take care New Albany!!!

    By Anonymous Citizen, at 4:16 PM, November 15, 2005  

  • Hopefully we have once again managed to skirt the worst of the storms (fingers crossed).
    Perhaps that is ONE good thing about living in this Ohio Valley. If you can live with the allergy attacks and the sinusitis that can make life pretty miserable, the really bad parts of storms somehow usually go above us, or below us, and in that respect, we have been very fortunate.
    Could it be that the 'storm gods' somehow know we just couldn't take any natural disasters, given the 'man made' disasterous conditions we are forced to live with on a daily basis?
    Everyone, please be safe when it comes to the overflows we are experiencing due to the amount of rainfall. A lot of raw sewage running in the streets... still.
    After $42 million in 'repairs', you would think we wouldn't be exposed to such a health hazard.

    By Blogger East Ender, at 7:51 PM, November 15, 2005  

  • Speaking of sewer repairs, the citizens in the 5th & Elm St area, where the road keeps sinking lower, the money is not there to repair it. An option tossed around was to just close that section of the street and make it one lane.
    Out there in the Willington or Wilfington Area, near 265, got a major blockage there, but don't have the monies for that either.
    Think they are backing off of that story about "sabotage" at the plant. We'll see. More to come, I am sure of it. Take care, you all.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:29 AM, November 16, 2005  

  • There is a lot of information coming into the light regarding documented misappropriation of funds and a possible investigation.
    To everyone who has been screaming for proof, hang onto your socks because you're about to be blown out of them.
    There has also been a lot of quick back-peddling by certain people about the erroneously reported sabatoge at the sewer plant. It wasn't sabatoge! There is much more to it, and the EPA is not going to be happy.
    As for the people who are calling for an audit to find out just where we stand financially, there is a way to get that done.
    I am going to contact Laura myself and give her the information that I have.
    I will leave it up to her about what to do with it. But, people should know that there is a way to stop the abuse of power and the money grabbing that has been happening in this town.
    Enough is enough.
    Just call it... Justice.

    By Anonymous Informed & Incensed, at 1:05 AM, November 16, 2005  

  • Halleluhia, Justice. We heard it wasn't sabotage, also today, and I know for a fact the Feds nor the FBI are happy. Let the truth set us all free -- now THAT'S JUSTICE!
    Thanks for the info. Been hearing the rumblings.
    As we always said, the plan would not work, there would be a cover-up, the cover-up would be exposed, and then...well then... We here now, boys and girls, get ready. That's all we can say, ain't it Justice? Thanks for your comments. Appreciated them! Take care, our opinions.

    By Anonymous $$$$$$$$$$$, at 2:07 AM, November 16, 2005  

  • I resent Chief Harl attacking "The Forum" in the Tribune. No council member I have talk to was or is against Pam Badger as Code Enforcer.

    The Council members were against the way James Garner handled it.

    Like many of us Citizens and taxpayers feel the way you Jimmy handled this shabby way of doing business and showing the Council you are the "Boss" and will do what ever the Hell you want!

    But again after the last 2 Years it has been Mr. Mayor's pattern to not follow certain laws or procedures.

    And excuse me Chief Harl you are dead wrong in your comments. And you know it!

    Because if you were right in your so "CALLED COMMENTS" in The Tribune. Then My Question is how come it took 2 Years to have a Code Enforcer?

    And Sir You all did not follow the law the way it was written nor did you follow procedure!

    Sir, if it was in yours and Jimmy's Power, Including The Board of Works to appoint and fill this position. Then why are you all not doing the job we as taxpayers are paying you to do?

    And also in your defense I do realize the Mayor is your boss.

    And I would highly recommend TO You Sir to fill out a Request for Public Records and re-read the Ordinance.

    But Mr. Mayor needs to realize the taxpayers of New Albany is the Mayors Boss.

    We sign all of your paychecks.

    Mr. Mayor continues to have this Overton pass attitude. The hell with what is right or having to following Procedures or laws that are passed by the City Council.

    And I say to you Mr. Mayor this will be your down fall. And a large part of the reason you will not be re-elected.

    I personally sat in a meeting you were at and your comments I over heard you say to one of your so called qualified Employees.

    Mr. Mayor's comments: "Was the hell with what the City Council wants... I will do what ever I want and I "DO NOT" need there approval!

    Because I am the Mayor!

    Well my comments to you Mr. Mayor:

    You ought to be damn glad your not running for re-election next year.



    And this is my opinion


    Concern Taxpayer

    By Blogger One voice, at 9:32 AM, November 16, 2005  

  • I totally agree Concern Taxpayer.
    These Employees need to realize they work for us.

    Thank You
    Concern Taxpayer

    You our a real voice of the people.

    By Anonymous GARY WEBB, at 11:17 AM, November 16, 2005  

  • Our family resents it, too, Concerned Taxpayer. The Police Department had to reimburse those monies because they did not follow proper procedure, as ordered by the CITY COUNCIL, which is the legislative branch of our government.
    So, why, I ask of you, why now is that letter being wrote? The books were supposedly set right, with the money being moved out of the City Attorney's office back into the Police Department's budget.
    Proper procedure was not followed and you want to lambaste Jeff Roundenbush because he dared to write about it. Nah....
    The Police sure are getting active writing those letters lately, hey?
    Just Our Opinion!

    By Anonymous Another Taxpayer, at 1:21 PM, November 16, 2005  

  • The "Forum" accepts letters to the Editor, why didn't the Chief submit his letter there? All elected officials receive free copies, throughout the County. We all know that, no secrets on that one.
    Why did he try to publicly discredit the Forum? Tribune, I'm here to tell you it won't work. There's more investigative press work in the Forum, than the Tribune, about OUR LOCAL ISSUES.
    Our family, for one, appreciate the effort The Forum expends, and are happy to pay his subscription price, unlike our happiness with the local paper.
    AND THAT'S OUR OPINION.

    By Anonymous Another Forum Subscriber, at 1:26 PM, November 16, 2005  

  • EXCELLENT COMMENTS CT,

    I HOPE THE INDIANA ATTORNEY GENERALS NAILS ALL OF EM...

    YOU GOT REAL COURAGE CT!

    THANK YOU

    By Anonymous CANDICE BREWER, at 1:36 PM, November 16, 2005  

  • Whose policing the New Albany Police Department?
    Great article
    Concern Taxpayer

    By Anonymous ROBERT MARTIN, at 1:48 PM, November 16, 2005  

  • You all are forgetting one important piece to the puzzle:

    The Board of Public Works submitted a candidate for OEO, as procedurally specified.

    The City Council refused to act on it.

    It was only after that refusal that Officer Badger was assigned.

    If anyone is guilty of not following the "laws", it's the council.

    By Blogger bluegill, at 1:53 PM, November 16, 2005  

  • No, you forget the Mayor vetoing the Code Enforcement Official. The Board of Works did not submit a candidate to the Council for appointment, the Chief of Police appointed her his self and paid for it out of Police monies, not the City Attorney monies as had been mandated.
    Jeff researched this and got his info from the Controller and the Mayor. Maybe the Chief didn't check with them before he wrote his article, huh? Get your facts in order. Our opinion.

    By Anonymous Another Forum reader, at 2:02 PM, November 16, 2005  

  • Boy, that sure was an important sewer board meeting yesterday. Upon further research, citizens have discovered the EPA is aware the clarifiers with grout are leaking and they are dealing with the City on same. Can't get any more info than that rite now.
    They are truly interested in how they have police reports, etc., on how the plant was sabotaged, how the plant wasn't sabotaged, and how one of our Councilmen have been treated because of this ordeal. We'll see...
    After listening to the New Albany Potty Police preach for years, and they said this plan wouldn't work, there would be a cover-up attempted, and then it would blow up in their faces, well, we should have listened to them more. Anyways, we still owe them a debt of gratitude because they may be the only ones to keep the fines from being levied on taxpayers/rate payers; certain administration officials, past and present will be held accountable.
    Thank you NAPP, for your hard work. You all work behind the scenes down in the ditches and sewers, we never see you. Some of us know who you are and we appreciate your work. Thank you, thank you, thank you. A lot of people would not do the work you all do. Some people are not even aware it needs to be done. We do, and thank you.

    By Anonymous A Sewer Sabotage?????, at 2:09 PM, November 16, 2005  

  • Another forum reader is wrong.

    From City Council Minutes, August 1, 2005:

    APPOINTMENTS:

    Mr. Gahan stated that the Board of Works has unanimously nominated Jack
    Messer for Ordinance Enforcement Officer and entertained a motion to confirm.

    Mr. Blevins made a motion to confirm the nomination, the motion died for the lack
    of a second.


    Meeting minutes are available here:

    http://www.newalbany.in.gov/Clerk/#MEETING_AGENDA_AND_MINUTES_OF_CITY_GOVERNMENT

    Choose "Common City Council" and then the date, August 1, 2005.

    By Blogger bluegill, at 3:17 PM, November 16, 2005  

  • Then why did the money have to be moved from one fund to the other?!? Common sense dictates what happened here, not "spin".

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:27 PM, November 16, 2005  

  • bluegill -
    You are right, but the procedure was clearly folled properly by the Council. The Board of Works was to make a nomination, then Council had final approval rights per the adopted Resolution. They simply denied the first nomination.
    When that happened, the Mayor took matters into his own hands, skirted the procedure, and told the Chief to appoint someone. Clearly, AGAINST the approved protocal.
    They later went back and went through the motions of doing it correctly, and made the necessary adjustments.
    If it was going to be that simple to get an OEO, why did he make us fight for it for 3 years?
    P.S. The Mayor pocket vetoed the first attempt by Council to set the procedure and approve the hiring of an OEO. Why the delay tactic?

    By Blogger East Ender, at 3:49 PM, November 16, 2005  

  • Excuse me...
    That should read...
    the procedure was FOLLOWED properly

    By Blogger East Ender, at 4:18 PM, November 16, 2005  

  • East ender,

    The council didn't follow procedure. If they had, they would have voted yes or no on Mr. Messer. They were given the opportunity for input as requested and decided of their own volition not to follow procedure and participate.

    Chief Harl has always had the authority to assign any officer to code enforcement duties. During a large portion of the time that he's been Chief, however, city government was debating funding the position. Given that our police department is already understaffed, it made sense to wait to see if funding for a new officer would be approved so as not to have to pull an existing officer from other duties. I'm sure the Chief, much like the rest of us, was not expecting the decision making process to take so long.

    The whole process was ugly. I think the Mayor is sometimes guilty of not communicating well, even in instances when I agree with him, and I 've said so. Certain members of the council, on the other hand, seem to relish the opportunity to oppose the Mayor, even when they're totally incapaple of explaining why they disagree or what they would do differently. The near constant abstaining and grandstanding on their parts serves no purpose and certainly does nothing to move the city forward.

    If anybody provided adequate leadership in all this, it was Chief Harl. He showed patience in allowing the political process to run its course. When it failed, he sucked it up and decided to make a tough administrative choice to fund the position via his existing budget rather than depend on the rest to get their act together. For him to take heat for that from The Forum or any other source is undeserved.

    By Blogger bluegill, at 4:20 PM, November 16, 2005  

  • Hvae go set up the Wal-Mart documentary. For anyone interested in how your tax dollars are being wasted on them, it's very eye opening. You should come see it.

    Showings at 6:00 and 8:00 at the Farmers Market.

    By Blogger bluegill, at 4:26 PM, November 16, 2005  

  • uh huh...
    Let me gather my composure a bit before I say something regretfull.
    If no one seconded the motion, then that pretty much says they did not approve of the nomination.
    Evidently, no one on the Council would have cast a vote for him, or they would have offered a second.
    There was much discussion at the time about how many positions this would make for Mr. Messer to fill, and it was just not feisable. There were also concerns of a conflict of interest because he owns a lawn service, which is one very large component of Ordinance enforcement in the summer months.
    Now, Pam Badger was NOT a Police Officer with arresting authority, in the sense that it would take a crime fighting body off the streets. She was Traffic Control.
    Chief Harl did NOT show "leadership" by appointing an OEO. He did NOT have the authority to do such once the hiring procedure was approved by Council.
    The Mayor simply asserted his power and purposfully went around the protocal by instructing the Chief to appoint someone.
    Council, knowing the extreme need, decided to allow the appointment, rather than "grandstanding" about the circumvented process, and retroactively went through the proper protocal to make it "official".
    Poor communication skills is the least of the Mayors worries.

    By Blogger East Ender, at 4:48 PM, November 16, 2005  

  • Give them S.O.B. Hell concern taxpayer.
    You sure got my families support.
    Thanks

    By Anonymous WILLIAM MILLER, at 6:18 PM, November 16, 2005  

  • Laura, do you sometimes feel you are talking to a brick wall? Isn't it convenient how they forgot about the pocket veto, after Council approved the position?
    Isn't it convenient how they forgot Messer did not receive a second from Council, which is allowed last time I checked the "laws"?
    If the proper procedures were followed, the monies would not have been moved from one department to another. And that's that.... Thanks. My opinion. Deep breaths, Laura, Deep Breaths.

    By Anonymous Was There, Saw That, at 7:38 PM, November 16, 2005  

  • Let's see if i have all of this rite: some people want term limits; some people do not want council members to sit on so many boards because of conflicts/ethics; some people think the police are overpaid; boy, everybody wants their cake and eat it, too, don't they. Is anyone choking from what "they" want to what someone is trying to tell us today? Gimme a break (whoever said that). A opinon.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:54 PM, November 16, 2005  

  • And these so called progressive are more concerned about walmart. Then the truth about what is really going on. But Walmart surely got their tax abatement uh?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:29 PM, November 16, 2005  

  • Glad you brought up Walmart, because if "truth" is what you're really all about...then tell me what you think about the unpleasant truth about Walmart...Or is it that you think there isn't any cost of the low price?

    Cmon, truth seekers.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:58 PM, November 16, 2005  

  • I totally agree CT.
    Great job! First time visitor.
    Thanks

    By Anonymous SARAH, at 11:47 PM, November 16, 2005  

  • Right on CT,

    I was at the meeting when Jack was nominated and there was not a second. I was also present when Chief Harl appointed Ms. Badger.

    Keep us focused, CT. You are doing a great job.

    By Blogger shirley baird, at 8:03 AM, November 17, 2005  

  • I was looking for blogs about martial arts and came across yours. Great blog you got. I have a website somewhat related you might find interesting.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:21 PM, January 29, 2006  

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