UPDATED: Open thread: What qualities should we expect from our city council representatives?


Sunday morning update:

It’s now official: We have a Democratic primary race in the 3rd council district.

Former 3rd district councilman Maury Goldberg, who held the seat for two decades prior to declining a re-election bid in 2003, placed three paid ads in Sunday’s Tribune high school basketball preview supplement. It is unclear whether Maury’s New Albany Today blog will go the way of John Yarmuth’s LEO column during his bid for office.

It also is not known whether the Luddite incumbent, Steve Price, will seek to hold his seat, but if so, aficionados of instant gratification now can look forward to only the smallest of entertainment gaps between the recently concluded 2006 general election and the forthcoming primary campaigns, which will decide candidates for city offices, including what shapes up to be an epic mayoral slugfest.

Meanwhile, today’s Tribune news coverage is subtitled, “A World Turned Upside Down,” with underachieving council reactionary Larry Kochert announcing the advent of a smoke-free New Albany, work scheduled to begin on our portion of the Ohio River Greenway, and publisher John Tucker advancing the unfashionable but spot-on viewpoint that a casino would not be the most profitable smart growth option for downtown Jeffersonville.

If you haven’t read the Tribune for a while, pick up a copy of the Sunday edition, and see just how much has changed (well, ignore the spelling goof on the front page and the slothful web updates — I’m referring to content here).

Contrast it with today’s barren and uninspired Indiana Section in the Courier-Journal, which recently seems to have settled on New Albany and Floyd County coverage by a rotating committee of disinterested reporters, and see what is possible when a local paper finally starts playing aggressively.


“After what New Albany has endured over the last four years, it will be fun to watch who New Albany choses for their new council people. I hope the cumulative I.Q. is more than 70! It takes smarts and problem solving skills to run and make decisions for a town (YOUR town, MY town).”
-Anonymous blog comment.

“You’re allowed your opinion, but our family sure does like Councilman Price. Have you ever even tried working with him on an issue? His tenure is lookin’ fine to us! Any others, though? We’d probably be in agreement on, ya gotta think, at least one?”
-Anonymous blog comment.

Item: After several members argued about drainage system repairs, (councilman) Donnie Blevins spoke up: “I’d like to say something, if you guys are done seeing who can pee the farthest.”
-Quoted in the Tribune.

In 2007, New Albany’s city council seats will be contested. From its inception in 2004, NA Confidential has observed snippets of magic, extremities of pain, moments of statesmanlike vision, and endless hours of self-aggrandizing bilge emanating from the current aggregation, and if you’ve been watching this space for any length of time, you probably have a vague notion of what we’re looking for in a city council representative – and which present members have come closest to the ideal.

A clue: As seated in the meeting room facing the council, look to the left and begin counting to five. Stop with the council president, who is in the middle. Those four on the right? Best change the topic.

Subject to the NA Confidential Community’s usual rules for comment identity, i.e., screen names and pseudonyms are permitted so long as the senior editor knows who you are in real life, here’s the chance for readers to weigh in on the question, “What qualities should we expect from our council representatives?”

Feel free to elaborate — but let’s keep it clean.

Barring an unexpected news item of significance, I’ll leave this thread on the marquee until Monday afternoon.