Treats is just another way of spelling the name of the bakery café downtown, but tricks begin this evening as the city council convenes to formally ratify its factional redistricting intemperance:
New Albany mayoral event, council meeting on same night, by Eric Scott Campbell (News and Tribune).
As the headline makes clear, the long awaited mayoral quasi-debate (or “forum”) will run concurrently with the council meeting, and less than a hundred yards away in the public library.
Had anyone guessed that the council president would be engineering such a scheduling grandstand play as tonight’s, the candidates might have simplified matters by coming to the council meeting and utilizing public speaking time (for agenda items only, ma’am … and please, for once, keep it to five minutes).
The senior editor will miss them all, because I have a previously scheduled event at the Public House that involves the heartfelt appreciation of fine cask ale. The best of luck and patience to Bluegill and Lloyd, who’ll be splitting reporting duties in my absence. Look for their words in this space tomorrow.
Yes, the election is two weeks away, and I must confess that after a slow start, the campaign has become thoroughly entertaining. Amid the woozy and patently false testimonials of known potty-pol bloggers and the trognonymous blathering of spiteful transgendered faux professors, there have been rich textural subplots involving disputes over Randy Hubbard’s work ethic and disbelief as to Doug England’s campaign promises, and the requisite accusations, smears and recriminations.
Meanwhile, both party chairmen have taken turns lobbing combative Tribune letters, their shortened fuses smoldering, and with the express intent of gouging eyes and taking names.
It seems to me that there’s been something missing in all this, and not just Hubbardian caretaking substance.
As most NAC readers know, I am one of several plaintiffs in the lawsuit designed to provide for long overdue redistricting in the city of New Albany.
Although apologists of various stripes have sought to muddy the waters with fatuous irrelevancies, including yawners like the timing of the lawsuit and the “agenda” of the plaintiffs, and despite the sad fact that so few people hereabouts seem to grasp the meaning of words like “negotiation,” it has nonetheless been established as indisputable fact that the previous city council unceremoniously refused its obligation to redistrict, that the current council has waited until the last possible moment to act, and that the council’s leadership (sic) has serially misrepresented the situation.
Furthermore, it is clear that having chosen finally to act, the council now intends to honor its commitment to redistricting in a vacuous breach.
Apparently there is an unbridgeable chasm defined by animosity and pique rather than any real interest in achieving fair and impartial voting districts as mandated by the state of Indiana. Seemingly, it is more important to keep fiefdoms intact.
Speaking only for myself, and in the continuing and stunning absence of a display of genuine good faith on the part of an obstructionist council faction determined to pursue senseless brinksmanship, I’m forced to conclude that a trial date awaits us.
So be it. I might even buy a suit for that one. Of course, it’s not my personal choice, but obviously the council’s congenital wannabeens desire a twilight showdown.
As this story has unfolded, there has been ample discussion of redistricting methodology, much of it centering on the significance of precincts, which here as elsewhere are the basic building blocks of civil division.
In my opinion, whatever their original intent, precincts primarily have become useful only as partisan political constructions; consequently, they need not be considered sacred and inviolable when the task at hand is fair and impartial redistricting to ensure fair elections for all citizens, and not only those expressing a party preference.
Furthermore, I believe that the redistricting experience in Indiana as a whole supports my opinion, and that not unexpectedly, we in New Albany and Floyd County are among the final holdouts when it comes to implementing a revised consciousness with regard to the ultimate pliability of precincts.
Of course, it is likely that Floyd County’s two dominant political parties will continue to utilize precinct structures for their own organizational purposes, and that seems perfectly acceptable to me. As entities traditionally allergic to platforms, the least they can do is drill the foot soldiers to march forward for nothing.
But perhaps I’m wrong, and the two major political parties disagree with my assessment of the situation. Accordingly, one would imagine that by this point, the local party heads might have had something to say about fair and impartial redistricting as pertains to the presumably praiseworthy goal of fair elections.
You know, one man, one vote … and all that dry civics stuff.
Yet, to my knowledge, neither Randy Stumler (Democrat) nor Dave Matthews (Republican) have registered public support for fair redistricting and fair elections. The mayoral candidates have been silent, too.
Public attribution, anyone? I’m eager to be proven wrong. It would make educational courtside reading, don’t you think?