Council aids and abets Coffey in master plan debacle, then has a drink or two and says, “whatever.”


(Dan) Coffey said the council hasn’t received enough information on the plan, though it passed through the city’s Redevelopment and Plan commissions.

From New Albany City Council says no to Georgetown deal, by Daniel Suddeath.

During the year it took for the downtown master plan to travel from conception through the Redevelopment and Plan Commissions in route to the council chamber, the perpetually information-deprived Dan Coffey sat on both, having appointed himself to be the council’s liaison with these bodies.

New Albany’s own set of rules differ with Coffey appointing himself, but I digress. After all, we’re accustomed to lawlessness.

One would imagine that any normally cognizant person attending meetings on a semi-regular basis would be aware of the master plan’s progress.

But, says the Wizard of Westside, none of this should be taken to imply that he (or other council appointees in like positions) retained any of it, seeing as cognitive function is not a state of human afairs that exists in a void. Rather, in Coffeystan, it is inexorably tied to political caterwauling, as we saw last evening.
Of course, it was Coffey heroically playing the role of “the council member” who called the VFW to tip them off about the ATC coming to raid their video poker machines — wait, sorry, that’s Steve Price’s line — or, as in the Monday edition of “As the Credulity Turns” posited, letting them know at the very last moment that approving a resolution about the master plan would deprive them of a parking lot and a tank.

Apparently the VFW is populated with members who never, ever read the newspaper and also were scandalized that such a thing as a zoning master plan might ever exist in fair New Albany. Given that later in the meeting, Coffey cooed about providing funding to the same VFW for an Internet cafe to bring grandparents and grandchildren together, we can surmise that all of it was choreographed in advance without the necessity of a last-minute rotary dial cell phone call, but really, does this matter?

Thus, we were treated to the spectacle of the VFW’s representative waving the bloody shirt in the faces of council persons who sat impassively through another of Coffey’s elaborately staged Punch ‘n’ Judy shows, except that at the crucial juncture Price, who hasn’t learned protocol after six years of trying, was given the handoff by QB Coffey and fumbled it, inelegantly allowing the resolution to be seconded and forcing Coffey to change Roberts Rules of Order once again and forcibly deferring the discussion until Price has convened a committee to try to brush it under the rug.

Jack Messer deserves plaudits for calling Coffey’s bluff, and the remainder of the council might merit a rebuke for permitting Coffey’s behavior to sully their already ebbing political reputations even further, except that in some way and at some level, all of them were in on the fix last night. You can’t convince me that any of it was improvisational.

With the first-reading “no” votes on every piece of legislation having to do with funding, and with the slapdown of all the educated professionals who attended the meeting in the hope of dicussing New Albany’s future, Coffey orchestrated a spitball in the face of City Hall — and that’s understandable, given that the room was filled with “them people,” and Coffey hates “them people” in a visceral way that owes more to Richard Nixon’s tortured pathology than anything pertaining to the relative facts of the cases being brought before the council last night.

Here’s the rub: The rest of them (Price the clueless sycophant excluded) continue to sit there and pretend that all of this comes without cost. Some gathered afterwards at Studio’s and talked about what might be done … and, accordingly, they did (and continue to do) absolutely nothing, as though Coffey’s antics are injurious only to himself, and not to the city, to its revitalization, and to their own council work records.

Because: Last night, by acquiescing in Coffey’s “fuck you Doug, and while we’re at it, fuck the city” junkyard mutt theater, each and every one of the council members present simply dogged it. Yes, we’re paying them next to nothing, but last night, that was far too much. They took the paychecks and ran for the hills, barely breaking a sweat in the process — half-heartedly waving at tepid fastballs, jogging downfield on their routes, playing matador defense against the opposing guard.

Afterward, they laughed and joked about it. To me, it’s no laughing matter to underachieve.

Why is it for them?

And, what should they do?

Something. That’d be a start.