Non-recusals, Wendy’s, 2009, The Gary, a roadway and lessons never learned.


Readers with long memories (they are to be pitied, in a way) will recall it starting back in spring of 2009, when The Gary (McCartin) wanted to turn a green space into non-permeable asphalt by moving the Wendy’s from a regrettably expanding old-school suburban doughnut hole to a spanking new exurban location on Charlestown Road by the rockin’ Interstate, where the Hummers and private autos roam.

The plan snaked its way through the scores and snores of various bureaucratic channels and came to rest in city council packets, where it devolved into an epic, multi-meeting struggle between the adjacent neighborhood and The Gary’s Krafty John.

Live blogging 4: Council votes on The Gary’s Wendy’s fetish.

Jaws drop as Messer, Coffey execute simultaneous 180-degree flip-flops, killing Wendy’s … for now?

Okay, I’ll say it: Messer and Coffey unite to promote cynicism in Wendy’s flip-flop.

Ah, the humanity … or lack thereof.

There was a first council reading, and then a second and third, both occurring with the council short one member; afterwards, the then-council attorney Stan Robison dramatically reversed the finality of those 4-4 ties, and so fourth and fifth readings were scheduled and recorded. After the Messer/Coffey flip-flops finally came to rest, The Gary had been ingloriously defeated, and he stormed away in a pique, muttering about never doing anything for this ungrateful community, ever again — a promise we piously hope he’s keeping.

Except that he had the last Wendy’s laugh: A few months later, all was moot when McCartin found a convenient zoning-supported spot nearby to make the community even fatter then before from heart-healthy burger grease.

All of this came back to me today when I noticed in the newspaper that the final resting place of Wendy’s on Charlestown Road had so altered the traffic dynamic that the Board of Public Works and Safety had been compelled to consider changes to the roadway.

New signal in design for Charlestown Road; Light would be adjacent to new Wendy’s (Suddeath; OSIN)

New Albany City Council President Diane McCartin-Benedetti said Sam’s ownership needed to be alerted of the plan, though the board of works would still have to approve the actual installation of the signal.

That’d be the CeeSaw-coup-mandated council president Benedetti, also a council delegate to Redevelopment, now graciously helping to broker a traffic solution, and the knowledge of this reminded me of something else about that legendary 2009 council clash, as framed by the inimitable Bob Dusch during public comments about the Wendy’s move.

Live blogging: City council meeting of March 19, 2009.

Bob Dusch – (It’s an) “end run” to develop commercially. Explains that zoning laws exist to protect property owners. Waste of neighborhood and council time. “We will have been sold out for a hamburger joint … Wendy’s isn’t even owned locally.” Mrs. Benedetti is now singled out. She ran as Diane MCCARTIN Benedetti. How can she vote on bro’s project? (Even the) Tribune pointed out the seeming conflict of interest … “appearance is important.”

Benedetti responds: Yes I ran on that basis. I have no capital gain. Voted him down before. I did my research (she gets very hysterical) … wants to make “solutions not problems.” Doesn’t have an e-mail address because “I don’t want people e-mailing me … I want them calling me.” Now says that brother and the others have actually spoken with Bob. She now gestures to the crowd like Steve Price always does. Now she denigrates downtown New Albany as comparison. She cherishes the exurb. BIG BIG time grandstanding. BIG BIG time grandstanding. No capital gain, no conflict of interest.

New Albany stories typically don’t have morals, because for there to be a moral, it is necessary for there to be a lasting lesson. So, I’ll stop here.