New Albany Person of the Year balloting begins now and ends on the 29th.


Previous winners:

2011: The Sherman Minton Bridge
2012: Bill Allen’s dilapidated paint job

Here’s the template for our objective

Person of the Year is an annual selection by the readers of the NA Confidential blog, spotlighting a person, couple, group, idea, place, or machine that “for better or for worse … has done the most to influence the events of the year” in New Albany.

Here is the final list of nominees.

Houndmouth the band … Four youthful musicians possessing consummate skill and a collectively precocious sense of irony, such that their city benefits immensely from the band’s mere existence without ever really grasping why this might be the case.

NA’s small business entrepreneurs … Much of the record of this city’s revitalization has been written by self-propelled entrepreneurs, ranging from business owners through developers and facilitators like Steve Resch, while apart from a perpetually well-intentioned bully pulpit, local New Albany government largely has been AWOL – chronically under-funded, often paying more attention (and granting very real  benefits and abatements) to larger companies in industrial parks, or just uninformed, disorganized and obsessed with political irrelevancies.

Private planning and design firms … We pay them, and pay more for them, than anyone else, even though they completely ignore the interests of the citizenry. In theory, this makes them really important to somebody. Did we mention the city’s forthcoming Dubai-standard aquatics center and the Main Street Home Value Improvement Project?

Dr. Thomas “You’re My Inferior” Harris … The health department’s chieftain fought the law, and the law won. In a rout. Apparently Harris views himself as heir to television’s House, although the Indiana Attorney General now views Dr. Tom merely as dead wrong in every single facet of the PourGate matter. As such, Harris becomes a vapid, arrogant metaphor for the bumbling ineptitude of county government.

Our errant Bicentennial … Really? We waited 200 years for 12 months of costume balls?

Dan “I’m with Jeff” Coffey … It cannot be denied that during two years on the job, municipal government’s daily operations bear Mayor Gahan’s unmistakable stamp: Inward, guarded and hermetic. For Coffey, Gahan’s ascension has been the chance of a political lifetime. By positioning himself as the mayor’s voicebox and chief council proponent, the once and future copperhead has startlingly reinvented himself in plain sight. Will Gahan return the favor as Coffey challenges that funereal home dude for a commissioner’s seat? It could be interesting to view the handshakes.

Suburban, not urban, “quality of life” … As we’ve come to grasp throughout the year 2013, “quality of life” as a pretext for spending money invariably reflects a council person’s subconscious suburban mores first and foremost, because these are safely white and mostly understood, whereas urban living suggests racial diversity, social chaos and rampant book reading. In addition, “quality of life” always applies far more to the area just around an elected official’s home, and far less to those located even a short walk away. Because, of course, none of them ever walk, do they?

Vote here, or at Facebook, or pretty much any way you damned well please so long as it is legible. One vote per reader, please. The voting deadline is midnight, December 29.