What they’re saying: Coffey, Bagshaw, McCourt, Knable and Staten.


As the weeks go past in route to May’s primary election, I’m providing periodic candidate statements of substance, mostly unretouched, as lifted from social media and news reports. Familiar gems such as “yard signs win elections, not people” and “donate to my campaign first, and maybe I’ll have something of merit to say much, much later” will be omitted. That’s because it is my aim to determine whether our declared candidates have anything to say at all, and I’ll quote all candidates, from any and all parties, whether or not they’re in a contested race. Just promising change and new ideas without divulging them won’t cut the mustard, aspirants.

Let’s lead off with Dan Coffey. The 1st district incumbent has retrofitted his previous Facebook county commissioner’s campaign page into one touting his city council candidacy: Coffey for 1st District City Council.

At Dale Bagshaw for City Council New Albany district 3, the Republican candidate spots a flaw in the farmers market buildout.

I see that the farmers market project has started and again there are no public restrooms planned. We build public places like bicentennial park and now the farmers market without public restrooms. I suppose we will have porta-potties here also. We want a friendly walkable city but don’t install restrooms or trash containers along the new Main St. Project.

On Thursday, 6th district city council Republican candidate Noah McCourt had this to say about his party’s Lincoln Day Dinner.

Tonight is the Floyd County Lincoln day dinner. In concept I think the event is rooted in customs and is a great fundraising opportunity. However I disagree with it in principle. I think it serves to endorse the stereotype of the Republican Party is for the “rich people.” New Albany has a very diverse population and I understand that many residents would most likely rather not spend hundreds of dollars on a single event. Abraham Lincoln came from a very rough poor background. He had no formal college education and yet his presidency is one of the most loved and best remembered. I run my campaign and I refer to myself blue collar. For me to attend while the city continues to spiral into debt and as I observes residents, including my own family financially struggling would be slightly hypocritical. Abraham Lincoln said “Important principles may and must be inflexible” and so tonight I stand on principles and will not be in attendance at the dinner tonight. Instead I will be spending my time continuing to speak with residents, attending an event at IUS and continuing to work towards a better future for the city of New Albany.

McCourt’s 6th district Democratic counterpart, Dr. Cliff Staten, indicates his support for the New Albany-Floyd County School Corporation’s referendum.

In addition to the primary elections for the city on May 5th, there is a referendum on the capital projects proposal by the School Board. As a lifelong educator, I urge all of you to support the project…as I have said before…elections are about the future and the best way to have a positive impact on the future is through your support of public education…and, if you are concerned about the “bottom line” I note that this will NOT cost you extra on your property taxes…to put it in simple terms, “This is a no-brainer…” For more information: Families for Floyd County

Al Knable, Republican for council at-large, agrees.

I’ll be voting YES on the NAFC School Corporation’s referendum on this May’s ballot.

My wife Jessica and I have been strong supporters of public schools since graduating from NAHS back in the 80’s. When it came time to decide a route for our children’s education the quality and diversity offered by NAFC schools made our decision easy.

We respect the fact that for many conscientious families a public education is not the best choice. We also realize that although it was the best choice for our four kids, many parents don’t have the luxury of options.

Whether or not you choose to send your children to public schools- indeed whether or not you have children- it is in the best interest of the community to have a strong public education system in place.
For the past five years I have served on the board of the NAFC Education Foundation, as President for the past two. During that time the Foundation has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help support our public schools. For me, this service has provided valuable insight into how fortunate we are to live in New Albany/Floyd County. I have witnessed the dedication of our administrators, Board, support staff and above all the teachers, in and out of the classroom, that makes our schools special.

Passage of this referendum will not only maintain but will spur further excellence.

Passage of the referendum will NOT result in a tax increase.

I pay a lot in taxes each year. If you don’t believe me ask my accountant, Joe Brown. (He won’t tell you how much but I give him permission to nod his head in affirmation.) Like you, I hate the irresponsible spending of tax dollars. I’m voting YES because I know where this money will go: new Greenvalley and Slate Run elementary schools, revamped Floyds Knobs and Greenville elementary schools and an essentially new Prosser Career Education (Vocational) Center. These build-outs will replace current inadequate, antiquated and in some cases dangerous facilities.

It is often said that “children are our future”. True. But not some far off future. Our fellow citizens of 2016 and beyond are being educated NOW. I want them to be the best they can be.

If we won’t commit to a quality public education for today’s children, we will reap the decaying society we deserve in an all too near tomorrow.

As an aside: Will any candidates be voting no to the referendum?