We live in bizarre times.
Mayor Jeff Gahan, a presumed Democrat (this being an ever shakier proposition), currently is putting into motion a long-gestating plan to eliminate public housing in New Albany by demolishing as many units as possible without building any of them back.
Toward this end Gahan has waged cold war against the New Albany Housing Authority, packed the weakened NAHA’s board with sycophants, and hired top-dollar consultants from afar to lubricate the gears of his power (and land) grab.
Meanwhile, tattered chairman Adam Dickey and whatever remains of the besieged Floyd County Democratic Party have been completely silent on the public housing issue.
Of course, Dickey and Gahan also are conspiring together to remove council attorney (and loyal Democrat) Matt Lorch at the behest of serial bigot Dan Coffey, who fled the Democratic Party to suckle at the engorged teats of the Trumpians, but now sees his council swing vote stock rise as Democratic power inexorably ebbs.
Do any principled Democrats remain? Yes, prominent members of the Democratic Party are opposed to the public housing machinations, and offended by the pants-on-fire approach elucidated by the updated Comprehensive Plan. These concerns were aired by area activists at Monday evening’s council meeting, only to be greeted with Old White Guy yawns and Coffey’s usual posturing.
As such, I’m encouraged to see this social media message by Stacy Deck, former Vice Chair of the Floyd County Democratic Central Committee. I don’t know what it says about the state of the party. Does the party even exist?
If you care about fair and affordable housing for low-income persons in our community–most of whom are working below the living wage–please read this article. The New Albany Comprehensive Plan proposes to eliminate public housing in our community based on the unsubstantiated belief that there will be enough affordable and/or subsidized housing in our community to avoid making people homeless. If this worries you, please let the New Albany Housing Authority board and our elected city officials know that they must use accurate and detailed data to assess the impact of this plan, and they must have a clear strategy for making affordable housing available to the families and senior citizens who will be affected. Specifically, this means you don’t tear down anyone’s housing until they have found a safe and affordable alternative, you ask for their input, and you provide adequate time and information so that they can make a transition. Keep in mind that people’s lives will be disrupted and their access to necessary services may be affected. Please encourage Mayor Gahan, our city councilmen, and the NAHA board to not put vulnerable children and elderly persons at even greater risk by compromising their housing stability.