In January of 2009, my short-lived Tribune column began its run. It was suspended in 2011, when I ran for at-large city council. I was defeated in the primary, and while then-editor Steve Kozarovich had promised me the column would resume, by the time the election was finished, CNHI had merged the Tribune with the Evening News.
Goodbye, column. Cue the excuses, and pass the Astroglide.
At the time, I was determined to write a column about it, and to Kozarovich’s credit, it went through after a rewrite. It’s hard to imagine today’s milquetoast management group having the cojones.
Most of us understood that Dan Coffey’s abuses would be swept under an already tattered and stained carpet. Looking back, it’s depressing to see that we also plainly grasped the Groundhog Day scenario to come. Jeff Gahan may not be the only New Albany politician to “use” Coffey’s services for his own benefit — although he’s the most shamelessly and egregiously serial about it.
In 2017, we see it yet again.
22 January 2009
I’d like to link you through to today’s Tribune coverage of the events of last Thursday evening, when the president of the city council did what comes naturally, which is to say he reacted to the themes of a discussion by getting physical, likening himself to a venomous snake and vowing to strike when least expected, but of course Dan Coffey denied all wrongdoing when questioned by the police after a report was filed, which means that in the end, Coffey did the very same thing that he claimed gravely offended him when our friend Jeff Gillenwater noted aloud that Coffey was lying, although in deference to the councilman’s skewed vocabulary, I prefer to call it the daily practice of willful mendacity, but you’ll have to wait until the story appears on-line to draw your own conclusions.
It hasn’t appeared yet, but when it does, I’ll patch you through here.
Earlier I wrote that last week’s incidents (let’s not forget Coffey’s cowardly and inappropriate gaveling of Mark Cassidy during non-agenda item public speaking time) would form the basis of my Tribune column today. I wrote the piece and submitted it, but after conferring with the publisher, the column has been saved for another week pending suggested revisions. You’ll hear no disagreement from me. They’re the journalism pros, and if I don’t learn something from the experience of writing a weekly column, it isn’t worth my time to give it a try. I’ll rewrite. If I can run the piece there, I will. If not, I’ll run it here.
The one thing I will not under any circumstances do is to refrain from shining as bright a light as I’m humanly capable on councilman Coffey’s congenital political obstructionism, on his habitual bullying of those with whom he disagrees, on his misconceptions and misunderstandings, and on the simple fact that insofar as he is able to pose (incorrectly) as the face of New Albany, it is a repugnant and self-defeating image for all of us, in his district or out.
Dan Coffey makes us all look bad, and I’m not willing to accept it without dissent. We can only hope that the council, and perhaps even Coffey’s patron Jeff Gahan, gets the memo. There are good people serving on the council, and if they are truly serious about their roles, duties and legacies, they will remove Coffey as council president. His actions constitute bad faith. His actions have humiliated the council numerous times in the past, and they did again last week.
Does any sitting council member really believe that it won’t happen again in the future?
One, maybe two … and that’s a sad commentary on prevailing standards of decency.