Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 8: Open thread: City council meeting of Monday, February 2 (3 February 2009).


Joined at the hip. (2 February 2009)

LAST: Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 7: Hot toadstools and cold cappuccino (29 January 2009).

These final three installments of the story (two blog and one newspaper) serve as reminders of who was willing to speak openly about Dan Coffey’s misbehavior (that’d be John Gonder), and those who weren’t … or, everyone else involved, to be precise.

Neither for the first time nor the last, New Albany’s elected council chose to protect its own rather than offer evidence of a pulse. The trend continues to this very day; witness the manner by which all parties involved with the Bicentennial Commission are cooperating with each other to ensure that NA Confidential doesn’t see the records.

It’s all the same people.

It’s always all the same people.

And that’s why the results — that’s right: they’re always the same.

Live from the council chamber.

2 February 2009

The mayor is about ten minutes into his speech … but the highlight of the night has been CM John Gonder’s passionate calling-out of council kingpin Dan Coffey.

Granted, the remainder of the council sat on its hands. Yes, Coffey himself meekly thanked Gonder, perhaps because he didn’t understand the Latin phrase Gonder used. It appears that no censure will be forthcoming. But Gonder did much good by not permitting the topic to be swept under the rug, as undoubtedly the default mechanism would have guaranteed.

A formal rebuke is necessary. Yet, we owe Gonder.

Open thread: City council meeting of Monday, February 2.

3 February 2009

Thanks to the library’s newly powerful Wi-Fi signal, I was able to post live from the council chambers last night. It was slapdash, but I’m not much of a typist.

In contrast to so many previous spectacles, the meeting was professional and business-like to the point to befuddlement. It was like watching a European art house flick as opposed to an American car chase epic.

It should be noted that council president Dan Coffey appeared to have been sedated. He sat expressionless through colleague John Gonder’s brilliant, dispassionate public explication of Coffey’s January 15 meltdown. Coffey similarly endured my later questions about public speaking rights and Bluegill’s subsequent request that the council publicly rebuke the president so as to establish a principle that remains so elusive in New Albany: There are consequences for bad behavior.

Both Gonder and NAC’s co-editor correctly stated that Coffey had lied to the police about his behavior at Studio’s, and Coffey did not deny it, which I plainly consider an admission of guilt, if implicit. There were witnesses, and yet the council president chose to provide the police with pure fiction.

If one lies in such a manner to the police, is this not an example of hindering a police investigation?

Isn’t this fact alone grounds for the council to officially and publicly ensure its loose cannon of a president?

The point is this: Coffey obviously has been taken to school since the previous meeting, and last night, he did not contest any of the statements made in his presence. Yes, he took his medicine like an adult, and that’s admirable in a limited sense.

But he did not apologize for his behavior.

He should. If he doesn’t, the council should take action to police itself.

What do you think?

Coffey criticized for Studio’s incident (Daniel Suddeath in the Tribune)

3 February 2009

 … Councilman John Gonder said Council President Dan Coffey’s reaction to two residents during and after the Jan. 15 meeting “crossed the line.”

Coffey became engaged with Mark Cassidy, a resident and former member of a redistricting committee, during the January meeting when Cassidy asked about council progress on forming a new redistricting body.

The confrontation led to Cassidy being gaveled down from the podium before he could read a prepared statement.

Following the meeting, Coffey and resident Jeff Gillenwater were involved in a debate at Studio’s Grille and Pub revolving around redistricting that resulted in Gillenwater filing a police report claiming he felt threatened by Coffey.

Gonder said Monday that the council president must be held to a higher standard. Coffey did not react to Gonder’s comments and he was the only council member to say something about the two events.

But Mayor Doug England mentioned better relationships between council members and the public during his State of the City address. Additionally, Gillenwater and resident Roger Baylor made statements to the council about what transpired.

Gillenwater — standing just a few feet away from Coffey — called for the council to make corrective measures regarding its president. He questioned Coffey’s take on the situation by saying the council president “reported events falsely to the police and falsely reported the events to [The Evening News and Tribune].”

But Coffey did not respond to Gillenwater’s statement either, only saying “thank you Mr. Gillenwater” when he concluded.

NEXT: Gahan and Coffey Together Forever, Part 9: Dan Coffey is less than zero without Jeff Gahan actively enabling him — again, again and again.