Councilman Al Knable: “I haven’t given a formal public statement on NAHA but I’m happy to respond here.”

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We’re encouraging your elected representatives to speak publicly, for attribution, about public housing in New Albany.

Silence is complicity, and we have a right to know what our elected officials think about Jeff Gahan’s Public Housing Putsch 2017.

I encourage readers to ask his or her council representative for a position on Gahan’s public housing putsch. Let us know their answers (if any), and we’ll compile the results.

If you like what you’re hearing from your council person, by all means vote accordingly next election.

If you don’t like it, reject him. New Albany’s political culture always has been about keeping things hidden. This is repugnant, and it needs to change.

Al Knable, a Republican, was elected to a city council at-large seat in 2015. Here are his comments, as originally posted at Facebook.

I haven’t given a formal public statement on NAHA but I’m happy to respond here. I have discussed the issue with several constituents — a good mix of the districts and demographics — including some NAHA residents (in fact I met with a group of residents and advocates who informed me that I was the only elected official to answer their email, let alone meet with them.)

I’ve also visited some (but admittedly not all) of the NAHA sites and shared some time with a few residents in their units since the turnover at NAHA began.

I agree with the Mayor that there needs to be a decentralization of the existing units rather than repair of outdated units. We differ in that if left to me there would be a well-posted time table for this and there would also be a NAHA resident position on the board; not sure if by-laws would allow that to be a voting position, but having a rep at the table would help communication.

If we’re going to rely on Section 8 housing we need to beef up code enforcement, and I’m not satisfied that’s been accomplished.

Regarding the new leadership at NAHA, Mr. Phipps is correct, and the Mayor’s not obligated to confer with Council members on that. I did, however, look into whether the new Director’s start/stop employment transition dates comply with existing statues; thus far, everything appears copacetic but I plan to keep my eye on the matter regarding overlapping duties where potential conflicts of interest might exist.

Thanks to CM Knable for participating. Your thoughts?

Previously:

Street grids, public housing and Councilman Phipps’ morally indefensible selective engagement.

Phipps has taken a public stand on two-way streets, indicating his preference for them. This is fitting and proper.

However, he has refused to publicly state his position on recent changes at the housing authority, changes that clearly affect people living in Phipps’ council district. His stated reason for doing so? The housing authority is the mayor’s business, not council’s.

And yet Phipps and his council colleagues have had no say in the implementation of two-way streets, either.

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