Fourth Estate on the skids: News and Tribune’s incomprehension about Jeff Gahan’s hostile takeover of public housing remains mind boggling.


Let’s take the News and Tribune’s credulous editorial board gently by the hand and lead them as a group to the sweet water of genuine fact, hopeful they’ll be able to drink deeply and perhaps as yet make some semblance of a contribution to what we’re experiencing in New Albany as Year Seven of Dear Leader’s social engineering experiment dawns.

I repeat:

For quite some time, former New Albany Housing Authority chief Bob Lane and his staff had a plan — a genuine, real, written design — to revamp public housing in New Albany on a 1-to-1 demolish/rebuild unit basis.

For Lane to achieve this plan, Mayor Jeff Gahan and certain of his vapid minions had to sign a few documents — and they refused.

In fact, Gahan purposefully neglected to replace housing board members, and in most significant respects, the mayor did what he could whenever he could to thwart Lane’s plans.

It’s about a “C-minus” student’s adoration of mythology, but more on this in a moment.

Gahan then seized control of NAHA, fired Lane, purged the board by replacing its members with reliably servile bootlickers and sycophants, and solved a huge 3rd-floor etiquette problem by shifting the completely unqualified and soon-to-be-divorced David Duggins a long mile away from HWC Engineering’s branch squatter’s office of municipal government.

This cherry-picked new public housing regime promptly promised to demolish half the existing units, to be replaced with vouchers, the utility of which is contradicted by every prevailing academic study — but what does this mean to those among us who don’t ever bother reading?

Except for the mythology, of course.

This abrupt putsch had the predictable effect of creating opposition; naturally, with no specific plan apart from the vague voucher bauble, and with the fix so very obviously in, thoughtful housing residents and community members viewed Gahan’s actions in precisely the proper context: a hostile takeover of NAHA to facilitate social engineering according to the “vision” of a typical veneer salesman’s lifelong prejudices.

So far, these verbal assurances to residents and the community have taken the form of veiled threats and strong-arm tactics, which are sure to become more prevalent when the new police sub-station is up and running; ironically, it isn’t about the crime, it’s about “boy, do you really need to be signing a petition when Pappy Gahan disapproves?”

Is the police chief capable of shame or embarrassment at this point?

Years of Gahan’s conniving over Bud Light Limes at the Roadhouse, followed by ten months of pure bungling by people who can’t even lie very well, and only on December 12 did the handpicked board of demolition coordinators bother to release an official statement of purported calming, the tone of which was immediately contradicted by an increasingly strident and intemperate Duggins, who denounced freedom of expression while pointing a paranoid finger at the emerging conspiracy against his selfless band of heroes.

It’s an absolute and expanding mess of the anchor-weighted Gahan’s own making. He is frantically scratching the most irresistible generational and mythological itch of all, this being his earnest and impeccably crackpot theory that honest DINOs can’t ever get what they really deserve in this town until public housing is scourged and the unsightly poor dispersed.

Carbohydrates don’t matter as much as plausible deniability, and Gahan’s loading up on the latter, importing a red-faced bag man from Clark County to do the dirty work.

Gahan probably believes he’s in the clear, but actually his ongoing public housing putsch reveals the fathomless depths of a moral and ethical void. Not only is the stain uncontained, it’s spreading. The monetizing vandals at Team Gahan finally are getting worried, and their poise is fast eroding.

With the next coronation due in 2019, and so many beaks to keep wetted, things are about to become even dirtier.

Perhaps even a newspaper might be interested in such matters, although yesterday (December 31) the newspaper’s editorial board saw fit to gloss over every bit of the preceding back story, somehow managing to cram a single uncomprehending reference to New Albany (overall) amid the predictably Clark-centic year’s end pronouncements.

As a public service, using Google Map and a bottle of Amontillado, I’ve managed to confirm the editorial board’s relative position in the local cosmos.

Those folks must be dehydrated. Too bad. We sure could use a newspaper right about now.

OUR OPINION: These news stories will carry over into the new year

Now it’s time to turn our attention to 2018. You don’t need a crystal ball to predict what some of the news narratives will be in 2018 …

• Public housing problems pile up

… New Albany has a plan, but can’t convince public housing residents — or even the public at large — that it’s acting in the best interests of all concerned by repairing what can be fixed and razing what can’t. Promises of housing vouchers for those who must move, and reassurances that no one will be left homeless, are being questioned due to limited residential housing. New Albany may have a good plan — at least this city is doing something — but until people’s concerns are assuaged, the powers that be will get little support.

— The News and Tribune editorial board is comprised of Publisher Bill Hanson, Editor Susan Duncan, Assistant Editor Chris Morris, Assistant Editor Jason Thomas and Digital Editor Elizabeth DePompei.