In April, several thousand NA Confidential readers learned why Jeff Gahan must go, but the #1 post by a landslide? That’d be “Long Live NA Social.”

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Thanks for reading NA Confidential, where we enjoy reconnoitering the neglected periphery for uniquely local perspectives on life in New Albany.

Someone has to at least try doing it, or we can grow old and gray waiting for the Jeffersonville News and Tom May’s ‘Bune to belatedly rediscover the journalistic imperative to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable — and they’re so determined to provide good primary election coverage that the New Albany editor disappeared ten days ago and won’t be back on duty until next week.

As always, the previous month’s most-viewed list begins with ten “honorable mention” posts, before concluding with the Top Ten, escalating to No. 1.

APRIL HONORABLE MENTION (10)

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HMS Maritime’s downtown expansion is a positive development, one largely omitting City Hall.

As preface, kindly note that I’m entirely down with HMS Maritime’s expansion, its purchase of a downtown building and the notion of rehabbing it.

It’s a perfect example of the sort of jobs that David White will be far better placed to attract to New Albany, whether by cooperating with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) and One Southern Indiana or on his own.

But that’s a discussion for another time. As for HMS Maritime, I’m intrigued by the contrasting versions of the press release made available today.

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Colonial Manor listening? Yesterday Gahan, Dickey and the DemoDisneyDixiecrats displayed with unmistakable clarity just how little integrity they have left in the tank.

I can’t say enough positive things about the attitude displayed by Kathy and her associates. They’re showing us what grassroots involvement can mean.

And, sadly, local Democrats are responding in the only way they know how, with an equally compelling display of detachment, arrogance and pure spite — which Gahan’s Wednesday afternoon video displayed with sheer, numbing pettiness.

Gahan’s absolute power corrupts, and it corrupts absolutely.

He “plays politics” every minute of every day of his public life, and when someone disagrees with him, they’re accused of … wait for it … “playing politics.”

Gahan seems to believe that his tenure as mayor and the very practice of politics in New Albany are intertwined, synonymous and inseparable — that Gahan himself is entitled to a monopoly on political power solely because the press clippings he paid someone else our tax dollars to write depict him in such glowing, infallible terms.

But forget Gahan’s giggly, goofy uncle persona. It’s his inner bully — the thug deep down — that compelled yesterday’s video, which was posted for the sole purpose of bullying and humiliating a group of sincere grassroots stakeholders.

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Very interesting: “Court Says Using Chalk On Tires For Parking Enforcement Violates Constitution.”

For now, I’m just leaving this here. Based on a few things I’ve seen in the past month, we may also be dealing with a “prolific chalker” in New Albany. We’ve since ruled out “Sharpiers,” right?

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Slip sliding away, Vol. 1: A desperately Deaf Gahan seeks to divert your attention from Mt. Tabor malfeasance by attacking the citizenry for doing their homework. Voters, call his arrogant bluff.

$438,000 surely buys plenty of Rice Krispies Treats and Kool-Aid, although these folkloric medications only worsen the self-delusion, arrogance and hubris that have characterized Gahan’s career in politics.

But we must be honest and concede that while the office may have exacerbated these tendencies, they’ve always existed deep inside the shadowy cranium of an otherwise mild-mannered veneer peddler whose only real achievement since attaining his current position of authoritarian tinpot has been to constantly inflict his will on those who never mistook his dull-witted plodding for inspired genius.

Now during an election year intended by Gahan as royal coronation, it laughably transpires that “running for mayor” is an insult Gahan directs at others, though of course never at himself — and lots of folks who seek municipal contracts are perfectly content to fluff Deaf’s inflated ego as “Democrats” stand idly to the side, pretending they’re progressive.

Of course if a guy like Gahan walked into a tavern every day for seven years, during each visit reminding the patrons of his exalted, divine-right perfection, it’s barely conceivable the regulars might gently mock him while at the same time tolerating his presence as comic relief from a minor eccentric.

Conversely, he might also be kicked out the door and straight to the curb as an obnoxious blowhard.

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When it’s time for personal status protection, local Democrats rally around the Kool-Aid.

In retrospect Gahan easily endured the initial firestorm after seizing NAHA and deposing Bob Lane. The opposition was kept effectively divided through the usual strong-arming and the intimidation of activist public housing residents. Naturally the media lost interest after a few weeks and went back to Cooking School.

Most of the tiny handful of local Democrats willing to express revulsion during the winter of 2017 had diligently normalized their ideological situation a year later. They’d gone to work rationalizing Gahan’s actions as both progressive and preferable to those of Republicans, and when David Duggins “jokingly” threatened to administer a sound tazing to a public housing resident in winter 2018, Democratic wagons were circled even before the tastelessly chosen words left the former redevelopment bag man’s mouth.

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Ma, the mayor’s lyin’ ’bout his budget again: “Quality of life begins with honest communication, something that just doesn’t figure in Gahan’s accounting.”

Even with city government spending approximately $13,000,000 more per year now than it did before Gahan took over, those tax increases did not cover his tens of millions of dollars of additional spending on special and often seasonal projects like the aquatics center. Several of those parks projects alone, over $30 million, were financed with Tax Increment backed bonds, borrowed at interest against projected future tax revenues for the next 20 years. Many New Albanians 45 or older will likely be retired or perhaps even deceased before taxpayers manage to pay off just a single Gahan term as mayor.

And, as Gahan himself says, he’s not done yet.

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Slip sliding away, Vol. 2: “In researching Indiana Code, it was discovered that the City of New Albany abused the power of eminent domain in acquiring land for a public utility.”

Pay to play corruption, Mt. Tabor malfeasance, the intimidation and bullying of city employees … folks, it’s no longer about party affiliation. It’s about cutting out a cancerous growth so this city can have a democratic future. Democrats, your party has aligned itself with tyranny, and I encourage you to vote for David White on May 7.

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Council Monday: No Sharpies for selective tire marking, and no answer for why tires are being selectively marked.

Apparently police chief Bailey took a few minutes away from his tireless work on behalf of the Gahan re-election clique to discuss one facet of the issue with Knable.

Seems that Chief Bailey was not aware that some NAPD officers are marking the tires of selectively targeted parking violators with indelible Sharpies and not chalk, and he said this practice will be addressed and rectified.

Now if we could just address the reasons for the selective enforcement in the first place … but big thanks to Knable for following through and starting the conversation.

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Council rejects Gahan’s, Redevelopment’s Colonial Manor tax increment financing lollapalooza by a 5-4 vote. Alterations to come?

In turning down tonight’s resolution, council in effect sends it back to Redevelopment with helpful post-it notes for changes sufficient to garner future council approval. For example, a comprehensive Charlestown Road corridor study is urged to be a part of what comes back for consideration. Other caveats include a citizen advisory committee and public input meetings that genuinely seek participation and not the rubber-stamping of pre-determined outcomes.

Given that the Redevelopment Commission is regarded by Jeff Gahan as his personal plaything, and the Colonial Manor purchase with the TIF One Platinum card plainly was intended as a rushed feather in Dear Leader’s re-election bonnet, things now get interesting.

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As the half-million dollar mark draws near, Jeff Gahan undoubtedly has too much money, power and control. It’s time to decentralize and #FireGahan2019

The first quarter CFA-4 receipts and expenditures reports are being filed, and soon we’ll see how many dollars Jeff Gahan has added to the Crusade for Himself tote board.

My guess would be $20-30k for the period beginning January 1 to the present, lifting his total within HWC-tithing distance of the half-million mark in career love offerings.

Earlier this year NAC’s 20-part series detailed Gahan’s receipts these past nine years. The News and Tribune couldn’t care less, as it profits from Gahan’s advertising buys. But I believe that voters are perfectly capable of doing the math, and resolving to #FireGahan2019

APRIL TOP 10

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For Gauleiter Duggins and Dear Leader, it’s all about the timetable to transform Riverview Tower into luxury with a view.

Whether Team Gahan’s secretive final preferred outcome for Riverview Tower is outright demolition or its spiffy renovation for market rate housing (read: no more poor people enjoying great views), is there any doubt that chicanery is afoot?

You just don’t move the back alley redevelopment fixer to public housing if helping people is the ultimate goal.

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Changing times, or thinking back to one fine day in 2015 at a parade party down the street.

I never wanted it to change, and it did anyway. Now it’s 2019. Matt’s gone, and their house changed hands earlier this month. Naturally I don’t begrudge Brook for selling and moving, and wish the very best to her. She’s tops.

I also sincerely and heartily welcome the buyers, our new neighbors seven houses west. Seemingly their first official act was to erect a large Gahan sign in the front yard — and, of course, that’s their absolute right. After all, I have a same-sized David White sign out front in our yard. Political signs are a temporary, seasonal kind of thing, and that’s that.

It isn’t anger or petulance I’m feeling today, but something akin to discomfort. It’s probably another bout of sadness and sorrow at Matt’s passing, admittedly accompanied by a measure of enduring frustration at the way car-centrism in America is de facto imperialism, enabling one privileged class of humanity to trample the rights of another segment, as all the while the political class snoozes — when not self-monetizing from those corporations that benefit the most from car-centrism.

It’s merely garden-variety melancholy on an overcast day, thinking back to that awesome autumn Saturday and beers with the Brewers, who wanted to even the playing field by displaying my banner when the parade was being recalcitrant in its officiousness.

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“Top Shelf Tactical, LLC is currently closed due to unstable building conditions from construction on the new city hall.”

It’s a tough break for any locally-owned independent business.

Top Shelf Tactical, LLC is currently closed due to unstable building conditions from construction on the new city hall. Let’s hope construction is speedy and this family owned shop is able to open soon.

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Let’s focus on Jeff Gahan’s breathtakingly brazen string of fake facts and outright lies about Colonial Manor.

On Wednesday afternoon just a few hours before the listening event sponsored by Colonial Manor Redevelopment Visioning, City Hall released a propaganda video aimed at (a) exaggerating Jeff Gahan’s role in the Colonial Manor redevelopment process, and (b) insulting the grassroots community group that came into existence precisely because Gahan and his crack team of minions hadn’t been doing anything about Colonial Manor.

As Bluegill succinctly observed:

In which Mayor Jeff Gahan uses city tax dollars to produce a highly biased, politically charged propaganda piece that distorts the story to make himself look better for re-election.

Amid the din of Kool-Aid slurping, let’s take a closer look at the video with the aim of exposing Gahan’s shameless whoppers.

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Team Gahan speaks with forked tongues: If residents are being moved OUT of Riverview Tower, why does NAHA need MORE parking on State Street?

If Riverview is only 62% filled, and given the ongoing profusion of hints to the effect that the building will be taken out of commission in some way, shape or form, then what’s the need for extra parking on State Street, which is situated three times the distance from Riverview as the city’s huge parking capacity opposite the ball fields?

Isn’t it the case that Gahan is borrowing from NAHA’s unused “refurbishment” funds to finance City Hall property speculation?

You know, it’s not hard to call them out for telling bald-faced whoppers when they’re openly contradicting themselves.

If you haven’t read the transcript of Gahan’s and Duggins’ comments to residents at the Mark Elrod Tower, consider doing so.

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ON THE AVENUES: Greg Pennell tells his story.

Recently I spoke with Pennell by phone from his home in Florida, where he moved after retiring from the NAPD in mid-2016. When I asked Pennell to explain why he chose to leave the police department when he did, his answer came clear and crisp.

“I supported David White for mayor in 2015.”

Evidently freedom of speech and association had ramifications for Pennell, as it has for others in New Albany, before and since.

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ON THE AVENUES: Donnie Blevins tells his story.

In spite of it all, Blevins tells his story calmly and factually, betraying no outward signs of anger, bitterness or self-pity. He concedes there are times when it’s hard being a Christian and maintaining his composure. But as has always been the case with Blevins, there’s plenty of work to do, and he just does it.

Blevins’ own conclusion about Jeff Gahan is sweeping and comprehensive in its brevity.

“Jeff is a bully.”

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Recbar in Jeffersontown to open second location in downtown New Albany.

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But didn’t taxpayers already forward $750,000 to Denton Floyd to “stabilize” the Reisz Luxury City Hall?

Of course, they might be maypoles. They’re certainly not giants.

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NA Social’s about to be dead, so “Long Live NA Social.”

There comes a time when you realize the fix is in, that others have more power than you, and no matter how you play your hand it’s doubtful you can win. At this juncture it seems pointless. It’s not exactly like resigning from a chess match, although “resignation” is one aspect of the way it feels.

Never mind that NA Social did it better than that other organization, because the latter had the official stamp from approval from the “cool kids,” and NA Social didn’t.

By extension, an under-appreciated fact of life in New Albany after eight years of a civic governing clique is that gradually, almost imperceptibly, downtown’s previous spirit of improvisational cooperation and egalitarianism has been supplanted by a nervous calculation: whose “side” do I need to be seen supporting?

That’s a calculation unlikely to be friendly to NA Social or any other genuinely independent organization similar to it, and it’s yet another sad testament to the current money/power/control imperative pursued on a daily basis by City Hall.

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