ON THE AVENUES: The cold hard truth, or just plain Slick Jeffie-inflicted consequences.


Every time I hear the words “hard truth,” I reach for my song list.

George Jones knew quite well of which he sang.

You don’t know who I am
But I know all about you
I’ve come to talk to you tonight
About the things I’ve seen you do

I’ve come to set the record straight
I’ve come to shine the light on you
Let me introduce myself
I’m the cold hard truth

The only difference? In New Albany the self-lubricating clique knows good and well who we (the principled resistance) are, which makes for constant amusement as the enriched Gahanist Leading Element denies any and all acts of reading — in the larger sense, we must take them at their word — all the while snarling while issuing edicts and threats based on the words they didn’t see.

It’s like magic, the flawless intuition of C-minus students, and speaking of cold hard truth, here’s an admirably succinct pre-election summary of the incumbent mayor’s record from NA Confidential’s co-editor, Jeff Gillenwater.

Jeff Gahan, in conjunction with concurrent city councils, has doubled the city’s budget in eight years, saddled us with tens of millions of (often long term) debt, paid out millions in no-bid contracts to campaign donors, and refused to release and/or demand the release of project related financials. To make matters worse, the mayor regularly misleads and lies about it – campaigning on having “balanced” the budget (as legally required of every mayor), getting us out of debt (sewer debt, per former Mayor England’s plan that Gahan voted against), touting a fair to middling credit rating as top notch, and trying to take credit for the investment of others that he had nothing to do with. Any Democrat running for office who is not addressing those issues head on, out loud has no business squawking about “excessive” spending from others.

Specifically, excessive spending by Floyd County government, which for municipal Democrats serves as a convenient catch-all bogeyman of Godzilla-like dimension. Meanwhile the actual cold hard truthfulness of the charge would fit comfortably in a discarded peanut shell on the floor of the chain steakhouses they adore.

As noted previously at NA Confidential, it was instructive last weekend when years of bunker-bound non-engagement gave away to bile and rancor when a handful of Tricky Dickey’s robotically programmed Democratic Party candidates suddenly veered from their canned scripts and began improvising out there on the digital hustings.

SHANE’S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: Syndicates, elections and big fun with pots and kettles.

Surely Squire Adam worried that one of them might actually slip up and be truthful, and sure enough a fair measure of testy bile oozed through the cordon. It appears the Democrats genuinely do picture themselves besieged in the sacred Alamo, with barbarian enemies steadily closing in, endangering Jeff Gahan’s only true masterpiece during a career of consummate time-serving mediocrity: Slick Jeffie’s Astroglide-Driven Pay-to-Play Political Patronage Viagra Superstore.

It was exciting, but we knew it couldn’t last. Among them was at-large city council candidate Sam Charbonneau, and I must commend Sam (and later Matt Nash) for venturing outside the Democratic Party’s traditional cordon of non-transparency.

No solutions? I’ll shrug as you search NA Confidential’s 15-year-long back story for terms like Strong Towns, Jeff Speck, Institute for Local Self Reliance and AMIBA, and watch the solutions coming down like the rain we had been getting this year prior to the month of August.

The hard truth; the cold hard truth … well, Sam’s not the only one trying to carry this particular tune across the street without being struck by drivers speeding unchecked through New Albany’s increasingly hazardous streets.

There is a city we both know
I think you know the one I mean
She gave her heart and soul to you
You gave her only broken dreams

You say you’re not the one to blame
For all the heartaches she’s been though
I say you’re nothing but a liar
And I’m the cold hard truth

The second instance of a Democratic Party candidate dipping his toes ever so carefully into the churning water of genuine, open dialogue — the very act of which reminded me of the days after the Iron Curtain disappeared, when all at once those stodgy brown-suited bureaucrats started ducking the microphones thrust at them by the now extinct breed known as “journalists” — came when incumbent 5th district councilman Nash made a surprise comment on a Facebook post.

Matt Nash
I’ve seen prominent Republicans, even office holders with a (Dan) Coffey sign in their yard

Roger A. Baylor
Pray tell …

I just stated an actual fact, every other comment on here is speculation

Tim Deatrick
Name them if it is fact Nash come on back it up

I’m not your green mouse, do a little detective work yourself. I’m out knocking doors in my district…and anyway my “handler” advised against it

As a New Albanian politician, you’re obviously under no obligation to back up your facts with evidence, as when you voted for the Reisz Mahal without uttering a single word aloud apart from “aye.” It does seem a tad passive-aggressive to advertise your facts here, then duck and cover, but I’m glad you violated Adam’s universal gag order against public discourse. Enough pin pricks and at some point THAT prick will deflate. Then again I always forget: no matter the topic or the logic, Republicans are worse, which justifies any political patronage excess (especially in hiring) or violation of common decency on the part of pretend Democrats. Is it lunchtime yet?

Pretty disingenuous of you to say that since we had a couple hour conversation on the matter the night before the vote. As for proof of the only actual facts in this thread, I have reason for not announcing publicly, which will be clear if you figure out who it is.

That’s fine, but please don’t make the mistake of thinking a barroom conversation with someone, (explicitly) off the record and the night prior to an important vote, satisfies your responsibility to explain your reasoning. Every other council member did, PUBLICLY. You successfully wrote a column for years; I commend this because I know how hard that is, but consequently it’s also a higher standard for you as public official and I believe you’re too smart not to know this.

Frustrated by the tone, Nick Vaughn sensibly followed up with some very good questions.

Instead of spreading unsubstantiated rumors, I’d prefer if our elected officials and candidates would answer some questions:

1. What do you plan to do/what should the city do when/if the Sherman Minton Bridge closes (at least partially)? How will you help mitigate the economic impact?

2. Do you support public/affordable housing? What will you do to ensure people who want to live in New Albany are able to?

3. What are your budgeting priorities? Rank your top 4 budget priorities in order.

4. How do you plan to be accessible to those who elected you (or didn’t)? How will you respond to constituent questions and concerns?

5. Council members and candidates: how will you use your power as a co-equal branch of local government to curb executive overreach? Do you support council approval for mayoral appointments (where law allows)?

Anyone who wishes to address these questions will be given an hour on my podcast.

At this point Sam returned to characterize these perfectly reasonable questions as being just the sort of vile trap a nasty Republican like Vaughn might set, and the train left the rails, but Ozzy Ozbourne isn’t No Show Jones, is he?

You think that you’re a real mayor
But you’re nothing but a fool
The way you run away from us
The way you try to play it cool

I’m gonna say this just one time
Time is running out on you
You best remember me my friend
I am the cold hard truth

As an atheist I can’t swear to God, but I can swear to Pete Townshend’s songwriting oeuvre or the sheer olfactory glory of Pilsner Urquell that I do not personally dislike Sam, Matt or any of the other council candidates in this year’s election cycle.

This said, I cannot support Democrats who support Gahan and contribute to the veneer king’s absurd cult of personality.

Can New Albany withstand another four years of Gahan’s cold hard self-deification?

Where do we start? Just in the past year we’ve seen TIF lotteries, the Reisz Mahal luxury city hall fix, the death of a skateboarder on uncalmed city streets, a planned sixty-mile recreational trail to nowhere, David Duggins’ piece-by-piece dismantlement of Riverview Tower, the Colonial Manor public relations catastrophe — and Gahan leapfrogging $500,000 in career earnings from pay-to-play political patronage.

NA Confidential has documented Gahan’s bullying of a street department worker and a policeman, abetted by the News and Tribune abdication of its responsibility to cover cold hard news in New Albany, as opposed to the fluff human interest stories now choking the newsprint.

There have been Kool-Aid blackouts and loaded Rice Krispies Treats freakouts, and all the while the insider Democrats keep doubling down on Dear Leader — and why not? They’re at the apex of a cliquish and privileged pyramid, looking down their noses at the people they’re supposed to be serving, but they have been too busy implementing Gahan’s luxury enhancement program to give a damn.

And speaking of the breathtakingly unethical back-alley fixes that led to the Reisz Mahal malarkey, does anyone know how much a breach of contract settlement might save us in the long run?

Because if Team Seabrook wins, perhaps the unnecessary city hall can be cancelled. This would be the strongest possible message a New Municipal Order might send to inform the community that the adults at long last are back in the saddle.

You best remember me my friend
I am the cold hard truth

Recent columns:

September 26: ON THE AVENUES: Socialists for Seabrook, because we desperately need a new beginning in New Albany.

September 12: ON THE AVENUES: There’s no business like no business, and it’s none of your business (2016).

September 5: ON THE AVENUES: Welcome to traditional Danish lunch in Copenhagen, September 1989.

August 29: ON THE AVENUES: “Pagan Life,” a weekly column devoted to heathens, infidels, idolaters, atheists, non-theists, irreligious people, agnostics, skeptics, heretics and apostates.