Only the passive and benumbed yes man, councilman Bob “Bail!” Caesar.
That’s the total number of Democratic public officials choosing to attend an important meeting with INDOT officials, with super-duper Supreme Leader Payhan not among them; that’s no surprise, because he would not have been allowed to commandeer the meeting to his own small-pond political aims.
Let’s be blunt. INDOT’s plans for the Sherman Minton repair timetable are the single major issue for New Albany for the next five years — full stop, or whatever the kids say these days. I wish it weren’t so, because I wish we were not almost 100% automobile-centric, but we are, and there it is.
Team Gahan has been almost completely silent about this fact, primarily because it represents the sort of challenge rarely glimpsed by the Wizard of Bling during his 16-year career in municipal politics. Pull back the curtain and behold the beached jellyfish.
As we see local Republican leaders step forward to lead, it’s a good time to recall that Gahan’s default knee-jerk as mayor these past eight years has been the pursuit of a virtual hermetic sealing-off of our city from GOP-controlled areas of higher governance — in Indiana’s case, this meaning all of them.
Isolationism might be a sound ideological strategy for partisan politics, but it makes no sense whatever as it pertains to efficiency. How much in deferred indebtedness has it cost us to go it alone?
Now watch as the all-powerful DemoDisneyDixiecratic Sultan of Swag sulks in the background as the adults in the room seek to lessen an overall community impact for which there is no good solutions, but maybe a few less awful alternatives.
In Gahan’s mind, there is one central expression of petulance, because he almost surely reasons he’ll be able to turn future bridge events to his partisan political advantage during an anticipated third term.
Voters can preclude this by denying Slick Jeffie a third term.
Local representatives urge INDOT not to close Sherman Minton, by Aprile Rickert (That Tom May Show)
Bridge closure could stifle Southern Indiana for a generation, leaders say
NEW ALBANY — Southern Indiana representatives are working to make sure area residents, students and businesses are not forgotten in the decision of whether or not to fully close the Sherman Minton Bridge for repairs.
More than a dozen local and state leaders met Thursday in New Albany to voice their concerns to Joe McGuinness, commissioner for the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT). Among those at the table were representatives from New Albany and Floyd County government, state and federal government, along with local universities and business organizations.
“The purpose of the meeting was to kind of put a human face on all these organizations that have been sending letters, petitions saying ‘please don’t close us up,'” New Albany City Councilman Al Knable said after the meeting, which was closed to media.
The discussion, just one of many in recent weeks, comes as the decision looms for what will be done with the Sherman Minton Bridge during an estimated $90 million to $105 million in repairs INDOT says are needed.
Options for the Sherman Minton Renewal Project include full closure of the bridge for 15 to 23 months during repairs, or keeping it partially open or alternating open lanes between morning and evening. The latter options could extend the project out as far as three years or more. It’s expected to begin in early 2021.
INDOT representatives are expected to whittle down the six options in the coming months, but those who met with commissioner McGuinness Thursday say the area can’t afford a full closure for the amount of time that’s been discussed …
… Others in attendance at the meeting were New Albany councilmen Scott Blair and Bob Caesar; Anne Keller of One Southern Indiana; Rob Dunn of Develop New Albany; Dana Wavle, vice chancellor for Administrative Affairs at IU Southeast; Andrew Takami, director of Purdue Polytechnic; Josh Kornberg, director of development at Ivy Tech Community College; Floyd County Commissioner Billy Stewart; Jerry Finn, executive director of Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County; Brad Segal, general manager of Horseshoe Casino and Sarah Davasher-Wisdom of Greater Louisville, Inc.