Friday, February 03, 2006

True Love Ways

Clear Lake, Iowa. Feb. 3, 1959.

In memory of the day the music died. Buddy, Ritchie, Bopper - we miss you.

The McCartin Strategy

For the distempered set, let's make our previous posting crystal damn clear. With no apparent help from their elected council member, the residents in the area of Green Valley Road where it intersects Daisy Lane are fighting to maintain the residential nature of the neighborhood.

Many of these folks retired to what they believed would remain a residential area. They need our help. Other neighborhood associations need to stand with them to protect this one.

The McCartin strategy for this plat is to negotiate, modify, compromise but keep coming back until city planners, the council, and most importantly, the area residents, are either persuaded or worn down by the continual assault on their way of life.

And make no mistake about it, they are being worn down. Some are throwing in the towel and making public pleas for McCartin or some other sprawlmeister to buy them out, too.

The vast majority of the area residents are trying to stay informed and trying to get a hearing from the city's decision-makers. A stalwart Plan Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals continue to rebuff the whole idea of expanding the commercial zone.

The next phase in this round is submission of the McCartin office condos to the city council. There is absolutely NO reason to believe this city council has the integrity to accept the negative recommendation of the Plan Commission.

Once again, these residents, many of whom are elderly, must go into the breach, but this time they will not be alone. The whole city is watching to see if the city council can be manipulated to endorse continued sprawl.

It is Gary McCartin who says "they can't live forever." He's counting on it. And that's why it is imperative that you call your council member to call for rejection of this (fifth) round of The Gary's assault on the community.

And to the snarling dog whose lack of discernment and inability to fathom irony chooses to slander this blogger, I have but one question: What are you doing to help these people?

For those of you who know how to read, I urge you to call now and through the weekend. Let your council member know it's time to take a stand against sprawl.

At-Large - Donnie Blevins, 1548 Corydon Pike (812) 944-4856
At-Large - Jack Messer, 1906 Carriage Court (812) 949-9638
At-Large - Mark Seabrook, 1130 Eastridge Drive (812) 944-9644

1st District - Dan Coffey, 425 West Seventh Street (812) 949-1262
2nd District - Bill Schmidt, 202 Ellen Court (812) 945-7386
3rd District - Stephen Price, 112 Butler Street (812) 941-9032

4th District - Larry Kochert, 2236 Shelby Street (812) 945-7652
5th District - Beverly Crump, 1510 Star Haven Drive (812) 948-2603
6th District - Jeff Gahan, 1122 Eastridge Drive (812) 949-9314

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Thumb, Nose...You Know the Drill

Ain't democracy grand? Representative government lets the people (any "people") petition their government to provide a service or fix a problem.

Developer Gary "The Gary" McCartin is people. And he's pretty good at getting government to go along with his wishes. But point that out and The Gary tends to bristle, as evidenced by his harsh response to CM Beverly Crump at a recent City Council meeting.

Now, the knee-capping of Mrs. Crump makes sense. As we suspected at the time, and were more convinced of at a subsequent Plan Commission meeting, the grand design of this petitioner was to handicap Mrs. Crump and to cut her out of the voting herd.

What voting herd? Why, the upcoming gathering of the nine-member City Council, before which The Gary will petition to have the northwest corner of Green Valley Road and Daisy Lane rezoned from residential (R-2) to a PUD commercial office building.

Having failed to obtain approval for a retail space in previous "petitions," The Gary just keeps on coming back. Despite losing his bid to have the Plan Commission recommend the rezoning, it appears that petitioner is taking this one to the Supremes.

City Council has final say - after all, they each must stand for election, will have to answer to the voters, and ostensibly are closest to the people they represent. The near-neighbors (which include Mr. and Mrs. CM Schmidt) offered vigorous opposition, but they can't live forever!

You can be sure that The Gary is doing more than a little ex parte petitioning in advance of the meeting. You might call it renewing acquaintances, making friends, spreading cheer. But call it what you will, The Gary seems bound to get his vote in council.

So this council gets to make its declaration here and now. Does New Albany continue to blow hot air into the balloon, pushing development further and farther out (and leaving a hollow center)? Does the council agree with The Gary that downtown and the State Street corridor are "dead zones" that should be seen only in the rearview mirror?

We know that money talks. But does that mean that voters walk...away from the burgeoning sprawl? Will this balloting be the litmus test by which council is judged in 2007? Which will count more - votes or campaign contributions?

With Mrs. Crump neutralized by the machinations of The Gary, I stand without representation at council on this matter. Where do I go to get my council member back? Gary, I think you owe me one.