It was actually a fairly quiet and quick council meeting. I was on my way home around 8:30.
The meeting started with comments from Mary Ann Gramig who I believe was representing R.O.C.K. Who by the way is supposed to be representing the community.
The thing that stood out most in her short presentation was that she seems to have “WAY” to much confidence in New Albany’s code enforcement. The short sightedness of this confidence in code enforcement is something “actual residents” of this city would have learned or experienced.
The other thing I noticed is the absence of the community. Even though R.O.C.K. is representing them it sure would be nice to see community leaders, pastoral associations, or local church leaders. If you do really represent a group it would be nice to see some of them present and standing behind you in support.
Communication from City officials informed council there is no need for new Zoning ordinances for the live adult cabaret ordinance. Once the new ordinance is in effect they need only make changes to existing zoning.
Additional appropriations were approved to repair storm damage in the city parks. The monies will come from insurance money the city has already received.
The entertaining portion of the meeting was voting and discussion non-bargaining salaries. The second reading was made with CM Caesar the only yeah. It seems the motion was defeated at first reading also, yet the mayor and city controller went ahead and increased those salaries retroactive. $18,000 was added to Dickey, Walsh and Thompson with the added expense coming from storm water funds. After an informative discussion between 2nd and third votes all Cm votes were no!
All but Cm Caesar seemed to be beside them selves in reaction to the mayor’s defiance. The mayor and city controller were both conveniently absent. Council legal advisor Robison seemed to be the most offended. Being told by the mayor and his council that they wanted to sit down with him and discuss this issue, to only find out they went a head and made increases just two days after stating an interest to discuss the issue. It was a long and direct stare down of Caesar from Robison as the 3rd reading voting began that the only hold out changed his vote to no. I wish my camera were ready to shoot at a moments notice because that was a classic moment and “great” stare down. Robison in his irritated mood also cited the Tribune for irresponsible journalism. That comment relating to them printing statements he made (maybe) without any contact from the paper for him to confirm or deny what they were about to put into print.
All votes were in favor of the ordinance change to repeal existing Chapter 120 of G-09-01 and enacting a new chapter 120. That brings up John Mattingly of the Cabaret in question. He stated they have the best location in New Albany for this type of business. Now how can you argue that fact? He also stated they have been meeting all state requirements and regulations. Mr. Mattingly’s speech was very professional and seemed to give much respect to the council. I was both a little surprised and impressed after reading the types of comments and language used on other blogs.
Donnie Scott’s comments were that R.O.C.K. is not representing the community. I think I would have to agree with that until I see something different. He made another comment stating he doesn’t believe the city has any jurisdiction over his business. I am not up on these legal matters but that one is hard to swallow. Another interesting comment was that the police have been called to the business once in 4 mos. He asked council to compare that to other bars in the city. Now that’s a great idea. I am sure someone reading this can find that info somewhere. If police were called to a business 3 times a year for more than false alarms I would have a hard time using the word “only”.
So what is the average number of times police respond to bars in New Albany? Do we have residences that are even worse than that?