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February 15, 2013

NASH: Are we better off?

A few days ago President and General Manager of WAVE-TV Ken Selvaggi opined that New Albany and Floyd County should merge services in order to ease some of our funding issues. He pointed to the separate call centers for 911 dispatch and two parks departments in the same county. His point was that in these troubled times it doesn’t make sense to duplicate services.

I don’t know if Mr. Selvaggi has ever been to New Albany or Floyd County, but his television station sends its trucks here every time they are covering murder trials. Those same murder trials have been used as an excuse for years in order for the county to shirk the responsibility to help pay for park services. For years the leaders of Floyd County have argued that proper funding of the parks is not a priority, citing the David Camm murder trial as their main reason. 

I am not sure if the president and general manager of a major television station has the ability to follow the day-to-day operations of our city and county, but I have never seen a member of their staff reporting on one of our council meetings. I was at the county council meeting where they released the budget with only half the money needed to fully fund their share of the combined New Albany-Floyd County Parks and Recreation Department and there were no television cameras there.

The Floyd County Council, which holds the purse strings for the county’s budget, claimed that just because they only could budget half of what was needed, they had every intention of living up to their obligation, even though they had spent several years ducking the responsibility to fund the department equally with the city. Council members continually denied that they had any knowledge of an agreement to fund the department properly or were they willing to make amends for past inadequacies. 

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