Letters to the Editor

Claims against mayor Gahan 'nonsense'

The Republican case for electing their team for New Albany City Office doesn’t make sense. Essentially, Mark Seabrook wants us to elect him and his team because he claims the city is in poor fiscal shape. First, that isn’t the case. In fact, I reviewed the same material he keeps citing in his mailers and he’s misleading folks — the city had over $39,000,000 in reserve at the end of last year and its debt is similar or less than other cities.

Even if you accept Mark Seabrook’s claim, there are still issues with the argument that he should be elected to restore the city’s fiscal health. As County Commissioner, Seabrook was responsible for managing county funds and the State Board Accounts cited the county for overspending its budgeted line items by $1.3 million in 2015, $1.6 million in 2016, $1.1 million in 2017, and over $400,000 in 2018. Simply put, Seabrook’s record doesn’t support any claim he can restore fiscal health.

Finally, if we do accept Seabrook, then you must also REJECT Council members David Aebersold, David Barksdale, and Al Knable. They voted for the city budget in each of the last four years and, if our city is a financial wreak, they should be held responsible for their part.

The Republicans can’t have their cake and eat it too. Things have been good under Jeff Gahan and I’m supporting him over this negative nonsense.

— ROBERT LEUGHEAD

New Albany

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Glotzbach best person for clerk

As a member of the New Albany City Council, I have had the privilege and honor to work with New Albany City Clerk Vicki Glotzbach. Over the last four years that I have worked directly with her, she has proven that she is the right person for the job. The courtesy and professionalism that she and her staff have shown me, and everyone she deals with on a daily basis, has been second to none. She has brought a new level of service to the New Albany City Clerk’s office and I think it will only improve over the next four years. The City Clerk’s Office provides a valuable resource of record keeping for the public. Vicki is also responsible for preparing agendas and recording minutes for meetings and she is an integral part of the city council and the reason that we can get the city’s work done. Vicki is the best person for the job and I fully support her re-election. I would ask that everyone join me to cast their vote to re-elect Vicki Glotzbach for New Albany City Clerk.

— MATTHEW NASH

New Albany

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Gahan a thoughtful leader

My purpose in writing today is to encourage New Albany voters to re-elect Jeff Gahan for Mayor. You need only to take a drive or walk around New Albany to see the accomplishments of the last 7 1/2 years. There is a very important point that is completely lost on his critics. Mayor Gahan had to get the city’s finances under control before progress could be made. He took back the Wastewater department from private control and turned it into an efficient utility without raising sewer rates on the citizens of New Albany. This is just one example of the common sense decisions he has made. Reckless spending has NOT occurred in New Albany. Responsible spending, affordable spending has occurred despite what you may see in your mail or on the internet. Your mayor won two terms without negativity in either campaign. However, he has been forced to defend his record against false claims and assertions. This is truly unfortunate because your Mayor is truly a caring person who wishes no ill will on anyone. He participates in his community, and is always willing to listen to anyone’s point of view. That is exactly why he was elected twice to represent his district on the City Council and why he was elected twice to be your Mayor. I was born and raised in New Albany and have worked in New Albany for the last 25 years. Even though I am a resident of the county, it is in my best interest for Mayor Gahan to continue the progress he started in 2012.

— KEVIN ZURSCHMIEDE

Floyds Knobs

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Nash will move the city of New Albany forward

I would like to show my support for my 5th District Councilman Matt Nash. He is a hardworking council member, who not only takes time to help out citizens in his own district, but across the entire city. He spends time on porches, in back yards, in living rooms, and even in creeks discussing matters with constituents regularly. He has been a strong advocate for infrastructure improvements including sewer upgrades, paving, and sidewalks for our community. These improvements have greatly increased our safety and walkability. Nash also supported the city purchasing Colonial Manor, an underdeveloped area of our district. Unfortunately, Republicans on the council all voted against the purchase of the property for revitalization. Matt Nash has a vision for continuing to move New Albany forward; please join me in voting for him for 5th District Council.

— JILL STOCK

New Albany

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Vote for Sam Charbonneau

​I am writing in support of the election of Sam Charbonneau to New Albany City Council at-large. As a life-long New Albany resident, Sam knows our community well. He has served our community in numerous capacities, i.e., Supervisor for Department of Child Services, protecting children from dangerous situations; member of New Albany Little League Board; Head Start Policy Board, and Our Place Drug and Alcohol Board.

Through his years of service, Sam has gained insights and developed ideas for making our community even better. An umbrella for these ideas is maintaining New Albany’s independence from the vitriol of national politics by working with local groups. For example, Sam strongly supports working with local universities to improve workforce skills, providing vocational training, supporting union apprenticeship programs, and developing local ordinances to support creation of micro-factories. He supports efforts to help our local school system remain safe by keeping resource officers, therapists and social workers in our schools. Sam will work to adopt stronger rules and fines on abandoned properties.

In talking with Sam, I have found that he seeks out and values input from community members; he listens and he asks questions. I am convinced that Sam will make valuable contributions to New Albany as a member of our city council.

— SANDRA FRENCH

New Albany

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Seabrook is a LEADER

I want to say a few words about Mark Seabrook. I have gotten to know Mark Seabrook in the last several years. I have found him to be very loyal. He has been a local businessman for many years, and has always been there for families in their darkest times for generations. Mark Seabrook has served this community as an elected official for many years, decades actually. Mark has always been good to me with his counsel and guidance on being a public servant.

I have observed the lack of communication between “the city” and “the county” for at least 10 years. It is so frustrating to hear the term “the city” or “the county” almost in a derogatory way. I truly believe that Mr. Seabrook would work to bring “the city” and “the county” together to communicate and work together for the betterment of all of our community. For example, Mr. Seabrook was a proponent of merged 911, which at the time was going to save “the city” and “the county” hundreds of thousands of dollars and be better for public safety. Mark would have never split up the New Albany Floyd County Parks.

Mark Seabrook has always been a giving philanthropic man; the different events that I have attended there is always a table sponsored by Mark Seabrook. I perceive that Mark is hard working and always wants what is best for our community.

An explanation of “the city” and “the county” budgets, the SBOA requires per state statute that local government budgets be balanced. Mr Seabrook as a county commissioner never had anything to do with the county budget; the commissioners are the executive branch of county government; the council is the fiscal body.

In closing, I am endorsing Mark Seabrook for Mayor of New Albany. I truly believe the community as a whole will be better for it.

— DALE BAGSHAW

County Council at Large

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Gahan has made improvements

I had the honor of representing Floyd County for 28 years and interacted with several local leaders, including both major party candidates for New Albany Mayor. Having worked with each of them, it is my opinion that Jeff Gahan is better qualified and has a better track record of success in leading local government.

In no better way can the differences between these two men be seen than on fiscal matters. I can attest to the financial struggles experienced by the county and was frustrated by a reoccurring cycle of poor decision-making. Beginning in 2011 and continuing through 2018, the county was cited in audits by the State Board of Account’s for an array of issues, including overspending budgeted funds.

Mark was aware of the severity and as President of the Commissioners received the findings from State Auditors. His lack of leadership in addressing these issues appeared to be based more on avoiding political criticism than on fundamentally addressing the underlining mismanagement. This decision-making led to the sale of Floyd Memorial Hospital to raise revenue and continues to haunt county government with a large part of the annual interest payments now going to support the county budget deficit instead of being invested in new infrastructure or programs for the community.

Another of my concerns with Mark Seabrook’s leadership involves the transparency of the hospital sale. Mark served as the Commissioners’ liaison to Floyd Memorial Hospital, but failed to disclose to either of the other two Commissioners any information regarding the potential sale of the facility for the better part of a year. Not only did this handicap us as officials, but it prevented the public from making a fair judgment on the decision and left unanswered questions about the selection of Baptist Health.

I have admired the way Jeff Gahan has managed city affairs and the stark improvements in the community. While we were not originally on the same page with the decision to separate the parks system, I am pleased to see the city parks flourishing under his leadership. I am also impressed by the stewardship of public funds, maximizing investments in roads, sewers, and other facilities to bring private development. Despite any political disagreements we may have had, I have never doubted his sincere desire to represent the best interests of the city and its residents.

I proudly endorse Mayor Jeff Gahan and encourage his re-election Nov. 5.

— CHUCK FREIBERGER

Former Floyd County Commissioner

Georgetown

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