Well here we are honey bunch, a New Year, but not a new decade. We went through this with the year 2000. A new decade or century starts with “1.” We don’t have a year until it’s complete. The decade isn’t complete until we end 2020. It’s that simple. But the media seems to want to have decade stories and setch, so they tell the great unwashed that we’re in a new one. Sorry, not so. Never has been, never will be. Jest hype.
Before we start getting into the nitty gritty of our fair city, Cobina has to say goodbye to a new old friend. Over the Christmas shutdown we received news that our reporter, Josh LaBella, was able to secure a position with Hearst Newspapers. That means anything that appears in this edition is the last we’ll see from him.
Josh was with us about a year, beginning in January of 2019. It was his first gig as a reporter, and he had some growing and learning to do. He did. He became a good friend to Cobina, and a pleasant change around the office. We wish him well in his new position, and hope to see his by-line often in the publications that go under the Hearst banner – which are quite a few in the Nutmeg State.
Best wishes, Josh!
Tennyrate, here in the Asylum by the Sea, the New Year doesn’t mean things around here have suddenly changed and all is hunky-dory. Nope. It jest means we’ve turned the calendar to another page. What is on that page is yet to be writ, but given we’ve been doin’ this for almost half a century, methinks we both know the writing is the fun part.
The wag was here t’other afternoon and he had a great observation and thought. Y’see we found out a few weeks back that the Haven Group, the developers’ consortium that is supposed to erect the Haven Proejeck down there on Elem Street, was promised funding by the state from the former administration – at least that is what they say.
Of course, this all kind o’ puts into focus why things have been glacially slow down there to develop. Somebody was waiting for oodles of greenbacks from the state in order to get things underway. Methinks they call it “corporate welfare.”
What the wag wants to know is the details o’ the conversations betwixt the developers and the city in years past. That ain’t a bad idea. We got a smattering of some o’ the promises, but not much o’ the details. We would really, really like to hear, read or see the notes that were took durin’ the meetings with the developers. It could answer many, many questions.
Word is that something is gonna happen “by spring,” but we heard that in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. The question before the house is: How seriously are we supposed to take these projections as opposed to the ones we’ve heard in the four years previous?
Whilst all that is going on, the houses that remain on the site – the many of them – are starting to fall apart. It’s been rat-infested, and drug-infested, and for a while fire infested. We jest wonder when it’s gonna be store-infested.
The Rossi administration has its work cut out for it. The foist term they could place all the blame on the last crew that was in the Actors Colony. Now that they have a “new set o’ downs” so to speak, they hafta come up with some answers, or, better yet, some solutions.
Sammy Bluejay is ready to perch his feather outside the Board o’ Education room at the Actors Colony Thursday night (tonight) to see what happens with the GOP Town Committee. The 60-member group is set to meet tonight to figger out weather the party will stay status quo or have a new set o’ members. Each districk of the current 10 will have a set of six reps. Effen the six are accepted, we are all done. Effen there is s challenge, there could be a town committee primary.
Cobina tried to think back to the last time that happened, and we think it might’ve been way back in the late 1970s. Al Conte was the chairman at the time, and the party was a force in city politics, even boasting a few mayoralties, like Al Zarnowski.
The party was strained during the last election cycle as they like to say today, and there is some talk that changes are on the way. But, we’ve hoid that before. We will wait to see what, if anything happens. There are sure to be a few new members of the RTC, but what happens after that is anyone’s guess.
If there does happen to be a primary, all bets are off, and it’ll be an interesting thing to watch. Effen the GOP wants to git back in the game here, it has to present itself as a viable alternative. It ain’t done that since Bill Clinton’s first term.
What we don’t expeck to see is a Demmie primary. Two years ago the Rossi people swamped would-be challengers, and swamped those same would-be challengers in the primary in September. Democratic voters have, at least for a time, said to party regulars we want stability.
Weather that translates to the sometimes tone-deaf minions that populate the party, Cobina ain’t sure. We’ll find out in the next few days when it has its own caucus. Effen a primary is called for, it’ll be the latest in a string of them that goes back to the mid-1990s. We shall see what happens.
Nelly Nuthatch happened by the most recent City Council meeting, and sez that the new members o’ the council are showing that fresh off the rack exuberance that most of ‘em have in the foist few weeks. That is a good thing. We just wonder when the bloom is gonna come off the rose.
In the next few weeks we start the budget-making process. In fack, we are sure that the thoid floor of the Actors Colony is in the process of getting the annual wish list from the department heads from which they can pare down the frills and inject a bit o’ realism into the requests.
The Board o’ Finance does a lot o’ its work during the next five or six weeks, reviewing with the mayor – at least on paper – the requests made and makes its own recommendations before herronner begins the closed-door process of trying to put the budget package together. The focus of it all is the budget presentation in March.
Of course, all of this is under the watchful eye of the Municipal Accountability Review Board (MARB), who has the final say on all things budgetary.
The only thing we do know is that there will be a mill increase as the MARB has mandated that the mill rate be increased in each of the five years of the five-year plan. I think we are entering year three. So, we have a ways to go before we are done with the plan and the MARB.
It amazes me each time we get to this pernt in the year. It seems like we were jest here, and here we are again. Another year has passed and another year is upon us. Before we know it, the budget will be presented. It’ll be March, and we’ll be lookin’ forward to spring. Hard to believe.
With that bit o’ chatter, I’ll close this time till next, mitt luff und kizzez,