Howdy honeybunch! How’re yew doin’ stuck in yore digs the way the rest o’ us are stuck in ours? We are no into the fourth week o’ this “Stay Safe, Stay Home” exercise, and one has to say that Cobina has been surprised – so far. As yew know, dearie, things in a household could git a bit tense when all the inhabitants of the domicile are in close quarters for an extended period o’ time. Let’s jest say, m’self is very surprised things haven’t kicked up as much as we thought.
We know one thing from talkin’ to the wag, a lotta husbands, who happen to be outta the house more often than not are finding out that whilst their digs might be legally in their name, they jest live there. The real owner of the place, — even effen she works every day – is the woman o’t he hosue, and Lawd help the guy who forgets that.
We were remind o’ this last week when talkin’ to the wag who made mention o’ the fack that he’s holed himself up in his workshop cuz he seems to get under wifey’s foot with each and every move aroiund the house. Sooooo, the best place to be is where she ain’t gonna travel.
Of course, that is a two-way street, the housewife/other half ain’t used to havin’ her distaff side around the house as much, and is taken aback at having him around all the time. Then there are the kiddies. Needless to say, effen the kids are in school, there is the “distance learning” going on. The kiddies have their lessons every day and are expected, I guess, to get them into the instructor.
Let’s jest say, we are in uncharted territory here for a lotta people.
A few observations: Sammy Bluejay came up with this one as he kept his distance from Cobina, him on the sill and me a safe distance away. He noted that the virus has given us a bunch of catch-phrases that seem to be in everyone’s conversation these days. The foist, of course, is “social distancing.” I wish I had a greenback for each and every time I’ve hoid that phrase. It’s perty much everywhere. In fack, Cobina had to go on the highway and the electronic signs that seem to be everywhere had virus billboards every so often and used the phrase.
Keeping a social distance is on everyone’s mind. Heck the grocery stores now have one-way aisles in the hopes that people won’t pass each other and maybe violate the six-foot safety zone. There is a problem with that, of course, In order to keep a six-foot distance at the cashier line, one usually has to go into the aisles, regardless o’ whether they are one way or t’other. That seems to defeat the purpose.
As far as another phrase, Nelly Nuthatch came up with this one, and we jest used it: distance learning. She also came up with an interesting observation about it. Are we seeing the end of “snow days?” One wonders. The virus has caused school systems to implement computer online learning and/or lessons from afar, that the kids hafta complete. Iyam told they are then to email or text message their teachers effen they have a problem.
One wonders effen the venerable show day has just gone the way of the transistor radio. Now that schools have this way of doing things one wonders effen the kids will ever miss a day – on way or the other. It has its perks. There will be 180 days done and not have to be pushed back because of extra days. But there was something about a snow day that was special when we were kids. We shall see.
As yew know, most places are shut down until April 30, so this thing is supposed to continue for at least another three weeks or so. The good news is the virus is not as bad in some spots as expected, and there might be some good news down the road. But, getting back to the schools, are they gonna open up for the rest o’ the year? Some people in high places seem to think they are not. Now, I ain’t saying this is a given, but as I told yew a few weeks ago, some administrators in nearby towns said that they were told to close up as if it was the end of the year. We shall see.
Meanwhile, City Hall has most people not working or working from home, and it seems that some city business is gonna be that way for a while. Iva Lootey said that most things like building permits and the like have been halted anyway. Nobody is gonna do that kind o’ work until they git the all-clear. Though, Cobina has seen some projects continue in her neighborhood. There is a house or two being built and they seem to be continuing where possible.
Some city business had to take place anyway by law. The City Council had its public hearin’ on the budget last week via conference call, or electronic hook-up. We ain’t sure how many actually took part, but we know that this year’s “virtual meeting” had instructions for interested people to take part.
One interested person is Michele Gregorio. She was the Republican candidate for mayor in the last go-round. She sent a letter to the City Council askin’ that it not raise the mill rate for the coming budget year. Her pernts are well taken, but Cobina don’t know effen the council has much of an option.
Remember, the Municipal Accountability Review Board, otherwise known as MARB, has determined that over a five-year period – this being the thoid of the five – the city will raise the mill rate to at least 40 by making incremental increases each year. This year’s increase is .8 mills effen the mayor’s budget is passed, which it probably will be. The MARB can take over the city and make all kinds of trouble effen its wishes aren’t fulfilled. And, they’ve been perty pointed in criticism when they don’t git their way. So, there probably ain’t much hope stalling a mill rate hike for this year.
But then there is the City Council itself trying to discuss this year’s budget package. They hafta do this via electronic hook-up as well, cuz they can’t violate the governor’s mandate. Right now, we hear they are doing just that, but not having that face-to-face conversation is gonna put a whole new light on the way things are done. It will take some getting used to, Iyam sure.
It still means the council has to have nine votes in order to change anything in the budget – a hurdle that has been pert near impossible over the last 20 years. So, it is fully expected that the budget as presented by herroner will go through virtually unchanged. It’ll be interesting to see how the council took to the conference format over the wires once this whole thing is over.
There are many things changin’ cuz of this virus, and we are sure that many things we think are normal will become outdated or fall into disuse. We shall see.
With that bit o’ chatter, I’ll close this time till next, mitt luff und kizzez,