Here we are, Felicia, and you can tell it’s the end o’ March. The trees are startin’ to show jest a bit o’ life with a hint of what’s to come in the form o’ leaves, there is a hint of warmth in the air – though not enuff to start opening the windows, and the city’s new budget proposal was put out last week, right on schedule. It’s getting so you can almost set yer watch to it.
Sammy Bluejay happened to be perched at the Actors Colony as the council heard the annual budget address. Of course, in this era, not much is said in the way of “address” anymore. It ain’t like the old days.
The mayor has dun her duty, the budget is proposed and now the annual woik of the City Council begins – of course after the public hearin’. I jest took a look at the city’s website and it looks like her nibs is offering a $165.54 budget for the new year. And we had it right when we thought her idea of mill rate “constancy” was gonna be a drop in the mill rate to correspond with revaluation of property and hike in the Grand List.
By the looks o’ things, the proposal is looking for a mill rate of 34 for the new fiscal year, which is three mills-plus less than what we have now, but with the increase in property valuation, people’s taxes are probably gonna stay about the same,
Though, we’ve been around long enuff to know that usually there is a hidden increase in revaluation years. So, whilst we see the drop in the mill rate, we will so what the net effecks are once any and all is done with the budget.
The City Council set a date for the public hearing witch is March 29 which is probably not gonna be the hoot-and-holler we once had for such things. Remember those years, sweets….good times!
Tennyrate, don’t be surprised effen the public hearing becomes for of a ho-hum affair. John and Jane Q. will see that the mill rate is going down, the Municipal Accountability Review Board (MARB) has signed off on the deal, and what more can be said? There will be a few people looking for more money for this or that. What the library gets is gonna be interestin’. We shall see.
The school system ain’t gettin’ anymore kopecks from the city, but it is getting more from the feds in the form of COVID money – the money passed months ago and still ain’t been disbursed. The state is givin’ more funds as well. That might be the only problem in this budget, accordin’ to Sammy.
Y’see whilst herroner has eschewed the state funds for restructuring that was available, turning back the last $2 million, she is accepting state and federal funds. And those dollars are somewhat padding the revenues. We’ve all seen this every year by every administration. What’s gonna happen when, fer instance, the school system, which is getting lots o’ fed’ral dollars expecks at least those funds next year. One-time money is being used to increase department budgets. That money has to be found in future years. Anytime yew use one-time money to pay for budgets, it comes to bite you in the backside later. That’s one reason we got into the fix we were in so long ago.
Again, we’ll see what happens with the budget as it finds its way in the six-week slog that is the City Council’s review, But, methinks it’s not much of a prediction to say this package will probably go through virtually unscathed.
Of course, as Nelly Nuthatch pernted out, this budget is also under the old charter – the one that wasn’t revised because the powers that be determined they didn’t like the changes and put out scare tactics about losing votes and the like – it was all jest to frighten.
The real reason as we said at the time is the boys and girls in the Actors Colony didn’t wanna hafta learn new rules to the political games played in town. They’d refined the rules to suit their purposes – much like the power brokers in Washington. Once the game if figured out yew don’t wanna jigger with the rules. Soooo, the charter revision failed – though not by the big margin anyone had hoped. It actually looked like people were paying attention.
But, because we are still under the same charter, the rules for changing the budget are the same, and that means don’t expeck that any major changes will get through the City Council, which needs a super-majority of nine on the 13-member panel to pass any alterations.
That has been a rawther high bar in the past, and will only be found effen something realy egregious is found within the pages of the document. With MARB looking over everyone’s shoulder, that’s perty doubtful. So, Cobina expecks that the budget will pass perty much as is.
Iva Lootey was in t’other afternoon, and made mention o’ the fack that things reopening last week seemed a bit like when Prohibition ended back in 1933. Now, Iva is a bit older than we are, honey bunch, but I seem to remember that things were a bit “over the top” in those days jest after Prohibition. A lotta people determined not to go out last Friday cuz they thought things would be crowded in their local watering holes or eateries.
Methinks things are gonna git busier and busier. Nicer weather seems to be around for a few days, and after year in solitary for a lotta people, they’re gonna wanna go out and see things. Of course, they are gonna be hindered by the fack that since the new administration took office prices for fuel have gone through the roof. Every year around Memorial Day – or as we still call it Decoration Day – prices go up.
Don’t be surprised effen the poor schlepps who jest might be getting back to work are gonna be hit with $3 gas prices. Ain’t Washington wonderful?
The wag came by and he’s been watchin’ the progress over at the Haven site more than Cobina has. Judging from the amount of rubble we’ve seen at the site, things are coming down along the former Water Street at least on the water-side of the street. Not much has happened on the opposite side.
Like I said to yew a couple weeks ago, I don’t know how they expeck to have us shopping in Christmas 2022 like they said a year or so ago, and we still have concerns about putting retail shops in an era when retail is losing its brick-and-mortar locations, but there we are.
The wag has said that no one seems to be concerned about the Kimberly Avenue Bridge, but it might be high time someone is. Y’see that bridge was a replacement for a former one back in 1969-70, effen I remember correckly. It was only supposed to last 20 years or so and be replaced again. Like I said it was built in 1969-70. Do the math. One wonders how much life is left in the bridge since its “sell-by” date has been long gone.
When they announced the fack that Haven was gonna be built, it was about the time they closed the former Exit 4r cloverleaf off I-95. That meant everything was gonna come off the previous exit – now called Exit 44. One way or t’other, the traffic siphons from the connecting lanes that were built about three years ago, and Kimberly Avenue, and the bridge traffic is perty heavy.
Now that Water Street is closed – as expected – traffic is even worse than before. That can’t be too good for a bridge that was supposed to be replaced when Bush ’43 was president. No?
Madame Olga was by, and she was so pleased to see crews working on sidewalks. Olga likes to go on her daily constitutional, and the poor dear’s eyes ain’t what they used to be. So, the frost-heaved sidewalks have presented a problem on occasion. I keep tellin’ her to wear her cheaters when she’s outside, but yew know how vain she is. She wants everyone to think she’s still the cat’s meow.
Tennyrate, sidewalks are being repaired, and that’s a good thing not only for Olga, but for the rest of us.
With that bit o’ chatter, I’ll close this time till next mitt luff und kizzez,