As I write this week’s missive, sweets, the city and region are hunkered down for the aftermath of another snowstorm. Yup, January being January, we’ve had a lotta cold, and some mild days, but we have had two big storms as well. A few weeks back it was a storm that was s’posed to dump only 3=5 inches o’ the white stuff. We got nine. This time the “projections” were all over the lot with some calling for 5-8 inches, whilst others were calling for 12-18. That’s a perty big range, dontcha know. By the time it was all supposed to start, they settled on 9-14.
And now we have not only the “American model,” but the “European” one as well, jest to make things more interesting, if not more confusing. That being said, the usual panic buying was seen all over the place, with some people thinking, I guess, they’d be snowed in until April, judging by some o’ the shopping carts Cobina saw. Yeah, she had to go to the store as well, but not nearly for what some people were picking up.
Given the fack that the shelves in most grocery stores are barely stocked, it was an impressive sight to see people with overly full carts trundling to their gassamobuggies before they headed to their domiciles to hibernate until spring.
Here in the Asylum by the Sea, things are gearing up for the annual rites of the budget, with herroner and various sets of committees looking at things. The Bored of Ed and various departments are putting together their fantasy lists of what they’d like to have over the next fiscal year, and like always, the lists will be pared down to something a bit more palatable and workable, not only for the administration, but for the poor taxpayers who have to foot the bill.
Sammy Bluejay sez that one of the new things that is being discussed is increasing the salaries and benefits for members of the constabulary. It seems we are training people, hiring them, and then they go onto greener pastures where the pay and benefits are better. Members of the Police Commission went before the council a few weeks ago to say that things are getting to critical mass as far as new hires for our constabulary are concerned.
John Carrano, late of the Charter Revision Commish, pinched hit for Chairman Ray Collins. The statistics they brought in were something. Ya hafta admire the fact that Carrano was prepared. Yew can read what they said elsewhere, but the problems started back about 12 years ago, when the city determined to change the pension plan to a 401k. That lack of a vested pension seems to be one of the biggest things that sets our constables looking for other venues to ply their training. Yet, we are the ones who pay for the training and setch.
It’s gonna be interesting to see what happens. Sammy sez people were listening intently, but one wonders if this is gonna be something solved in the next year or in the next couple o’ years. It took a while to get here, though constabulary officials have been warning about it for a long time, and it’s gonna take a while to get out of it, methinks. We shall see.
It’s been about four weeks since the city completed the rebuild of the beach area in front o’ Morse Park, by the channel marker. That area has been chewed away by currents for the last several years, and recently washed out the sidewalk that rans along. About 40 feet of new beach was built up, and dontcha know it, since then we’ve had strong winds and flood warnings and storms that have churned up tides.
So far, the new beach area has held up perty well, but yew know how these things go, honey bunch, build ‘em up one day, and see them eaten up by Ma Nature. And, once it goes into the water, we reclaim the sand, only get more. That’s the world we live in, not much common sense, but a lotta rules.
Another big topic that herroner brought up a couple weeks back was the new agreement the city is trying to hammer out with the Simon Properties group that heads The Haven. Iva Lootey was in t’other afternoon for tea, and we were discussing the matter. Iva made it known that part o’ the problem the city has had since the projeck was announced – now almost eight year ago – is the city looked at all the kopecks it was gonna collect in permits and things, but never got into the matter of time schedules, demolition, etc.
To be fair, the developers did have problems getting all the homes purchased – and we did use, unfortunately, Eminent Domain for this purpose, but still we always seemed to be dealing from a position of weakness. We didn’t wanna tick off the developer, so we let ‘em perty much do things as they would. And that was shown with the special taxation districk that kind o’ popped up outta nowhere.
Tennyrate, now that the city is negotiating with the developers, herroner is hoping that there will be some leverage in getting schedules and timelines and know what iswhat and when is when. The developers have been playing things very close to the vest over the years, and that has had some people in the Actors Colony unhappy, but not enuff to push the pernt.
Let’s hope City Hall can throw what little weight it has around and get some real movement over there in the next little while. We should know what’s going on, and when it’s going on…just because.
With that thought, Cobina still wonders what the traffic situation is gonna be over there. The State of CT did sign off on the projeck, but one wonders effen they’ve actually looked at the traffic patterns into the city during rush hour. Sweetie pie, getting over the Kimberly Avenue bridge can be a lesson in patience on some rides home.
And, the fack that the Kimberly Avenue bridge was constructed in 1969 or thereabouts and was only supposed to have a 20-year lifespan – and is now more than 50 – there is some concern over a) it’s overall health; and b) what happens when they hafta rebuild the bridge and traffic is rerouted? These are things we’ve brought up in the past, but nobody seems very concerned about it…until it’s a problem.
Sooooo, Nelly Nuthatch showed me a report that herroner has put together a new panel to oversee the COVID kopecks the city got from the Feds…yew remember that was the Monopoly money that the government printed to give to people during the height of the pandemic.
Tennyrate, this new committee was formulated cuz of the naughtiness that happened with a couple of erstwhile workers in City Hall last year, that, unfortunately, might land them as guests of said federal government in a secure facility for a few years. The committee is gonna oversee where the money goes and who it goes to, and whether all the T’s were crossed and the I’s dotted, not to mention their P’s and Q’s.
There are some that’re saying the committee is a bit of the “horse outta the barn” reaction, but Nelly showed me a story that shows billions of the funny money have been spent on fraud, with little or no oversight by those in charge. Sooooo, it may be a bit late, but at least it’s in place to make sure more naughtiness does happen in the future.
It’s an interesting cast o’ characters, and it’ll be interestin’ to watch them do their due diligence. And we see that our won Ken Carney is yet wearing another hat. How many is that now?
The Wag came in t’other afternoon and wondered about the Savin Rock Museum. As yew know the city has entered into an agreement with a developer that is gonna see the Conference Center fall to the wrecking ball. The lower level o’ that building is the museum. One would think some type of provision is gonna be made to either keep it at the new building or move it elsewhere. I guess we should aske about it, no?
With that bit o’ chatter, I’ll close this time till next mitt luff und kizzez,