Happy New Year, sweets. Here we are turning but another page on the calendar and entering yet another year of you and me reviewing the high jinx of the ruling classes here in the Asylum by the Sea, or as we like to call it, God’s Li’l Acre. Though, when you think about it, “Asylum” sometimes bespeaks a better understanding of our burg than much else.
As we start 2023 – kin yew imagine we started these missives more than 50 years ago – there are many things that the politicos will have on their plates, and a lotta things that might, finally, be wrapped up. There’s on thing (to start off) that will be on everyone’s mind as we move further along, and that’s the municipal elections set for next fall.
Now, that might seem like months away, but as I always tell yew, once we git by May the calendar seems to speed up and before you know it, we’re hanging up the Yuletide decorations once again. Minds are already turning on what will happen in November in some quarters, yew can tell. The biggest question, of course, is whether Herroner will seek a fourth term. There seems to be some talk about that and we’ve mentioned it on occasion.
Remember, she won by just a dozen-and-a-half votes last time to Barry Lee Cohen (more about him later), the Republican. And there were many questions about the outcome. Still, that margin of victory was the result of quite a few things happening the summer before, mostly having to do with fed’ral dollars, and her ability to keep things in order. She won, and she made some changes, but the city still went into Tier IV receivership and has no control over its own purse.
There are some that see the sharks in the political waters. Whilst there has been a seeming truce betwixt the three factions of the Democratic Party, there are rumblings. The factions have never gone away, they just bide their time, always have. Also, there seems to be more of an arm’s-length separation happening amongst the party faithful in power. Soooo, the question remains: will she seek a fourth term? As the year goes on, that question might answer itself sooner rather than later. But figger there’s gonna be a very interestin’ political season this time ‘round.
Te GOP ain’t gonna be without its own drama. Cohen came closer to winning the thoid floor of the Actors Colony than any member of the GOP since 1989 – the last time the party held the office. But that showing didn’t come without stirrings of discontent within the party apparatus – such as it is. Cohen is a very direct individual and yew know wherein yew stand with him. That didn’t set well with some in the party who like to play nice.
Will Cohen seek a rematch, and will the party fall in behind him? Who knows? The Republican Party in this town gets good candidates – they have the last three elections by my count – but they don’t have the infrastructure, and they certainly don’t have the party loyalty the other side does. In Demmie circles once the fight is over and the candidate picked, the sides will grudgingly work for the win. No so much on the GOP side. In that way they seem to be like their national counterparts: ill-conceived principle supersedes the W.
So, the next twelvemonth will be an interesting one on that front. We shal see what happens.
As a sidebar to the above, we’re wondering who will be the candidates for City Council and other offices on the Demmie side. Sammy Bluejay is hearing rumblings that some of the current members of the council might decide to pack it in. As one politico was heard to say, “The MARB has all the say, we’re just there to rubber stamp.” It’s no fun attending those meetings twice a month effen yew can’t do anything substantial. We shall see.
There are a lotta issues that will be comin’ before the city as well this New Year. The aforementioned MARB, that’s the Municipal Accountability Review Board, which is running the city’s finances, is demanding more reforms in the city’s way of doing business, and word is they aren’t happy with the speed of implementation. Now, over the years, Cobina has been none too friendly concerning the MARB. They are a bunch of bureaucrats that don’t have any sense of humanity at times, particularly as it deals with taxpayers. But, in this case, the city has been doing the same things for years and with a lotta winks and nods along the way. This might be a further pernt of contention between the city and the MARB, and we’ll see what’ll happen aside from the very politic statements we git from those in charge.
Nelly Nuthatch, meanwhile, is wondering about the Allingtown Library. It’s been three years or so since the facility was closed when the former Allingtown School building was sold off to developer David Beckerman. Now, nobody can dispute the great job that was done with the Allingtown Center. Effen yew remember whot it looked like, yew can see a world of difference.
However, the library seems to be a sticking pernt amongst the officials in this town. The Village Improvement Association has, we hear, made a bid on some property, and is hoping to build a new facility for Allingtown. But, as yew might expeck there are some denizens of the Actors Colony who aren’t happy with the arrangement. Let’s hope the usual “slow walking” that happens when people over on Main Street are unhappy doesn’t happen here. Some have said the former CVS building might be a great library branch, but that was made after the option was picked up on the new property. This one will sort out in the next year – we hope.
Then there is Beach Street. This is the year the much-anticipated reworking of the roadbed is supposed to take place. Just like was done from First Avenue to Second Avenue a couple years back, the roadway is gonna be lifed about seven feet to curb the flooding that takes place, particularly after major Nor’easters and hurricanes. We all remember 2012.
There are a few things that are moving over there. The sale of the former Chick’s property to developers has moved along, and we see that a new restaurant and new condominiums of the high-end type are planned on the property. That has been held up because of the hold up on the new roadway. It’s only been more than two years since it was announced.
Other properties we hear are also awaiting the new construction. There are properties that have lain fallow over there for more than a decade: the former Debonair Motel and the former Captain’s Galley site. Maybe these things can be moved once things are clearer.
But Iva Lootey is still concerned about the former Haven property. Effen 2022 did anything it was finalize what we all knew: the Haven mall was a pipe dream that was never gonna happen. Finally, after years of dawdling, the hammer came down and we know that its belly up.
What happens over there is the next page in that saga. Remember, the original plan for that site, the Water Street Project, was announced in September 1997, only months after this papyrus was established. Here we are 27-and-a-half years later, and the only thing that is happening over there is rot.
There are rumors and rumors of rumors about what’s planned for over there. Maybe the new year will bring clarity and actual movement. Whilst the Simon Group abandoned the plan, they were supposed to complete demolition of the former houses. Well, that’s happening at a snail’s pace, and the people in the surrounding area are not happy. Let’s hope 2023 is different.
With that bit o’ chatter, I’ll close this time till next mitt luff und kizzez,