Howdy do, sweets. Here we are in the middle o’ April. The line at the Post Office was getting longer as people were posting their tax returns. Yeah, it’s that time of year. People are queuing up to “Render unto Caesar.” This is on the day before the actual deadline, but yew can see that people jest wanna get the dirty deed done.
Tennyrate, here in the Asylum by the Sea, things are really percolating. There are two B-I-G stories this week, and a lotta stuff that is also of interest. The foist thing is the organization of the Charter Revision Commish that happened last week. Sammy Bluejay was present, and sez that he had to check the next day whether the sun rose in the East and water still froze. Both happened.
The reason fer the confusion was that the impossible happened – at least effen yew don’t know how things woik in this berg. A Republican, Ed Granfield, was named chairman of the commish in a body that is 5-4 Demmy.
As I told yew last week, the reason that Granfield became the favorite was the three-way split that the Democrats in this town are in. No one from one faction trusts anyone from t’others – unless, of course, one of the other factions has coalesced with them on a specific isshew. Soooo, there was a lotta give-and-take betwixt the factions as to who would sit as the grand pooh-bah of the panel. Enter the application of Granfield, who was seen as a good compromise candidate by any and all.
Listen, I think it’s a good choice cuz it’s a good choice, but he’s gonna need a whip and chair to keep the politicos from dipping their oars into what goes on there.
Sammy sez it’s honest to say that for the most part, the commish is made up of people who have some, but not a lot, of experience in city concerns and city government. That could be a good thing on the one hand, but a bad thing on the other. Let’s hope the decisions weren’t made so people could be easily led.
A way for John and Jane Q. to get a proposal to the commish has been set up. Those on the commish – if they get waylaid by politico or resident – should pernt them in that direction and not allow themselves to git cornered or in making a commitment on anything until it is fully vetted. Those of us who’ve seen these things are well aware of what politicos try to do.
And, effen they – the politicos – get outta line, we expeck that Granfield will take care of it. We look forward to the next few months.
Whilst that is going on, Iva Lootey was by and sez that herroner might have a tiger by the tail in the Municipal Accountability Review Board. Like all tigers when they are held by the extremity, one doesn’t know whether to hang on or let go.
The MARB met last week, and one got the impression that herroner wasn’t quite expecting what she got. The MARB is looking for “structural changes” both in the current budget, which she sez she might hafta reconstruct, and in the five-year plan, wherein they are looking for balance.
By structural changes the MARB members are using a euphemism. What they really want is more revenue in the form of taxes. In fack, they have mentioned a mid-year tax increase. That would be the second one. The city already utilized a supplemental tax that was allowed by the state for motor vehicles, which we all jest paid after the foist of the year. Adding a new tax increase to homeowners and personal property is gonna be a losing battle in the long run.
Effen the city does the mid-year increase, the For Sale signs that have erupted around town like mushrooms will quadruple. The tax base, which is already small, will get smaller. The grand list, that is contracting, will contract some more.
Herroner can do it – and might – and in a sense she’ll have the political cover needed effen that’s what she’s lookin’ fer. The MARB called for the increase, so she can blame it on them. We shall see. Keep yore eye on this cuz this makes the entire budget-making process a problem. What happens after the budget is passed? Did the former administration know that the strings now being attached were gonna happen? Were we better off just carrying a deficit?
I don’t know how we get to solvency by becoming a ghost town. Goodness knows, the same is true for the state, which has no money, and is looking to extrack more kopecks from a dwindling population.
Nelly Nuthatch, meanwhile, sez the ongoing budget problems are affecking the school system, and that layoffs might be in the future. That has led some to wonder why our suggestion – the one to excise the middle-management coordinators – isn’t being considered by the school board. Effen cuts and layoffs hafta take place, why not take out that $1 million-plus expense?
We’ve outlined the fack that nine coordinators make in salary and benefits more than $1 million. That job in all subjecks can be handled by a teacher or group of teachers with a stipend as much lower cost. Sooooo, instead of getting rid of teachers, get rid of management.
The idea is catching on I yam told. In fack, someone called the office wondering about it. It might be in the best interest of the school bored to look into how management costs, rather than teachers, can be trimmed. We’re sure effen they really looked at it, some cost-cutting of administrators could be made.
Nelly hoid also, that the assistant super is working without a new contrack. Effen that is so, why not ditch the assistant. There’s a big salary and benefits package that can be put to better use. The school system is getting smaller, why do we still need all the suits?
The wag was in t’other day and sez that he thinks he needs a realignment of his gassamobuggy. The potholes around the berg are getting to be the size of small lakes in some parts o’ town. Cold patch has been put in some spots, but that only stays until the next rain storm and then the holes git bigger.
Kelsey Avenue is a bit of an amusement park ride, for example. T’other day Cobina was in her gassamobuggy, and she follyed cars in front o’ her. They were zigging and zagging in order to avoid the rough terrain that the pavement was offerin’.
There are more and bigger problems all over town, and with the lack of kopecks in the city coffers, one wonders effen anything will be done. Cobina jest hopes she doesn’t have a blowout any time soon. Getting tires for her Stutz Bearcat are difficult.
Finally, it’s been few weeks since we talked about Beach Street. Effen yew think anything has happened over there, think again. The former Captain’s Galley property is up for sale, so that rumor about a new eatery going there doesn’t seem all that possible. The former Chick’s is still empty, and the Debonair Motel property is still fenced off an open to the elements. Cobina wouldn’t be surprised effen part of the roof crashes down. We shall see.
With that bit o’ chatter, I’ll close this time till next, mitt luff und kizzes,