Before we even git into the usual stuff in this week’s missive, honey bunch, we’ve gotta send our best wishes for a speedy recovery to Merlie Mae. We’d hoped she would preside over the Mystick Maidens of the Marsh Memorial Day shindig, but there was a big problem. A fire at her domicile left her badly injured we found out well after last week’s letter to yew was sent away.
Merle, who has been a friend not only to this colyume but to our editor and a zillion other people in town, is in need of our thoughts, but also our prayers – something she is always willing and able to give to others. She has been maligned many times as a contributor to this colyume, which she ain’t, but that hasn’t stopped the detractors over the years.
Always willing to help others, she now needs our support, and Cobina is hopeful that all her friends and acquaintances – as well as her thousands of students over the 50 years she’s been teaching, will step up. She’s gonna have a long road to hoe toward recovery, but she’s a festy old coot and will come through swimmingly, Iyam sure.
So, take a second to offer a supplication to the Man Upstairs for our friend. Like I said, she was always there to pray for many. Now the many hafta pray for her.
Sammy Bluejay came in t’other afternoon and sez that he was perched outside the meeting that the MARB had with city officials last week, and to say there was a pall over the room was not to overstate it. The city is in very deep trouble, and unless the politicos that run this berg start seeing the problems fer what they are, we’re once again gonna be under state control for the next little while.
The city has until June 7 to git its fiscal house in order to the extent it can. The MARB is looking fer cuts of up to $3 million, and let it be known that failure to do so will mean the city goes from Tier III status to Tier IV status in the blink of an eye. That means that the only things the MARB don’t have control over – city contracts for example – are now fair game, and Sammy sez the unions in town are getting ready for an onslaught one way or t’other.
Sammy related that the city was given stern warnings that it had to make cuts and make ‘em in short order, which means (getting back to the unions) that personnel cuts are probably gonna be in the cards regardless of what happens. It ain’t gonna be easy finding 3 million kopecks without doing some layoffs. That’s not saying it can’t be done, but it’ll be difficult. The MARB is looking for real savings, not things jest done on paper.
Effen we move to Tier IV status, the union contracts – both those in force and the ones that are coming up for negotiation – become a matter of diktat. The union can either accept what the MARB offers or go packing. We’ve seen the movie before, and it ain’t pretty.
Needless to say, there’s a lotta angst in the Actors Colony amongst the rank-and-file employee cuz they’re waiting for the oxfords to hit the floor.
Whilst all that is going on, Nelly Nuthatch venture to the Charter Revision Commish confab and learned that despite the invitations sent to all the mucky-mucks in the Actors Colony, only one or two showed up to offer any suggestions or answer any queries.
The result is the commish is looking to think “outside the box” as far as what structural changes it might see as necessary for the city. The commish already has suggestions from herroner Nancy Rossi and from City Council Chairman Ron Quagliani. They mostly hafta do with streamlining the city’s budgeting process a la getting rid of the supermajority to make changes.
But the commish itself is going section by section through the charter to see what might be needed to do its own streamlining. Commish Chairman Ed Granfield is leading the reading group, and givin’ the members homework to make sure they understand the various sections.
Still, the thing to understand here is the commish is not getting a whole lotta cooperation from people inside the Actors Colony so it’s going off on its own path – something politicos might not like in the long run.
Iva Lootey, meanwhile, had some commints on the other big news of the week, the fack that the group heading up the Haven Project has filed a site plan with the city. This is seen as a major step toward getting the thing started, but it also announced a hoped-for due date: spring of 2020.
Now, due dates are rather fluid when it comes to constructions. The press release gives the impression that things are ready to git going. But before anybody gets into a tizzy over it, remember the permit process was supposed to git going several times and still ain’t exactly in full swing.
The press release kind o’ reiterated what the original plan said concerning the stores and other amenities that are included, so there was no real new news there. And, Cobina did see in her traversing of the city that some new homes were boarded up in places that heretofore hadn’t been.
What the public wants to know is when the entire thing is gonna git started. Until we actually see brick, mortar and steel, the skeptics out there are gonna continue to be skeptical, and for all the reasons mentioned: the lack of direct access from the highway, no announcement of anchor stores, etc.
One person within earshot of Iva sez, “The press release was just that, a press release. It didn’t say anything we didn’t already know.”
With that kind of attitude, things are gonna hafta really get going before the naysayers are going to be silenced.
Madame Olga happened by t’other afternoon and mentioned something that I’d been hearing about for some time. Herroner is being given some slack by John and Jane Q. because getting to learn the mayor’s job is a tough proposition. However, there is one complaint that comes through loud and clear, and the handlers of the thoid floor should be taking notice.
Our mayor, to put it bluntly, ain’t the best communicator in the world, and needs to be a bit more ahead of the field when it comes to getting things out there. She did a perty good job on the budget, but methinks she might’ve done better with the MARB problems.
What is really sticking in the craws of longtime denizens of the Actors Colony is the lack of communication there. With the fack that budget cuts might come down the pike any day now, and those cuts could impact the number of workers on the city rolls, it would be a good thing for her to open up some kind of communication, but most workers don’t see it, and some are getting resentful. Not a good place to be in this time of uncertainty.
We’ll see what happens, and hope that she gits the message. Part of the job of being mayor is being a message-teller. Effen she wants to get out in front of things, rather than reacting to issues, communication is key. We shall see where it goes.
With that bit o’ chatter, I’ll close this time till next, mitt luff und kizzez,