Yew know it’s the end o’ the year honey bunch when we git the annual “Tax bills go out” story or somethin’ like it. Yup, Christmastime also means tax bill time, and our local tax collector – the always lovely Dorothy Chambrelli – sends out her missive and her bills. Jest once we’d like to see a Christmas card from the tax collector, but it’ll probably include the bill, so the mood would be missed.
Needless to say, Iyam also giving yew our penultimate (ain’t that a great woid?) reminder that come the Dec. 20 isshew of this papyrus, we will be shutting down for a couple o’ weeks so that our overworked and underpaid staff can have the holidays off. We’ve done it each year since we opened this place more than 20 years ago, but each year the public forgets, and there are wonders why they ain’t seeing the publication on the streets during Christmas and New Year’s. We’ll remind ye again, and next week will be the “ultimate” time. I guess yew can now figger what “penultimate” means!
Sammy Bluejay was in t’other afternoon and sez that we can expeck that the new campaign for mayor – which is supposed to happen in the fall 2019 – will probably begin after the foist of the year. As yew remember, about three weeks ago the former hizzoner, Ed O’Brien, spake of running for his ole office and doing “exploration” to that end.
Well, we have since found out that fundraisers have been planned and that he will probably announce that he is, in fact, running for the job. Now Sammy sez he’s got a perty good gig that pays quite well, and there are some who’re wondering why he would be looking to git back into the environs of the Actors Colony. Good query!
What they don’t understand is that there is something about believing you can wield some type of power that drives many politicos. The prestige ain’t bad either. Once they have it, it’s like a drug. They like the way it makes ‘em feel. So, in many ways it ain’t surprising he will be seeking office again.
The question to be answered is how he is gonna justify his four years and four deficits. Effen he can git by that hurdle, O’Brien may have a chance. But, I’m told that some o’ the people who used to support him are planning on sitting this one out. Effen that happens, the chances of him running might go up, but the chances of him winning take a bit of a tumble.
We shall see how this all shakes out. Political fortunes and political alliances have a way of getting boosts where they might not have. It’s a long time betwixt now and November. A lot can happen, and a lotta minds can be made up – or changed. We shall see.
Nelly Nuthatch pernted out the current controversy wherein the members of the constabulary are looking to get a traditional form of pension back. It’s been quite a while since the city stopped giving constables pensions and, instead, gave ‘em 401k plans. One of the criticisms at the time was the city would lose or train and lose members of the force, who will go to other departments.
That is happening we are told as we spend the $70k to train constables and then they move onto greener pastures. But they were doing that before. The salaries here are not the greatest and the mobility of the force was being determined by market forces. Also, the contractual promise could be made to stay with the force for X number of years to realize the benefits of the training. In other words, they have to sign a multi-year contract 3 or 5 years, and then they can move on.
The city ain’t in a position to pay for pensions, and more and more cities are seeing that pensions are a big expense that never seems to be work out finance-wise – that is, unless the municipality involved is along the Gold Coast. Our constabulary, like it or not, is a training or stepping stone operation. People will naturally move to other departments just because the pay or benefits will be better. It’s the market as much as anything else.
It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. I wouldn’t put my money on the city opting to go back to pensions, however.
Our esteemed editor told me that Board of Ed chairman Rose Russo has isshewed a “state of the schools” missive to the papyrus and that it’s gonna be published this week as an op-ed. This is a foist, and maybe a new tradition in these parts. We don’t git to hear much from the B of E unless there is some type of controversy going on – and in this burg there is always a controversy going on.
While it’s a bit of a newsletter like yew git from a pesky relative at the end of the year, rather than a nice Christmas card, it will give some people around here, especially those who don’t pay much attention to things school-wise, some info they might not otherwise git.
So, in case yore interested, check it out.
Also, last week’s missive concerning parental angst over the removal of asbestos in the rebuild of the high school roiled a few in and around the Actors Colony. I hear-tell that an answer is being banged out as we speak, and is planned for publication this week.
Those in charge of the school rebuild are rankled cuz they say every precaution is being taken regarding the asbestos removal, and no matter what they say or do, there are those who jest don’t wanna believe it. I don’t know effen that’s true, but I do know that it has been an isshew that sticks in people’s craw over two administrations, not just one.
I’ll let them speak for themselves, but there are some isshews that no matter what you do, there are gonna be people who’re dissatisfied. They think it should be handled one way and one way only, and any deviation from that is a sort of heresy. That may or may not be what’s happening in this case. It’s an emotional topic, and most times when emotion comes in, there is a lotta talking across each other, rather than listening.
Iva Lootey was out and about and mentioned that he’s seeing a lotta “tree trimming’ going on, and it ain’t the kind that has tinsel and lights. Crews are seen here and there in the burg working on trimming branches. No less than two were seen within about a half-mile of each other one afternoon.
I read somewhere that tree trimmers are out to get the branches away from the wires. The UI was doing that work. There seems to be other tree-trimming as well.
With the weather patterns we could git into, that’s not a bad idea cutting back the branches. But let’s not git too cut happy. We don’t wanna see good trees cut down just for convenience. Trees do add something to a neighborhood – and the look of that neighborhood.
The Mystick Maidens of the Marsh are planning their annual holiday bash, and there is hope that High Exalted Mystick Maiden Merlie Mae can make this year’s festivities. She’s still recouping from her injuries from an early summer fire.
Tennyrate, the plans are being made as we speak. Also, Cobina will have her Christmas gift list in next week’s papyrus as an end-of-year treat. We’re marking our list and checkin’ it twice to see what local yokels have been naughty or nice. Unlike Santa, naughty or nice, they git lampooned.
So, with that bit o’ chatter, I’ll close this time till next, mitt my usuall luff und kizzez,