February 21, m’dear. One more month and it’ll be spring – at least in the calendar. Around these parts, things don’t start getting warmer until mid-May cuz the water and all. Still, after weeks of cold weather, it’s somethin’ to look forward to.
Whilst many of us are lookin’ forward to spring and what comes with it, the politicos in our neck of the woods seem to be pernting their sights on the fall. Of course, they would. Y’see honey bunch, it’s 2019, an odd year. In odd years we have municipal elections in the Nutmeg State for the most part. Soooo, politicos, possible politicos and wanna-be politicos are gearing up for the November election.
As I’ve been tellin’ yew since the beginnin’ of the year, there was a search going on to see effen the factions of the Demmie Party were gonna coalesce around one candidate – that being herroner – or, like so many other “election cycles” find a primary candidate to see if they could knock off the incumbent.
Early on, Ed O’Brien the former head honch of the burg determined that he would be running. Sammy Bluejay has been reportin’ to Cobina on that progress, and he sez that after trying to garner the backin’ of a few people in the party without much success, he’s gonna go independent. Sammy sez that the former mayor has had a fallin’ out with some of his more powerful former supporters, and now has to go the road less traveled.
Meanwhile, Sammy has been kep’ apprised of the talk that Debbie Collins, the town clerk, is gonna throw her chapeau into the ring and look to primary in September. People are saying that Collins has been heard in some local watering holes talkin’ about it. It’s jest a matter o’ time whether she pulls the trigger or not.
That’ll be an interesting primary, one has to admit.
Well, whatever, herroner is not a happy camper with what the former mayor and maybe what others have said cuz she’s put out a press release perty much throwing down the gauntlet telling her possible and/or probable opponents to put up or shut up. She’s told ‘em to go to the Municipal Accountability Review Board (MARB) meeting on March 6 and present their cases in Hartford – like they’re gonna traipse up to the capital to palaver with a bunch o’ bureaucrats. That ain’t gonna happen, methinks.
In a bold move, she’s said effen yew got a better plan, and can explain what part you took in the city’s insolvency, have at it. She’s more or less told O’Brien to explain himself and his four straight deficits, and Collins or whomever else to explain how they took part and/or what better plan they might have.
This puts the mayor – at least for the time being – in the driver’s seat. She is setting the tone for what’s coming. She is setting the isshew, and she is calling on them to defend themselves. Interesting.
Nelly Nuthatch was in t’other afternoon and sez she was by the high school recently. It seems some façade portions are being completed so a better idea o’ what the building is gonna look like is beginning to take shape. Remember this is gonna be a long process, but there are lotsa people who’re interested to see how things are gonna look.
We’d bet though, the iron workers who’ve been there would’ve been happier effen these things were in a bit sooner. What with the temps at 0 or below a couple times and all that wind over there, they’d be happy to get a bit o’ coverage.
Tennyrate, it’s startng to shape up and that piqued Nelly’s interest. She’s flutterin’ by there on a regular basis.
We got a feelin’ that one group o’ people that would be happy to see demolition start at the Haven projeck site is the Center Fire Dept. members. For the second time in as many weeks there was a fire over there, with a small blaze reported at the former Bilco Door location. Last week it was a building on Richards Place. Despite roadblocks to keep cars away, the problem, according to Iva Lootey, is squatters or homeless people. They are lookin’ to git outta the cold and probably starting some fires that are getting outta control. That seems to be what happened at the Richards Place fire.
Ergo, the WHFD will be very happy as a unit when the demolition starts and those who inhabit the streets at night will be forced to go somewhere else. Right now, the area is what some call an “attractive nuisance.” Some o’ the same people here are seen in the summer down the beach along the boardwalk and use another setch thing the pool down there. Over the years, people have been shooed outta there the same way they’re gonna be shooed outta these buildings.
Of course, the wag was in t’other afternoon and brought up the grand list, which was the genesis (circling back) of the challenge by herroner to future opponents as stated above. In last week’s issue we reported the city is itself reportin’ a $30 million increase in the grand list.
Now, the “grand list” is a fancy moniker for the total taxable property in the city. And, natchurly, it’s important cuz without it we wouldn’t have a way to calculate the mill rate – the amount of taxes per thousand dollars of assessment. Sooooo, a $30 million hike makes things a bit better for everyone. A $300 million increase would really be helpful.
Like the wag says on occasion, the city don’t have a “tax” problem, it has a “revenue” problem. We don’t git enuff – something like the state, but without bein’ as profligate as the General Assembly. Now, a $30 million increase is not exactly a way to Easy Street. One could make the case that setch an increase is jest the natural order of things, that the value of things tend to go up.
Yeah, that’s kind o’ true, but one has to remember that over the last decade, the city saw at least two times where the grand list went down after revaluation of property…and more than once it was jest flat. Sooooo, an increase of any type would warm the cockles of any poltico’s heart.
This story ain’t finished, and certainly won’t be until herroner decides on the budget. Like we’ve said the MARB is insisting on revenue hikes which mean tax hikes. Already we’re seeing For Sale signs go up, and one has to believe the promised tax increases are part o’ the reason.
Meanwhile, it is interesting the feigned outrage by some politicos now that His Excellency the Governor has determined that his promise not to raise taxes will be violated. Using a page out of fellow Greenwicher Lowell Weicker’s playbook, he is saying the situation is much worse than he thought; ergo, he must do something to increase revenue. Sooooo, tolls and whatever else he thinks. Of course, our part of the state will be impacted more than any other, but what do the people in Hartford care.
It’s interesting to note that the NY governor complained that people were leaving his state. Well, they’re leaving CT as well and for the same reasons. But, instead of change their spending behavior, these guys just wanna continue to spend into oblivion.
With that bit o’ chatter, I’ll close this time till next, mitt luff und kizzez,