As I write this week’s missive, I see that we have passed the “vernal equinox” and are now in that wonderful time o’ year, spring. At least that’s what the calendar sez, my lumbago sez different. The mornings in these parts have been quite something with temperatures dippin’ into the 20s. That makes for some frosty attempts to get the Tin Lizzy going in the ayems.
Around here, o’ course, we see that the Blue Lady, Joan Connor, wuz given this year’s Irishman of the Year Award and now has her moniker bedazzling the piazza in front o’ the Actors Colony. Cobina remembers ole Joan in her salad days. Quite a gal! She, of course, was one o’ the hall monitors in the high school in a former day, makin’ sure that kids had passes and that lavatories (as we called ‘em in those days) were no used as smoking rooms. She always had a quick wit and a quicker smile. The kids liked her, and, more importantly, she liked them.
It’s good to see we’re honoring people that make this berg somewhat livable. Lawd know, there’s enuff to make us wonder jest what in Hades happened to the quiet place we all moved into years ago.
Here in the berg, we’re still awaiting the release of Mrs. Rossi’s second annual budget. With the rolling of March – the Ides were last week, of course – our attention goes to jest what the budget bottom line is gonna be and how much more in taxes the property owners in the berg are expected to carry.
And there’s more than jest that. There is the fack that it’ll affeck property taxes that are non-house related. Also, until the city tax rate is established, the fire departments git a good idea as to how their mill rate add-ons are gonna go. Those meetings don’t take place until April after much o’ what is expected to happen happens. Then the fire budgets go through by the middle o’ the month.
There’s a lot ridin’ on herroner’s spending plan, and until it sees the light o’ day, nobody is sure what’s gonna happen.
As far as the City Council takin’ up the budget. Like the 1990s, this is gonna be an exercise in not much. Much of what will be proposed will be, we figger, with the OK of the Municipal Accountability Review Board (MARB). Excep’ for the fack the council might tweak this or massage that, not much is expected through the six-week review they are mandated to give the document.
Sammy Bluejay did mention that this might be the last budget passed under the current iteration of the charter. With the Charter Revision Commish making noises about altering city government in many ways, we know one thing even the politicos wanted altered was the way the council can change the proposed budget.
Under the current system it takes a supermajority of nine to make any changes. That’s been a tall order for many years – and was planned that way. There have been many good ideas over the years that for one reason or t’other couldn’t find the magic number to get passed. It’s also put us into the soup on more than one occasion.
Remember, it was the lack of alterations that set us in this wave of deficits way back in 1991. Effen changes were made then, the state might not have taken over. Since then, there have been many times a change here or there could have helped rather than hurt matters.
Sooooo, we shall see. As Ed Granfield said in last week’s papyrus, the changes they’ve proposed are now under legal scrutiny by the city’s barrister-in-chief. Once he gives the OK on them or let’s ‘em know how to make right and proper, things can move along.
Who knows, we might be on the cusp of a new era in this berg’s history…not to put too fine a pernt on it.
Nelly Nuthatch was in t’other afternoon and happened to mention that “Silly Season” was upon us. Now, as you are aware, “silly season” is the moniker we give the campaign season leading up to November’s election. Of course, with the fack that Debbie Collins has announced she will seek the Demmie nod v. the current mayor, Nancy Rossi, the silly season is beginning jest a big earlier.
That’s not to mention the further concept that Ed O’Brien, the former mayor of the berg, is seekin’ his old job, but has, more or less, been told he don’t have the backin’ of the powers that be in the Demmie Party. Given that fack he has determined he will go independent effen he decides to go at all.
Already candidates are lining up ad space, and already the fundraisers are comin’ through as events to be published in the papyrus. The long and short is that even though the trees are just starting to show the tiniest burst of budding, the silly season is well underway, and things are only gonna git more intense and more interesting.
We see that Mr. Lamont was riding the choo-choo train last week as a way to get support for his infrastructure plan that is gonna mean 87 tolls in the state effen he gits his way. Foist off, every time I hear his name, I think o’ Lamont Cranston of “The Shadow” fame, but I digress.
The lie was put to the whole scam regarding the money being locked into infrastructure when politicos just let it be known, “We need the cash.” In other words, jest like in decades past, the lottery, the gas tax, and even the income tax, it wasn’t meant to solve the state’s cash woes. It was meant to put more money in play for the money-grabbers in Hartford to play with. Like I said last week, maybe bankruptcy wouldn’t be setch a bad idea. It’ll stop the spending.
But what the choo-choo excursion did bring onto the unsuspectin’ governor was Michael Mercuriano. Ole Mike, who has been miffed since the DOT nixed the idea of a garage at the train station a couple years ago decided he would meet the governor and let him know that West Haven would be a great place to help encourage mass transit – with the garage that the state forgot about.
It’s been MM’s contention that the station, which was supposed to be a hub station taking pressure off New Haven’s Union Station, was given short shrift, and things that were promised or planned were forgot about or jest ignored.
Not only has he been miffed about the lack of a garage, but he’s also let ‘em know that the snack bar they were supposed to have never materialized, and the buses that were supposed to pivot in the site have never even entered there.
Mr. Lamont might be a new governor, but he ain’t aware of the future problems that could be made effen he don’t at least listen to Mercuriano. This is gonna be fun just for the theater of it.
Whilst that is going on, we record yet another week where nothing’s happened at the Haven, or for that matter Beach Street. The Haven is imminently scheduled, we’re told for demolition to begin on the four-block area…don’t hold yore breath.
Meanwhile, Beach Street has three properties that are still vacant, two o’ which might collapse from disuse the way things are going. The site of the former Captain’s Galley is still up for sale, despite the fack it was a great spot for an eatery for years. The other two, the former Chick’s and the former Debonair are just standing up to the elements with nothing happening. It’s been more than five years for the Debonair, which went through the exercise of seeking ideas from neighbors, only to be ignored. Chick’s is still up for sale. We thought by now someone would scarf it up. No setch luck
With that bit o’ chatter, I’ll close this time till next, mitt luff und kizzes.