Well sweetie, as the sayin’ goes, “Spring has sprung, the grass is rizz.” Any look for birdies, and yew only have to look at Cobina’s domicile to realize they’ve been around all winter. Although, we have to admit we’ve seen an oriole or two and not jest on spring league baseball games. Nope. It seems that things are beginning to spring. Madame Olga told me her crocuses are coming up as are other spring flowers. That means the ground is getting warmer and in a few days the trees are gonna begin stirring around here.
Of course, the Asylum by the Sea has its own ways of determining the spring season. Last week, herroner did what mayors before her have done in the thoid week in March – isshew the annual proposed budget. This go-round, Mrs. Rossi announced a $163.3 million spendin’ plan, and like our editorial sez, there were some surprises therein.
The biggest surprise for any and all is the fack that she was somehow or t’other able to keep the mill rate at its current 36.26. Of course, how that’s gonna work out with personal property levies and sewer taxes…I mean fees…is another matter. The fack the municipalities are able to finagle the mill rate on personal property is a new bit o’ moving the goal posts that the General Assembly allowed. It’s up to 45 this year, I believe. The city is only gonna levy was not that much. Methinks I saw somewhere 37, but these ole eyes ain’t what they once were.
Of course, the naysayers are out already. As yew know this IS an election year for mayor, and the fack that the mill rate stayed steady is an age-old ploy used by many administrations in the past. Of course, they didn’t have the Municipal Accountability Review Board (MARB) breathin’ down their necks – except for three years in the 1990s. Effen they thought something was amiss with this calculatioln, they probably would’ve said something.
The second surprise was the fack the Bored of Ed requested $1.2 million in new funds, and actually got $1.6 million. That is the foist time Cobina remembers that happening in her fading memory. Very seldom does a department git more than requested. There was the year that more funds had to be found cuz the budget didn’t put in enuff according to the arcane formula the state has, but that wasn’t a voluntary thing.
The public gits its chance to opine on the matter next week at Bailey Middle School. The council did its charter-mandated duty and scheduled a public hearing for April 2 at 6:30. It’ll be interestin’ to see how many people show up this time round. We remember the days when these hearings were a chance to bring the popcorn and gets some free theater, but those days are long gone.
Over the last few years, the taxpayers have been happy that things haven’t gone off the rails, and have perty much stayed away. One can only sit and wait to figger out what’s gonna happen this year.
Nelly Nuthatch jest fluttered by and sez that the rumor going around the berg is the Haven is a “no go.” That are her words, not ours. Methinks the administration and/or the developers should be up with an update to the press and residents to let ‘em know what in blazes is going on.
A month ago we reported that local businesses were informed that demolition was gonna happen sometime around March 1. We’ll, April 1 is next week and nary a building has been taken down that wasn’t damaged by fire. This is the second time setch a rumor has floated around, and it had to be scotched by the administration and developers.
The Haven has had its problems, and, certainly, this is the first real plan that has been put forward since the “Water Street Project” was announced by then-Mayor H. Richard Borer, Jr in 1997. Bill Clinton was in the White House, and the city was relatively prosperous. A lotta water has gone under that bridge, and projects in this berg are never, ever a slam-dunk. It’ll be interesting to see how this very pernicious report gets treated.
Robby Raven was around t’other day and sez that Savin Rock is a bevy of activity, and not jest walkers and joggers. It seems the tarpaulins that have covered the roof of the Savin Rock Conference Center are being removed, witch might indicate a replacement of that part o’ the structure. We know that the roof is one of the things that is hampering the city from finding a caterer or managing agency to run the building. Maybe the work is included in some expenditure or t’other and we’re gonna see a new roof.
The other thing to notice over there is there is a tree company clearing the brush and old trunks on Savin Rock proper. Let’s hope what few Savin trees are there will be OK, but we know that there were workers up there and they were cutting down trees and brush.
The old landmark does look a bit cleaner, but we wonder what the clean-up is heading toward? Could it be that the city is trying to preserve it and the tree roots are breaking it apart? Could it be that they wanna build a path to let people go up there? Could it jest be a clean-up? Inquiring minds want to know, and Cobina has put Robby on the case.
Sammy Bluejay was here and made mention of the fack that the long-simmering feud betwixt our columnist Eleanore Turkington and various members of the City Council have quieted down – a lot! Jest a few months ago, the members of the council were querying whether El’s letters were real or whether she was makin’ it all up.
Here we are a scant three months later and not only are the council members answering their constituent’s questions, they are nice about it. That ain’t something we’re used to in these parts, not by a long shot. It’s good to see and kudos to the members of the council who have been soooooo kind to our Eleanore.
Not only is it helping our lit’le publication, it’s making the elected members more responsive to the people who put ‘em in office. That’s always a good thing.
Whilst we’re on the subject of time and response, lemme remind yew that another week has passed and we still don’t have any kind of new information about Beach Street. This has been a real thorn in the side o’ the city. Three major business locations on one of the heaviest thoroughfares in the city are turning to dust, and no one has any inkling as to what is gonna happen.
The site of the former Captain’s Galley is still up for sale after they cleared the old restaurant, which was collapsing. The former Chick’s hasn’t been sold yet, despite the fack it is prime as far as location and a nice piece of property. And then there is the former Debonair Motel. That has been empty for nearly a decade and was sold to a former politico – with much fanfare – five years ago. It still is the same. There was a lotta ballyhoo about finding out what the neighbors want, but it is obvious now, that was just to take the heat off the politicos. So here we are. Another week, another week of decay for those three sites. That can’t be good for property values for the people who own around there, now could it.
With that bit o’ chatter, I’ll close this time till next, mitt luff und kizzez,