Well hon, spring has started to get movin’ around here. Trees are starting to bud, and we actually had a warm day over the weekend. We also had lotsa rain, which means the wheezing and sneezing of the season will be along presently. Here in the Asylum by the Sea, things are startin’ to percolate as regarding the mayoral race and the city budget.
I told yew recently that the race for the thoid floor of the Actors Colony was gonna be something that started sooner rather than later. It didn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figger that one out. Heck, with a three-way race in the offing, with the formal entrance two weeks ago of Ed O’Brien, lookin’ to git back his old job, it was a shoe-in that things would begin early.
This kerfuffle betwixt Mayor Rossi and “a political opponent,” which one would figger to be Councilwoman Tracy Morrissey, who opened the discussion, is the opening salvo. The center of the controversy-ette has to do with vacation payback. Now, this ain’t the foist time this isshew has been brought up. The question is who can git it and who can’t. Well, it would seem, given the fack others have done it, the matter might be settled.
Herroner has writ a missive in this week’s papyrus, and has legal opinions advocating same. Like I said this ain’t the foist time it’s come up. I think Cobina has a great idea. It’s fair and it’s just: get rid of it all together.
This was a benefit that was given to city workers, who can accumulate the days. Evidently, herroner took advantage of the practice, which as she pernts out was taken by other mayors. Yes, in fact, it was. Now this is somethin’ we’ve been against for years. In most businesses you either take yore vacation time or you lose it. Only in government is it permissible to stockpile your days and then get paid for not using them. The same is done for unused sick time. Huh?
These topics have come up before, and there isn’t the political will to change it. Yet, every so often it is a nice political pernt on which to make political pernts with the public. Methinks that’s what is being done here. Effen the council wants to limit the practice it should move to eliminate it in the next contractual talks, thus precluding it from being used by others.
Don’t worry. Like I said, this was only the foist salvo in this campaign. There will, most assuredly, be others. And, we suspeck they will be more nasty and more pointed.
It’s kind o’ hard to believe the Morrissey and Mayor Rossi were once allies on the City Council, but that’s how politics is in this burg. Friends one minute, opponents the next.
Sammy Bluejay, meanwhile, is perchin’ himself outside the City Council Chambers and wherever else the council might meet, as it peruses the mayor’s budget. As yew know, with the coming and going of last week’s public hearing, the council now looks at the document line by line and sees effen it can make any changes. Usually, changes are like hen’s teeth, given the fack it takes nine votes of 13 to approve any alterations.
Tennyrate, the council has begun its look-see, and we should get a perty good inklin’ of its thoughts as the weeks progress, and whether any changes can or should be made.
Meanwhile, Sammy did report that last week’s hearin’ saw many, many people seek restoration of the public library funds, which took quite the hit in the budget plan. The library is one of the things that people use the most and politicos attack the most each and every budget cycle.
One person who contacted the papyrus made mention of the fack that she’d never been to a tax hearing before, and went cuz of her interest in the library. She was amazed at how many people spoke up concerning it.
No tellin’ where this is gonna go, but effen there is one change made, it might be in the very used and very impawtant line item fer a lotta people. We shall see.
Whilst all that is goin’ on, Nelly Nuthatch fluttered on by to tell me that there seems to be a brewing issue over the Municipal Accountability Review Board’s look into fire department consolidation and how it could/may/might benefit the city. Oh boy! Where to begin.
Foist off, some of the anger in this regard seems to be coming from Allingtown, which had its fire tax mill rate increased. It seems that there are some voters in the borough who don’t remember that in 2012 the department was dissolved as per state statutes by the voters of the borough. They then voted to align themselves with the city and put the department under City Council control. Guess what? They got what they asked for. Now there are complaints they have no say in the department operation. No kidding. They were told that when the entire issue went to a vote.
If the MARB determines the city should consolidate, the entire process could take months or years. The two remaining fire departments have “home rule,” and would have to be dissolved by special vote of the people in those districks. The MARB can’t with a wave of its collective arm just make things disappear.
For all the talk about consolidation, it is the only facet of this city’s life, where people git direct control over the workings of the fire brigade. They vote for the budget, and they vote for the commissioners that run it day-to-day.
Nelly pernted out that before this thing erupts into the next big political squabble, people better understand what is needed to git the thing off the ground, and that it’s a long, very specific process. She wasn’t sure, and neither am I, that people understand the procedure – or the issue for that matter.
Our editor was out on one of his jogs this past week, and what to his wondering eyes should appear, but that the Debonair Motel property is up for sale. Haven’t we queried about that recently? The For Sale sign was up, which means that Sam Gedjensen and wife have given up on the property. They were schmoozed into purchasing the property around 2013, and then went through the exercise of asking the neighbors what they thought would be a right fit. Needless to say, nothing was ever done, except a rather rickety fence was put up to discourage the squatters from using the former motel.
We hope something happens, but with the former Chick’s still up for sale, and the former Captain’s Galley property going to seed, one wonders if anyone is really interested in prime shore space in a city that can’t pay its bills.
Iva Lootey sez that even some stalwarts on the Haven property are wondering effen a change of strategy is behind the lack of any movement over there. The holding company doesn’t put out any info, and letters talking of demolition were sent out weeks ago, with nothing happening.
With the closing of many stores and store chains cuz of the new shift in purchasing over the Internet, one wonders if there might be a hesitancy to begin construction on a mall that might not be able to fill the space? It’s a good question, but there are no easy answers, we think.
With that bit o’ chatter, I’ll close this time till next, mitt luff und kizzez,