Can yew imagine, sweetie pie, after eight days of below-average weather, and four or five days of rain where we got it measured in inches, one o’ the local yokels on the boob tube was still talking about “drought.” I don’t know effen he’s been near the Maltby Lakes or even Lake Whitney, but there ain’t much more room to have water spill into these places. And with thawing happening up nawth, how can anyone say we’re in drought conditions. Sometimes I think the only way these guys and gals git any fun is by scaring the wits outta the public.
Here in God’s Li’l Acre, also known as the Asylum by the Sea, we’re living up to our name as always. The fall election is still months away, with the various town committees not having to make a decision until July, but things seem to be getting into full swing.
Already we’ve had inquiries as to advertising, and as yew can tell by the stories we’ve been runnin’ over the past few weeks, the fencing match betwixt Demmy Edward M. O’Brien and other Demmie Nancy Rossi has been a parry and thrust affair, with Rossi trying to strike a blow, whilst hizzoner is fighting back.
As yew probably saw last week, Rossi sent a letter to the Municipal Finance Assistance Committee – MFAC for short – wherein she wants the city to sign off on a missive where it sez the budget is, in fact, balanced, and that a look-see be given to make sure it is.
This, methinks, is gonna be a big isshew come the fall. Y’see sweets, hizzoner ran on the same isshew when he was lookin’ to unseat John Picard. That’s where the whole five percent across the board spending cut came about, effen my mem’ry serves.
Well, yew can’t but wonder what’s gonna happen since with the last audit report – still to be published by the auditing company which is reviewing its findings – the city has gone the last three budgets without balancing the books. To say we are awash in red ink might be calling it a bit too shrill, but some things are now making sense.
Remember when I gave you one or two incidents where the city tried to use credit cards or debit cards and were rejected, or that local businesses doing business were still waiting to git paid. It now makes sense.
What I don’t know is how this is gonna affeck our ability to bond as hizzoner wishes to do. He wants to pay off the debt, but as Rossi sez, how can we be sure that this budget will be yet another document of missed guesses. Effen we pay off the $16-plus million we owe now only to got $1.5 million in debt, what have we accomplished.
Stay tuned, it’ll be interesting to see whot happens.
Speaking of budgets, the fire districts were to have their meetings last week and I guess they did set their budgets. Things didn’t go as badly as some predicted, though don’t ask the people in Allingtown about that. It’s gonna have the highest fire tax rate in the city. That is gonna give fodder to the people who still wanna keep separate fire districts as we’ve had here since high-button shoes were the rage.
Of course, with the taxes in the other districks being perty much what they’ve been, the hullaballoo we saw a decade or so ago has been quieted down. Still, knowing how fire districts go, there should be a kerfuffle sooner rather than later.
Iva Lootey appeared at both the fire districk meetings and tells me, compared to what they were a while back, the entire proceedings were dull.
Still, we ain’t seen a brush fire in the districks for a while. It could come any time now.
Continuing on budgets, Sammy Bluejay sez there is some talk about the berg concerning making a charter revision about budgets. As yew probably read here and elsewhere, the budget was passed not by a majority vote, but by default cuz the City Council couldn’t agree on various things. The fail-safe in the charter is effen the council don’t pass an ordinance on the first Thursday of May, the mayor’s proposal goes in by default. For the second time in three cycles, that’s what happened.
Sooooo, there is some talk here and there that maybe the supermajority that the council has to face each time it tries to tweak a budget should be amended. Some are talking a simple majority, some are talking a majority-plus-one.
Right now, nine votes of the 13 are needed to make adjustments or changes. Making it a majority or a majority-plus-one would lower the threshold and allow for changes that might’ve made it in other years. Cobina can remember when eight votes could be got, but not that elusive nine.
It’s an interesting issue, and one that should be discussed in the city. That little matter has cost the city dearly over the last several years, and could’ve avoided the crash of ’91 effen it was a lower vote. We shall see if this “gets legs” as the politicos like to say.
I didn’t mention it last week, but Nelly Nuthatch was here t’other afternoon and wondered effen I’d let yew know about it. “It” is the idea to raise the level of Beach Street from its current layout to 2 to 5 feet higher from Washington Avenue all the way to Second Avenue. It ain’t an idea that’s gained much traction in the past, but maybe it’ll gain it now.
Beach Street is prone to flood at least in parts when we get severe storms, and yew remember what happened when part of the roadway was pert near washed out four or five years ago, not to mention the exposed sewer and drain pipes.
Well, the idea is to lift up the roadway so that it’ll be less likely to flood over, while getting rid of the ups and downs the street seems to have in certain parts.
It’ll be interesting to see effen this goes any farther than the talking stages.
The wag was in t’other afternoon, and sez that now the weather is getting warmer – I guess he hasn’t noticed the cold – the talk about blighted buildings and noise is on the increase. He’s right effen letters to the papyrus and Gripe Vine are any indication, it seems that people are worrying about buildings on their streets that ain’t kep’ as nicely as theirs, and they are worried about the invasion of motorcycles that seems to happen each summer.
The only thing we can hope for on both is that the authorities who’re supposed to be in charge of those isshews take them seriously and work to make them less a problem. Even though people don’t like to hear it, the WHPD does ticket choppers that have big noise, Cobina has seen ‘em in action. Meanwhile, the city officials in charge are doing what they can, but with absentee ownership in this berg, it ain’t as easy as it might look.
Cobina was also alerted to the fack that the Bored of Ed is looking to fill a vacancy for a principal’s job. Word is that there is some consternation on the panel cuz there are a few members who don’t think it’s an open process, and that decisions have already been made as to whom will git the position.
I hear-tell there is an intramural battle going on betwixt members of the board, and that it could break out into open warfare effen people git riled enuff. I ain’t got much more than that, but let’s face it, over the years, there have been very few processes that have been “open.”
When I git more info, I’ll let yew know.
Till next time, I’ll close mitt luff und kizzez,