A friend pointed out to me that we haven’t written anything opinion-based since November 23. Wow, time is going by so fast that it is getting hard to focus. At the very top of the blog we state our reasons for doing this.
“What I would write if I were allowed to submit editorials at-will to the Express-Times & Morning Call.”
The past two weeks we’ve focused on content. We’ve added audio from meetings and some video to accompany the comics and opinion. Our latest feature is the Easton Undressed Audio Blog or podcast. All of this is very time consuming, but we try to stay on point. The 3 meetings in one week is the real limiter. It’s tough to do anymore than post the audio after the after meeting cocktails err debrief.
But as you can tell by the length of our podcasts there is much to talk about.
And tops among the talking points is the budget.
The “Shock-and-Awe” budget that the Mayor’s office is pushing is accomplishing one thing. And personally some of us here at EU believe this one thing is part of an agenda. The thing that the budget has done is splinter focus.
Just like the Early Intervention Program (EIP) report did last month, the budget has shot gunned us with preposterous alternatives. And as I alluded earlier, there’s method to this madness. Every one of us that gathered near to hear the reading of the budget went running back to our respective bunkers to plot our DEFENSE.
Ah the madness… Put the people on the defense. Make us backpedal, research, plan, and negotiate. Why? I’ll tell you why.
While we’re out here trying to fund the pools, save fire jobs, save police jobs, save public works jobs, save the water treatment facility, and get the budget proposals posted online the Mayor and his Cabinet are sitting back and biding their time. And they can do this because there really isn’t much time left. Council’s schedule has the budget accepted on Tuesday, December 27, 2005. We were backed against the wall well before many had a chance to take notice.
The EIP report was held and released as a DRAFT on November 9th, the day after elections. The administration used the EIP report as a crutch to support not taking all kinds of financial action. In the three weeks that followed they concocted the “pay more for a lot less” budget. And when it was given back for them to rework they came back with a higher tax increase. Laugh and spit in our faces.
Am I the only Eastonian wondering “What the Hell did they do all year long?!”
My guess is that now they are just putting in time. The Mayor, his Chief of Staff, and his Business Administrator all know that only a miracle will keep them in town past December 31, 2007.