Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Yes, Virginia, there might be a Santa Claus

Occasionally, we’re greeted by news that restores one’s belief in the Tooth Fairy, Fairy Godmothers, and yes, perhaps even Santa Claus.  All too infrequently, of course, but when we do, it behooves us to shout the news from the rooftop (where we maintain hope the state will soon fund a solar water heating system, just like Bowdoin’s), and to give credit where credit is due.

It’s all part of the jolly holly folly image we’ve worked so hard to establish for Other Side.

Just a few hours ago, always vigilant for the next breaking story, our offices received notification of the agenda for the town council meeting of this coming Monday, April 5th.  In recent months, we haven’t lived up to our own low standards for tracking and reporting on such matters, and we hope to make at least partial amends here.

We did, however, recently comment on a council motion to modify rules for public comment in this post.  Other Side, and others more credible, held that the proposal would figuratively, if not literally, kill off the public comment segment instituted not all that long ago.

So it is with considerable surprise and gratitude that we pass along this note from the agenda for the upcoming meeting:

(Please note that the item relative to changing the Council Rules of Order to have Public Comment after new Business Items has been withdrawn by the sponsors, Councilor Favreau
and Councilor Wilson.)

We know for a fact that our thoughts on such matters have no effect, so we can only assume that others in town took the sponsors to the woodshed, and after extended ‘counseling,’ convinced them to think better of their proposal.  We commend the public servants involved for coming to their senses.

Much as we would like, we cannot end on this high note.  The same agenda includes this item under New Business:

44. The Town Council will hear comments from Councilor Atwood relative to the relationship between the Federal budget and local budget challenges, with a focus on federal dollars allocated for war spending, and will determine if any future action is necessary. (Councilor Atwood)

As anyone who knows us can imagine, this sorely tempts your correspondent to launch into an Andy Rooney style “spot,” featuring our trademark irreverence and irascibility.  In the spirit of the moment, we choose not to yield to the urge.  Yes, we can be bigger than you at times.

We simply suggest that Monday’s meeting should prove more entertaining than usual, and we will gain immeasurable insight into how our public servants interpret the bounds of their authority.  In the past, we’ve had motions about policy regarding Cuba; this agenda item holds all the promise, and more, of that core municipal responsibility for foreign relations, national defense, and assorted other global matters.

One’s imagination, left to run free, could come up with all sorts of cosmic and transcendent issues for future debate at council meetings.  Why limit ourselves to drones, vernal pools, faerie shrimp, and other mundane details of community?

Readers are encouraged to submit their ideas directly to the council, or if they prefer, to us here at Other Side, where we will see that they receive the visibility they deserve.

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