Thursday, March 7, 2013

Shirley, forget the smelling salts; we’re going to need the AEDs, Stat!

Well; we could say you read about it here first, but gloating is petty.  But it’s also true, and from time to time, we like to do petty.

On Monday, we made a prophetic statement in this post:

Plans are made under the radar for a minimum of a $25-40 million bond issue referendum to put on the ballot in November, in an ultra-low turn out election that the schoolies can win handily.

On Tuesday, under the byline of Ben, Dover, Local Taxpayer, Side ran this passage:

Let’s begin with an assertion that Brunswick, or the Town of Perfect as our publisher likes to call it, is America’s Richest Little Town.

Since 2005, Perfect has built a new fire station, a new school, a new salt shed, and invested deeply in a new downtown station complex.  In the works are a new Police Station, a new Municipal Office Facility, more new schools, and a new School Bus Maintenance and Storage Facility.  Waiting in the wings for the right time to act is a new Central Fire Station, which will complete a 10 year whirlwind of replacing almost every town facility of both the School Department and Municipal Government.

Not bad for a small town in one of the poorest and oldest states in the nation, and one that has seen the closure of its iconic institution, the Brunswick Naval Air Station, in recent years, with consequent loss of population vitality and economic activity. 

As a side note, the town purchased, renovated, and then tore down a facility at a total cost of $3 million or more, all for naught.  Unless you consider bare ground a worthwhile investment.  This seems to be a habit here in town. And yet many wonder why the country is going bankrupt at breakneck speed, city by city, and soon, state by state.

Then yesterday, in this post, we said the following:

The article we are about to analyze accelerates mission creep to mission leap, replaces the ramp with a 10 foot step, and turns water drops into 1 gallon water balloons.  All at the hands of those who have no legitimate claim of objectivity on the subject.  And with no challenge or validation by the press.

In case you don’t know what an AED is, it’s an automated external defibrillator, pictured here open and ready for pads to be attached.


You better make sure you know where one is before you read much further, because the Gomer Pyle Surprise, Surprise! quote has just been thrown onto the ash-heap of municipal common sense.  And your faithful publisher and staff are left to wonder what to do when reality trumps seemingly bizarre journalistic hyperbole, because that’s exactly what has happened.

Are you sitting down?  We’re just going to give you a glimpse of the news, because we have other obligations to tend to.  More will likely follow.

Here’s the headline:

'Sticker shock': $38M for Brunswick schools upgrade?

(You can read the whole story here.  And as you do, you can wonder who the hell is in charge of this circus, and console yourself by remembering that you live in the richest little town in America.)

It begins this way:

When he said "sticker shock," he meant it.

The principal architect for planned renovations at two schools recommended a $38.3 million plan at the School Board's special facilities meeting Wednesday night.

The figure for major renovations of Coffin Elementary School and Brunswick Junior High School is far more than the $21 million rough estimate made by another architecture firm earlier in the planning process.

That underlined little ditty brings to mind our comment in last night’s post:

This is the school architects’ version of “Bush did it,” or “it was like this when we got here,” or “we inherited this situation from the previous administration.”  In other words, if you’d have begun this effort with us, you’d have had the elevated but unknown number sooner.

Here’s the summary contained in the article:

Note that Keck, the PDT Architect, said the following:

"We don't think 'light touch' is viable," Keck said Wednesday night, responding to a question on whether the "light touch" option's plan to not have a full sprinkler plan would even be legal.

So you might as well dismiss the first column above, because Sarah Singer, Sally Sellit, and the rest of the schoolies at BCU will have none of it.

Shift your focus to the right hand column instead, and with a bit of addition, you can see a $50 million plan emerging.  But remember, ‘its for the children.’ And remember, the high school is nearing the midpoint of its useful life.

No one ever said living in Perfect would be inexpensive.  So we’re planning on making a print run of 1000 or so posters of the image below for those who wish to express solidarity with the schoolies and our ever accountable School Department, including the School Board themselves.


We’re estimating right now that the posters will sell for $50, but that’s based on the poster printing shop we used the last time, and we don’t plan on using them again.  So you’ll have to wait for numbers you can count on.

But you should be use to that by now.  And we’ll do our best to keep costs reasonable.  You can count on us; we’re not like the others.

“Imagine?”  “Invest?”  Wow; they better come up with more appropriate terms.  These don’t do justice to the level of $50 million.

Perhaps “hallucinate” and “break the bank” would work better.

And we were dumb enough to make an issue of letting toilets go unrepaired.  Live and not learn, as they say.

No comments:

Post a Comment