What follows are in no way original thoughts but rather, observations I first offered six years ago; how strange they still seem so current.
It was Einstein who said, "(w)e cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." However, the last time I checked, he wasn’t seeking a seat on this fall’s City Council so I guess we can safely continue to ignore his advice.
Meanwhile we’re searching for who’s to blame for the municipal budget that’s shaping up but the culprit can be found in the nearest mirror. We should know better, we go through this every year and yet because we don’t do things differently in the preceding eleven and half months we get to this point in the fiscal calendar every year and are amazed. Actually and pardon my cynicism we’re always disappointed about the results we didn’t get from the work we didn’t do.
In the meantime, our alderpersons are watching the horizon for some sign, divine or otherwise, that a state budget will be or has been approved in Hartford and that such a budget will be of benefit to the City of Norwich. So far, no dice (in light of the Massachusetts casino threat, too soon?)
They are nervous-a great deal of their budget depends on allocations from the state of Connecticut and, let's face it, no matter the state and no matter the town, if the choice comes down to a program or position in the Capital or one ‘someplace else,’ guess who's going to win? Color me surprised only as long as we can afford crayons.
Every year we all get a case of the heebie-jeebies and vow to 'fix' this 'broken system' and then suffer amnesia when the crisis passes. As a matter of fact, since it's so familiar and recurs so often, I'm not sure if 'crisis' is even an appropriate word to describe it. Semantics aside, what next?
For right now we’ll watch the TV news a bit closer, open our local daily newspapers to the "Capital Doings" section before we hit the sports page(, but after the comics) and muddle through with a strained, stoic smile as if we were under siege.
Better a horrible end, than horrors without end, I suppose, but this annual dance could end with very little effort, if we could all sit and work together throughout the year. After all, money talks. And some days you can't get a word in edgewise.