Plainfield Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs and City Administrator Marc Dashield are playing the Grinch (and sidekick) to City Council's Christmas.
While the Grinch and his dog Max stole Whoville's Christmas gifts, the present the duo is stealing here is the Council's holiday time with friends and family.
Once it became clear that Robinson-Briggs had avoided delivering a budget proposal -- including a layoff plan -- to the Council until (safely) after the November election, the Council's fate was sealed.
As Councilors pointed out to Dashield and Corporation Counsel Dan Williamson last week, once handed over the budget becomes the Council's -- and amending it is entirely their prerogative.
Unfortunately for the Council, making meaningful changes and setting them in place in time to actually have any fiscal impact means getting under way immediately. Though they have set a compressed series of meetings (see Bernice here, and the calendar here), you can be sure that Council members have mulled both the issues involved and options they might take (see Councilor Mapp's detailed proposal here, and Councilor Storch on what other towns are doing about budget dilemmas here).
But as with all things Plainfield, this Grinchly tale has its own special twist.
In Seuss' story, the Grinch learns a valuable lesson about Christmas.
The only lesson it seems Mayor Robinson-Briggs is taking away from this budget crisis is that no matter how bad the difficulties the City faces, she can always order up some more eats to make it palatable (for example, Friday's annual tree lighting where she announces she is serving 'A LIGHT MEAL').
Meanwhile, the Council, on whom this wicked budget trick is being played may just have a few Grinchly surprises of its own for Mayor Robinson-Briggs.
One wonders what Robinson-Briggs will do if it turns out to be true that Marc Dashield's last day as city administrator will be December 31st.
- Wikipedia: "How the Grinch stole Christmas"
-- Dan Damon [follow]