The needler in the haystack.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

City Council balks, a little

A Council discussion puts me in mind of Churchill,
quids and quos.

With a box score of 33:3, Plainfield's City Council moved forward the bulk of items on the Mapp administration's agenda to next week's business session.

Even juicing several law firms to the tune of $100,000 didn't raise a peep from the fiscal watchdogs.

But there were three bumps in the road --

  • A proposal by the administration to cure problems in emergency dispatch with a trainee program;

  • The proposal for a Motor Pool Manager (once again); and

  • A 30-year tax abatement (PILOT) for the proposed South Avenue development.
The most stir was caused by the PILOT matter, which put me in mind of a famous and very funny story starring Sir Winston Churchill.

Churchill, the wartime prime minister of Great Britain whose mother was an American, was at a dinner party that included Lady Astor, the first woman member of the House of Commons.

Astor, an American born in near poverty in Danville, Virginia, had married her way into English nobility. She and Churchill were both acerbic wits and often traded barbs.

At this dinner party, Sir Winston and Lady Astor got into a discussion of adultery, and Sir Winston is supposed to have asked her if she would commit adultery for a sum of £500,000 (many millions of dollars in today's terms).

When Astor replied in the affirmative, Sir Winston asked her, "Well then, would you commit adultery for five quid?" (A quid is British slang for £1, or about $8 in today's currency.)

Lady Astor replied, "Sir Winston! What kind of a woman do you think I am?"

To which Sir Winston said sweetly, "We have already settled that question, madam. Now we are quibbling over price."

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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