Columbus Ward 3 councilman Charlie Box admitted he was "tickled to death" to bring the city's FY2014 budget into balance without the need for a tax hike. Certainly, we applaud the mayor, council and city department heads for their fiscal restraint for bringing into balance what began as a projected $860,000 deficit after its first budget workshop a few weeks ago.
The shoutin' isn't over. In fact, it probably hasn't even begun. But it appears Starkville will be raising taxes to support its 2014 budget.
An email and a phone call Monday have convinced me to make a confession. The email came from city attorney Jeff Turnage, who asked about the identity of Spencer Smith, who wrote a scathing letter to the editor that was published in Monday's Dispatch on the city's hiring of J5/Broaddus as project manager.
The snake raised its head and looked at me -- and that was his second mistake. I'd been noticing the goldfish were disappearing over several days, so I knew he was somewhere in the pond. I stomped back to the house and told Sam my fish were disappearing and I had seen the snake.
It was 60 years ago that Dr. Norman Vincent Peale issued "The Power of Positive Thinking." In the decades since, other books, songs, plays and movies have extolled the virtues of making an affirmative choice to be optimistic.
I completely oppose the city's creation of a Project Manager position and the appointment of J5/Broaddus, a firm owned by the Mayor's campaign advisor and employing the Mayor's son, to that position.
During the winter Coach Brewer had his football players -- the ones who weren't playing basketball -- lifting weights, wrestling and playing handball. Our "handball courts" were defined by strips of masking tape on the gym floor. We would swat a racquetball against the concrete block walls of the gym. Good for eye-hand coordination and quickness, he told us. Most of the time, though, we goofed off.
FISHTRAP HOLLOW -- The frogs are so loud tonight, it is difficult to have a porch conversation.
Newspapers have become the bullied school kid of American journalism.
Jen Psaki, blameless State Department spokeswoman, explained that the hasty evacuation of our embassy in Yemen was not an evacuation but "a reduction in staff." This proved a problem because the Yemeni government had already announced (and denounced) the "evacuation" -- the word normal folks use for the panicky ordering of people onto planes headed out of the country.
One day last week, Keith Heard and his father dropped by for a visit and the discussion turned to Keith's great, great uncle, G.T. Heard, who with Judge Leopold Marx, constructed the Columbus street car line in 1906.
After two budget workshops, Columbus officials still find themselves facing a projected deficit for Fiscal Year 2014.
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