Today’s column borrows—or steals, if you prefer—from regular pieces done by my regional editor, Elissa Bass. She’ll recognize holidays, typically the patriotic ones or days of remembrances such as the Fourth of July or Memorial Day, each with the title and a thoughtful essay on what it means to her.
So why am I doing one of these for July 1? There are some holidays around the world, but nothing in the United States. The closest one is Canada Day, which our northern neighbors celebrate in grand style to recognize the uniting of three provinces in 1867. Five more years and they’re going to have a sesquicentennial blowout.
For me personally, July 1 is a little out of the ordinary this year. Not overly so, but there are a few quirks. I’m writing in advance a few days before departing on a long-delayed vacation. When it goes up on the site, I’ll likely have been back in New London for a few hours after spending a week in Scottsdale, Ariz. Assuming I’m not completely bushed from the red-eye flight, I should cut my landlord a rent check and pay down some more student loan debt.
There’s also the small matter of this being the official start of the 2013 fiscal year.
It was certainly an interesting budget process. Even if it started with the regular features—namely the parade of department heads before the Finance Committee to explain their requests—it wound up seesawing back and forth between proposals and counterproposals and layoffs and counter-layoffs and finally an .
It might not be a perfect budget. Many parents were , which made its way through the City Council with little discussion after the initial appropriation for the district. Though residents were most concerned with the , and relieved when it came about that these will not take place, there will still some people losing their jobs.
It might turn out that a referendum process has successfully challenged the budget by the time I return from the West. If that’s the case, I’ll prepare myself for another round of sparring and financial deconstruction and reconstruction.
Otherwise, I’ll hope this day can be the landmark I expected it to be. The budget has dominated the work of the mayor and the City Council for months. They’ve already vowed to keep a close eye on spending and revenues, so the budget is likely to weigh heavily on all involved through this point in 2013. But I've told plenty of people that if we could just get to July 1, we could all relax for a little while. At the very least, this might mean we can focus on the many other issues facing the city and get away from the often tense situations of the past several months.
I’m going to get up tomorrow, eat breakfast, and return to covering the news of New London. But I think I’ll prolong my break from the budget for awhile longer and turn my focus to OpSail 2012.