Is sixth time the charm? 

Understand Mayor Bump intends to present for approval (sixth time the charm?) the city’s budget for fiscal year 2022 at the next councilist meeting. Up here on the porch, rockin’ chair occupant hears Hizzoner has offered a compromise on the promised pay raise to at least one of his two hires.

Compromise. You know, the art of give and take. But our take is the compromise has fallen on at least two sets of deaf ears with a third set still in the waffling stage and waiting to see which way the strings pull.

According to what we hear up here, council received a message from Hizzoner outlining alternative proposals including a reduced pay raise for one of his hires. In his letter, mayor reportedly also recognized the need to keep council members in the loop on activities and to consult same on new hires and pay raises for key employees. 

Wonder why it took a dead-in-the-water budget and a city government that looks more like a juvenile sitcom than a grown-up public body to make someone realize open lines of communication might help. Key word: might. Hopefully, Hizzoner has learned it isn’t always a good idea to ask forgiveness rather than permission. 

Response to message has been as expected: two no-replies and a no from the majority that doesn’t believe in budgets or state law.

Occupant understands councilperson Wayne Edwards did not respond to message, but has privately indicated he’d be willing to discuss alternatives. Seatsitter Vincen Bradford didn’t respond at all. In his case, silence is maybe the wisest response. 

Apparently the city not only does not pay his phone bill (VB’s on-the-record reason for not returning phone calls), but is also a little lax in paying his bill for the power supply that runs his computer. We believe, though, Bradford’s cellular device is working just fine. Puppet master has that number on speed dial, complete with instructions. 

Then there’s Terika Williams-Walker. We heard she did respond to Bump’s message with an eloquent “I’m not in agreement.” We shouldn’t be surprised by that response. After all, this is the councilperson who regularly votes “no” on approving minutes of previous meetings. Rumor from city hall is she has ordered the “yes” button on her voting device disconnected until further notice. 

Occupant seriously doubts anyone is holding their breath in anticipation of the council approving the budget next meeting time. While anything is possible, we must await the puppet master’s decision on whether or not Minden can move ahead. Now we know the financial status of our city is determined by stringers. 

If, indeed, this council refuses to pass a budget on the sixth try, it would be nice to know some responsible agent with authority to do so would proceed with whatever legal action is necessary to show this council that state law is more than a suggestion where a city’s finances are concerned.

Without at least the threat of consequences, certain persons will continue to wave a California Howdy at the law and the people who call Minden their home. With election time just around the corner, perhaps the people sitting on their collective rumps might do well to remember that we voters might just use that same finger when we pull levers in the booth. Howdy.