If your underbritches feel bunched, y’all are in good company. At the Newport city council meeting, the People’s Business was as sticky as maple syrup on flypaper.
“I wanna bring everybody up to speed on the situation with the animal shelter,” city administrator James Finchum announced from somewhere behind his extensive mustache. “They promised they would get us our money. As of today, we’ve received $10,000.”
The bad news: “They still owe us about $60,000.” All right, fellers: time to shake down them dogs and cats! Milk bones and kitty litter gotta be worth something!
“Nobody at the city wants to close that animal shelter,” kindly old Vice Mayor Mike Proffitt warbled. “That’s the furthest thing from our mind.”
One councilman murmured, “Don’t they have some $90,000 in repairs?”
“I’ve never heard that figure,” Finchum recoiled, no doubt contemplating all the gold-plated food dishes 90 grand could buy. “The roof definitely needs repairs.”
At this point, a man in a lime-green Polo stood up–apparently Newport’s roof guru. “When the heat rises and it hits the tin [roof], it causes the metal to sweat and it rains in your attic. Then it ends up in the electrical lights.” Some tar paper would fix the problem, he added. (Again, am I the only one who sees the value of super absorbent kitty litter?!)
Speaking of snafus, the city attorney had some unwelcome news about 318 White Oak Avenue. There were no other bidding parties at the tax sale.” He tossed up his arms. “Consequently, YOU have ended up with the property.”
Vice Mayor Proffitt immediately complained. “Everything I’ve heard from everybody says, ‘get rid of this! If you get anything, beats nothing, ’cause you’re gonna be holding onto it.'”
Taking the advice of the man with “profit” in his name, the council voted to sell.
During citizen comment, Carla had some things to say for the good of the city: “We are hosting a motorcycle fundraiser that will start at the Tanner Building. We’re calling it ‘Kickstands Up for Preservation’,” she announced.
“Maurice, I’ll borrow your motorcycle!” the mayor ribbed the police chief.
Second: “I had asked the council about supporting my transportation program,” Carla gently backed into her sales pitch. “I am still looking for funds for that program other places…but if you could help in any way, I’d appreciate it.”
“How much are you needing for that?” one alderman inquired.
$2,500, she deadpanned.
There was a pause. Vice Mayor Proffitt let her down gently. “I know it’s frustrating to you, but I appreciate what you’re trying to do.” Oh, well. Maybe once the animal shelter pays them back, Carla.
Speaking of appreciation, the vice mayor had another uniquely Newportian thank-you to dole out. “Lisa, I’d like to thank you for being up there the other night when the folks [were] gettin’ dog-bit,” he drawled. “And the neighbors tell you ‘they won’t bite you’…and blood’s running down both legs. But I appreciate you being up there at the time to defuse that situation.”
Woof! Methinks they need to get that animal shelter squared away, stat!
Final thoughts: If you ever watch a Tennessee city council meeting, be sure you have a translator. Their accent is thicker than gravy on a biscuit. I give this meeting 7 out of 10 vicious dog bites.