Portsmouth Town Council goes upriver to join Colonel Kurtz

According to the liveblog of the meeting on Patch, the Portsmouth Town Council, at their provisional budget hearing last night, spiked a proposal to increase the school budget by a mere $1M, proposed eliminating the full-time Town Planner and Director of Business Development, suggested dropping out of the Newport County Chamber of Commerce, and proposed turning off street lights to save money.

Seriously — go read the transcript. The school budget deal was proposed by Jonathan Freaking Harris — the hard Republican bean counter on the school committee, a wealth-management professional and a unyielding fiscal watchdog. And it was supported by Democrat Jim Seveney, who has been unequivocal in backing the schools. In exchange for the increase, the deal would have transferred $1M from a school "surplus" to the Town for their fund balance, and allowed the schools to move the tech warrants into the operating budget.

And this Council still couldn't find the votes.

Oh, and for my neighbors here in Island Park, the Council deadlocked on an emergency notification system. According to Patch, Councilor Judy Staven said, "If we have a hurricane, turn your TV on. That's how I found out about Hurricane Irene." Seriously — we have no Escape Bridge, and they want to outsource the public safety function to television?

Full disclosure: A slug, crawling along the edge of a straight razor. This is my dream. This is my nightmare.