Thursday, September 4, 2008

Silly Season

I worked hard today. My shoulders and neck ache from a full force day. I got home last night after a Council meeting at about 11:30 PM. Wednesday was a 16 hour day. Today started bright and early at 8:30. I woke to what I determined would be a successful day. My head was swarming with “to do’s” for today, some with imminent deadlines. We’re in what our Finance Director calls “silly season” - budget adoption. Florida law has very strict guidelines on how municipalities adopt their annual budget, the forms, timing, even the advertising, down to the number of days between public hearings, the position and placement of the ads, even the size of the font of the title line. With an aggressive Council and a relatively new, and aggressive Town Manager, the budget calendar was set months ago. To fit into the statutory guidelines, staff had a matter of a few short hours to make the recommended changes in the tentative budget and get it to the paper for print. Initially, that was my top priority: meeting budget ad deadline.

The day was one fraught with interruptions, hiccups, challenges. But I persevered, and despite all the other sideline issues, managed to click “SEND” at 11:57 AM…three minutes under the deadline.

Then came Ike. I used to almost enjoy hurricane season - that was before Katrina. Katrina was reason for the feds to institute their bureaucracy in the form of forms and systems and red tape, known as the Incident Command System. Now, if the Town is within the five day cone, we have to stand up the ICS. Of course forecasters are so skittish, that the entire state of Florida is often within the five day cone. It’s tiring playing army. I am so deep in my normal job duties, I don’t have time for war games.

I got home just after sundown, nearly 8:30 PM. That’s a 12 - hour day. Lunch was Chinese delivery for many of the staff - budget time is, truly, silly season. So is hurricane season.

One moment of levity from one of the Town’s more colorful staff members, Ike may be a real bad-ass - look what he did to Tina Turner.

Aw jeeze…


No comments: