From Red Righter . . .
“I love reading my morning paper,” Cuffs said, as the light from a rear window in the North Street Hotel fell across his booth. “If you take your time, you can find little nuggets to help get you through your day.”
“For instance?” I asked, settling in a seat opposite him. “Take this ‘Special Delegation Advice Committee of Smart Cecil Citizens on Money Spending Matters.’ From what I read this week, it sounds like this hot idea is sorta in a holding pattern.”
Cuffs explained that the Commishes held a workshop and discussed how many helpers they’d get. They horse traded until it was decided they’d each get a single draft pick—meaning there will be five new hawk-eyed, budget gurus to help them out. But when they’re selected, announced and get down to serious work, nobody knows.
I pointed out to Cuffs that this wasn’t unusual. The wheels of government turn very slowly. “Who said that?” he asked, glancing up from his newspaper. “I did,” I said. Disappointed, he snarled, “Oh. I thought it might be a pearl from some famous deep thinker. Because it makes perfect sense, I didn’t expect it was coming from you.”
I didn’t respond and waited a few moments. When dealing with Cuffs the good stuff comes out toward the end of the conversation.
“Well,” he said, “I’d say time’s a wasting. They’ve gotta have another hash-out-the-details workshop on advisers soon to get these super bean counters off to the races—slashing and chopping away. There just might be a whole lot of wasteful spending for them to find. If so, the idea may prove worthwhile after all. You following me so far?” “I guess so.” “Good. Now hold that thought.”
Then Cuffs flipped through his disorganized pile of newspapers and produced a story from the Havre de Grace Record. It talked about over a million dollars in casino grant money proceeds, sitting somewhere, just waiting to be spent for the good of the County.
“According to what I read,” Cuffs said, “there’s another band of advisers—the Local Development Council—out and about.” “So why should I care?” I asked.
Laughing, Cuffs replied, “If I said I was gonna give you $1.5 million to spend, would you be interested?” . . .