Tina Trenkner is the Deputy Editor for GOVERNING.com. She edits the Technology and Health newsletters.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here at Governing, we wanted to have a little fun for the holidays. So we posted a government-themed holiday poem from columnists Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene and challenged you, the readers, to create your own.
We got four responses! And we had a blast passing them around the office, evaluating the merits of each. In the end, everyone who submitted an entry will receive a small prize.
Today, we'll post the office favorite, by Jeff Clark in Connecticut. Tomorrow, we'll post the additional three finalists. So for your holiday enjoyment:
'Twas Referendum's Eve
Twas referendum's eve, and all through the village,
Taxpayers were heard shouting "You must not pillage!"
"Givebacks we want! Salary freezes won't do!"
"Cut jobs and cut waste or we will come after you!"
Their logic, they say, is the very next nickel
We spend will lead to a deep financial pickle.
School parents were out with a diff'rent concern
"Our schools need more money to help all children learn!"
"We supported children, the ones of yesteryear,
To pay for them now is only asking what's fair!"
The mayor ordered all the public officials
To his big office at once with sharpened pencils!
"The state's treasury is bare, we can't count on aid.
It's for us to decide what compromise is made"
"Cut a little in roads, and in police and in schools,
And a little more in Parks and Rec. And in pools"
"But to do that Mayor, you need to understand,
We'll be cutting the services they all demand."
"Make some mad by spending, make others mad by not,
The Mayor grumbled loudly "Is that all you've got?"
"Is there a way to give what they all desire?"
"All of the services, but taxes no higher?"
If there is such a thing, it is magic most say
"Nonsense" says the Mayor - "It's the A.R.R.A!"
"Federal money - two years worth will be our take
We can delay those decisions too hard to make"
Year three there's no A.R.R.A. that's such a shame
It will make this year's crisis seem a mere child's game
As the voters vote yes, peace and joy fill the air.
But calm is broken with nightly news all ablare:
Mayor announces tonight "This term is my last!"
"My successor must solve what this budget has cast!"
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.