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March 18, 2012

Posted Friday, May 4, 2012, at 5:25 PM

Bracketology- spell check tells me the word does not exist. It doesn't yet but the American or English language is always evolving. Bracketology is generally assumed to mean the art or science of taking the teams assigned to play each other by the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament committee and deciding which teams will win and move on to the next bracket until you reach the final bracket of two and then you pick a winner. Sam Cooke sang that he didn't know much about biology, algebra, or other academic disciplines. I'm with Mr. Cooke. I don't know much about zoology, biology, sociology, psychology and I just flunked bracketology. Some one named Norfolk State beat the University of Missouri in the first round. Some one else named Lehigh beat Duke in the first round. There was carnage in my brackets. Some of you may remember that I wagered all of the City of Malden's money on the NCAA tournament. The amount was $1,338,048.49. I was certain I could triple our money by picking the correct teams. We lost it all in the first round.

Fortunately for the citizens of Malden and for me (I won't be heading to the hoosegow) Ms. Peggy Hampton saved us all. Ms. Hampton writes the checks at the city hall. She stated that she might advance the cost of a cold sodie but anything over that was highly unlikely.

Ms. Hampton's actions prove there is a place in public life for good public servants. Sometimes they are called bureaucrats. Usually we just say they are employees or they, "work for the city." The reality is that these good people keep us functioning. They police our streets, sweep our streets, repair our streets, and attempt to drain them when they flood. Malden's employees make sure that water comes out of your faucet, your lights and TV come on when you hit the button, and your toilets flush. These same people maintain our public cemeteries where so many of our friends and relatives are buried. Our employees mow the public parks that provide us a place to take our children, grandchildren, or just ourselves for a chance to watch them play or play ourselves. In short nothing will work with out good help.

All of this leads to the Malden Fire Department. The Malden city Council is asking for a 1/4 of one percent increase in our local sales tax. The increase will be dedicated to the fire department. 1/4 of one per cent means that if you spend $10,000 a year in the City of Malden on retail goods then you will spend an additional $25.00 in sales tax. I don't believe that the $25.00 is a unbearable burden if it is used for a good purpose. The good purpose is to improve our fire department. If we can improve our fire department sufficiently then we can lower Malden's fire protection class rating. If we can lower our protection class rating then I can assure you that the very minimal amount that you may pay in increased sales taxes will be offset by a big drop in what you will pay for fire insurance.

More importantly this is where we live. Malden is our home town. Our ancestors took care of it and passed it on to us. We need to do the best we can to pass Malden on to those who will follow us in the best shape we can. The election is April 3, 2012. We will all vote as a community at the Malden Community Center.

The financial report is as follows:

March 9, 2012

Balance $1,338,048.49

Revenues $92,129.89

Expenses $124,393.02

March 16, 2012 Balance $1,305,785.36

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