Good golly, Miss Molly, it's been awhile since we corralled the usual suspects and put together a new edition of Glosta Daily. Some of you had actually checked in to see if we had retired the blog or placed it into the witness protection program.
Fear not, it remains alive and well and living in hope (or at least what passes for hope these days). The sabbatical was mostly due to the month spent assembling the five-part Fish Tales series (which if you haven't seen it and want to, you can find here) that ran in the GDT and online at gloucestertimes.com in late November.
Then there was the accumulated time off from working on the series and vacation and a short stint in a highly secret correction facility for a crime I did not commit. But my Labs sprung me with an escape plan that involved two rolls of duck tape, four large dog bones, a helicopter and a gift certificate from Cape Pond Ice. It was pure doggie genius. Now I'm back to tell the tale.
One of my pre-New Year's resolutions _ which include making no New Year's resolutions (honestly, why set myself up for a failure of that magnitude when there are so many other failures in my life to sift through?) _ is to get back on the horse and get back into a regular routine of churning out the blog.
And so we start 'er up today. We begin with the mayor, or soon-to-be-former mayor, Carolyn Kirk.
After two weeks of swirling rumors that rolled through town with the twists and turns of the Horribles Parade, Her Honah made it official Friday that she will be stepping down in in the middle of her fourth term to join the incoming administration of Governor-elect Charlie Baker as deputy secretary in the state's Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.
For Kirk, it clearly was time for a new challenge. She's grown weary of the electoral carousel and, looking forward, just didn't think she could muster the same energy as in the past for raising money, running a campaign and administering the city on a daily basis.
Then there is the timing: She and husband Bill have two kids approaching college-age and the most significant current projects _ The Beauport Gloucester hotel down The Fort and the second coming of the West Parish School in West Gloucester _ are well under way. Kirk said Friday she feels she is leaving the mayor's office at a time when the city and its finances are well in order.
Add all of that together, and the choice to join the Baker Administration was a no-brainer.
Kirk said Friday she expects to begin her new position Jan. 8.
So sometime this week _ possibly as soon as today _ Kirk will tender her formal resignation to City Clerk Linda Lowe, with the effective date of her resignation then determining how her job _ and the city's most important office _ will be filled.
Stay with us here:
If the effective date of her resignation is on or before Wednesday (Dec. 31), the city charter calls for the city council to schedule a city-wide special election to elect the mayoral successor to fill out the last year of Kirk's term. That election must take place within 90 days of Kirk vacating the office. In the interim of Kirk leaving and the election taking place, city council president Paul McGeary would assume the responsibilities of the mayor's office.
No one asked us, but that seems an awful spot of bother to elect someone to serve less than a year. Just sayin'.
On Friday, At-large Councilor Greg Verga _ the only announced candidate for mayor _ said he would prefer the special election route and a little birdy told us he even called Kirk to lobby for just that.
But it says here he will be disappointed.
Instead, look for Kirk to post an effective resignation date after Dec.31, which means the matter will fall directly into the lap of the city council. According to the city charter, the council will have 14 days to elect one of its own members to serve out the final year of Kirk's term.
If they are unable to do that within the prescribed fortnight, McGeary _ as the sitting council president _ will assume the office of mayor for the remaining year of the term.
Does Verga have the votes on the council to get the gig? Will McGeary, widely considered as the most suitable and qualified candidate for the position, want it on an interim or full-time basis? And what of others on the council? Anyone else looking to move on up?
All of this will be determined in the next couple weeks. Should be interesting.
This, That and the Other . . .
I spent a bit of Sunday on Twitter railing against the two pinwheels who now occupy the Patriots' radio booth _ and if you haven't listened to Bob Sochi and doofus sidekick Scott Zolak (who somehow defies the laws of nature by being even worse as a color guy than he was as a player), you be in for some treat.
Sochi is one of these formula guys, with all these catch phrases and descriptions (his descriptions of the teams uniforms are always a highlight). He talks a mile a minute and fill in every single second of the broadcast (probably to keep Zo' from talking and expanding upon his unceasing supply of inanities).
But the absolute worst thing about Sochi is he gets just as excited when the Patriots' opponent does something as he does when the Patriots do something. This makes for a pretty confusing broadcast sometimes. We're not looking for a homer. It's just that there is absolutely nothing remotely Boston/New England-like about his call or the entire broadcast. There's just no connection. And we New Englanders love want somebody like us calling the games.
With these two, it's as if every game is being broadcast by some guy from Iowa on Westwood One. We went from Gil and Gino to this?
Anyway, Twitter being Twitter, I seem to have rankled a guy who asked if Sochi's hideousness was on a par with my MLB Hall of Fame ballot (which I thought was a pretty funny line, actually).
Anyway, it reminded me that I hadn't formally disclosed my final HOF ballot: Three holdovers (Craig Biggio, Jeff Kent and Mike Mussina) and three new choices (Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson and John Smoltz).
Last Song Out the Door: The Band's "The Shape I'm In" from the July 17, 1976 live show at the Carter Barron Amphitheater in Washington D.C.