Love is in the air. Or well, I guess it is supposed to be with Valentine’s Day coming up. It’s kind of hard to feel all warm and fuzzy with so much political chaos surrounding us. But apparently the turmoil in Washington hasn’t stopped our local politicians from feeling pretty randy. RRRROOOOWWWW!

Luckily, Lagniappe was able to “intercept” some of the Valentine’s Day cards these politicos penned to some rather strange recipients. And they’re pretty racy!

How did we obtain these, you ask? That is a fair question. In this world full of “so-called fake news” I think it is important we answer that question. In the interest of full disclosure, I must reveal the rats and pigeons who live in the walls of Government Plaza work for us. And they have been swiping all sorts of correspondence off the desks of the folks who work there for years. Sure, some died in the line of duty, but that was a risk they were willing to take. God rest their souls.

But they’re dead. And they smell pretty bad apparently. So let’s not focus on them.  Especially since this Valentine’s Day document haul from their living colleagues is pretty impressive.
Let’s take a look!

Dear, Ashley. I hate you. Love, Connie

Last week the Mobile County District Attorney’s office and Mobile County Commission finally settled a case they have been battling for five years. Basically, a law passed in the ‘80s said the county had to match salary increases for the DA’s Office passed at the state level, as well as the regular cost of living adjustments granted to all county employees. These laws had never been used by the DA’s Office for funding. But in 2010, when DA Ashley Rich was elected, she fruitlessly tried to get adjustments for her office based on these statutes. When the county refused, she took them to court.

This has been a bitter battle that was taken all the way up to the Alabama Supreme Court. Multiple attempts to settle this suit were attempted, but the county thought the laws were unfair in the first place so they wanted to fight it.

The courts basically ruled while it may not be fair, the law is the law.

The county finally realized a settlement was the best course of action but it cost them nearly $600,000 in legal fees (at last count) in addition to the funding they must now provide.

Rich says this resolution will finally allow her office to be able to do its job.  

But even though this is now over, this fight put two rising stars of our local Republican party at odds, DA Rich and County Commissioner Connie Hudson. Though County Commissioner Jerry Carl was always open to a settlement on this, Hudson and Commissioner Merceria Ludgood were willing to fight to the end.

Though they all three ultimately (mostly) agreed to the final settlement, Hudson refused to sign it because it did not contain a “protection mechanism,” which would have allowed the county to cut funding to the DA’s office in dire economic situations.

But since the settlement only required two signatures, the lack of Hudson’s Jane Hancock was only a symbolic middle finger. In a statement made by Rich, she purposefully omitted Hudson’s name when she thanked the other commissioners for finally settling this matter. While it looks like their relationship may be forever strained, there may be some hope, according to this Valentine from Hudson to Rich, obtained by a nearly dead pigeon who barely got it back to Lagniappe World Headquarters.

To my dearest Ashley:

I know this battle has been hard fought
But I have been giving this a lot of thought
Though the county and I wasted a lot of taxpayer dough
The way I see it, you and I have only one place to go.
And that place is up. So let’s raise a Republican red Solo cup
To you and me my dear, for all of this was fabulous for both of our careers.
Even though you took for your office all of my county riches
We both stood our ground and came off looking like strong bitches.
We can agree to disagree who was wrong or who was right
But I think both of our political futures look pretty damn bright.
Happy Valentine’s Day.

Your good frenemy (but mostly enemy),

You had me at pothole

Last week, City Councilman Levon Manzie addressed the never-ending saga that is the deplorable condition of Ann Street. He said it would take at least $8 million to resurface and replace the infrastructure on the sections of Ann that fall in District Two. And that would take time. BUT he has come up with a temporary and cheaper fix that may make sailing down Ann a little smoother for the time being (it couldn’t possibly get much worse). Manzie heard about a new resurfacing technique they were using in Pittsburgh and said it would be a good “stopgap” until the city has the capital to do the whole rebuild. This technique involves grinding down the top layer and inlaying the street with filament to strengthen it.

Apparently, Councilman Manzie wrote a Valentine’s Day card to Ann Street to break the news to her that she would not be getting the full monty.

Oh my dear street named Ann

I know I said I had a plan
To fix just how horrible you have become
But my dear, right now, it is just too great of a lump sum.
Eight million dollars would take all of my district’s money
And I can’t even do that for you, my aging concrete honey.
But don’t worry I am not abandoning you my sweet
I have come up with a new low-rent way to repave your street.
I hear it has done amazing things for the roadways in the burg of Pitt
And I don’t think those guys were talking shit.
Sure this may be like giving you a diamond from Kay instead of Claude Moore
I realize you deserve better; please try not to be sore.
One day, my lumpy love, I promise you will get the full District Two re-do
But until then, this will make you a li’l bit smoother, my sweet Annie Poo.

A purrfect combination

Councilman Fred Richardson, who just recently celebrated his 20th year on the council (Congrats, Fred!) has recently adopted an orange tomcat he has named Squeaky. The photos he has posted of the kitty on his Facebook account have been an absolutely wonderful respite from all of the other political nonsense of late. My favorite, without question, is one he took of him after dressing him up in a Mardi Gras costume. I get why cats win the internet and I don’t even particularly like them. But I love Squeaky. And so does Fred. He is so fond of the Squeakster, he wrote this Valentine to him.

Happy Valentine’s Day, little Squeaky

Somehow they finally got the roof at GP to stop being leaky.
That is good news except now it’s full of dead rodents and birds.
It now seems the idea for a city hall made of glass was a bit absurd.
Oh my Squeaks, can you believe I have been here for 20 years?
I hope no one runs against me, one of my biggest fears.
Oh well, silly fools, let them go ahead and try
To beat the man who put the MoonPie in the New Year’s sky.
They’ll say Ol’ Fred, too many taxpayer-funded trips he did take
But someone had to go to Australia and blow on that didgeridoo, for heaven’s sake.
Oh Squeaky, I just feel so misunderstood
If I could show them the real Fred, I sure would.
They will call me a hater and even a race baiter
They’ll say I was Team Zack, when I was clearly AC Slater.
I have loved my district beat by beat and street by street.
To get me out of this office I love they will have to drag me by the feet.
Either way, I leave a legacy on a building downtown that’s quite pretty
And I can live out the rest of my days with my awesome orange kitty.