’Twas the week before Thanksgiving and all through the town,
No residents were spending. They were keeping expenses down.
Residents’ wallets were tight – not quite filled with cash,
While elected officials were planning to raid all their stash.
City employees were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of pay raises danced in their heads.
My husband in a t-shirt and I in my sweats,
had just settled in to watch TV with our pets.
When out on the porch there arose such a clatter,
we sprang from the couch to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the mailbox as the postman did dash
When what to our wondering eyes should fall out,
But bills from the city with property tax hikes no doubt.
When an Inside Gardner Newsletter, in expensive full color, appeared,
Our hopes for a quiet evening at home quickly were sheared.
More rapid than eagles, we learned of  our wallets’ fate;
higher franchise fees, increased mill levies and upped utility rates.
The mayor’s words leapt from his column devoted
to how his appointees—Steve, Brian, Kristi and Dan— had voted.
“Big government is here. Get used to it,” he declared.
“We’re only taking a little bit of your money, surely some cash was spared..”
“The employees need raises, and you don’t, we decree,
And we’ve banished and punished all those who disagree.”
His face shined from the glossy newsletter pages
where he wrote of all the latest municipal spending rages.
Acting like a Democrat instead of the ‘R’ beside his name,
the Mayor listed his projects clearly enjoying his reign.
“More taxes. More spending. It’s just a cup of coffee,” the newsletter read.
Which gave me to know I had everything to dread.
The mayor’s picture smiled smugly. The appointed council just clapped,
As they prepared for the great Gardner cash snatch.
A new election is upon us, and though it’s tough times,
we must fire the overspenders before we run out of dimes.