Nov. 24, 2003 – What Senate President David Jones late Monday night called a "long, arduous and sometimes anxious budget process" was not without its rewards.
Or its awards.
With great flourish, Sen. Celestino A. White Sr. presented each of the 10 majority senators a "Certificate of Under Achievement." The formal-looking documents bore the legend "He came. He saw. He tried. He failed."
Jones took his certificate in good humor — or, at least, he maintained a smile. "I know that in this process we experienced technical difficulties, especially in the printing of documents," he said. "Perhaps this is the last example. It was supposed to say 'over-achievement.' The computer picked up the wrong word."
White had made references to his "certificate" several times last week without elaborating. His criticism of the majority's budget has been constant, but consistently, for the most part, good humored. Friction between the majority and minority blocs had built in recent weeks with delays in the budget process and exclusion of the minority from most of the critical meetings.
However, Sen. Norman Jn Baptiste had been challenging White for the title of chief Senate entertainer, with a steady barrage of uncharitable references to his majority colleagues. He hit his peak last week when he referred to them as "marauding hyenas going after an injured wildebeest."
On Monday, he merely suggested they get their heads examined. This was in relation to the majority's revenue-generating proposals.
With all the histrionics, though, the 25th Legislature has not had the mean-spiritedness of the 24th. While sparring between the majority and minority has sometimes been barbed, the jabs have almost invariably been softened by humor.

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