The 35 Animals who will form The Park’s 2013 government will be sworn in in style this year, thanks to the fortuitous discovery of “surplus funds” by The Park’s Finance Office (PFO).
At a press conference held this afternoon, Aintza Kanariar, Director of Public Relations for The Park’s Department of Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations announced that “unanticipated” extra funds were made available to her department for the purpose of “sprucing up” the swearing-in ceremony.
“In the opinion of the PFO and others, the swearing-in of the annual Park government warrants a true celebration and these funds are meant to facilitate that,” she said.
No definition was offered for “true celebration” nor were the “others” named, but Kanariar hinted that the ceremony, which in the past been a solemn occasion, would be treated more like a Park festival this year.
“There will be refreshments available for those who attend the event and we are looking into constructing a stage upon which the Archons will take their oath,” she said. In the past, Archons took the oath, one by one, on level ground. Kanariar did not divulge the planned location of the stage, nor of the other changes to the programme.
“We are keeping those details to ourselves so that Park citizens can enjoy the anticipation of and, eventually, the realization of, an early Winter surprise,” she said.
While this afternoon’s announcement was met favourably by many, some were highly critical of the plan, including many members of The Park’s political reform groups.
Sylvana Rana, president of the pro-sortition group, Save Our Political System (SOPS), said she was “outraged” at what she considered a misuse of funds.
“This whole business stinks, quite frankly,” she said when questioned by reporters at a separate event.
“When the PFO finally presented their 2013 budget, they were not shy or apologetic about their cutbacks. If there was a surplus, why have cutbacks? And, if the surplus was discovered recently, why did the PFO not restore the previously-cut funding or ask Park citizens what they would like done with it? I find this whole thing very un-zoocratic,” she said.
The 2013 Archons will be sworn in on January 16, 2013.