PD Editorial: Thumbs up, thumbs down
Published: Monday, May 20, 2013 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, May 17, 2013 at 3:58 p.m.
Making 'islands' part of Santa Rosa
Kudos to Santa Rosa's elected leaders for listing the annexation of Roseland — and those other unincorporated “islands” — among their priorities for the next two years. In a Feb. 13 editorial (“Fulfilling a promise to Roseland”), we noted that six years had passed since City Council members and supervisors had pledged to work together to make annexation happen — but it hadn't. We're pleased the council now seems committed to giving it another go.
We have some questions about the council's other priorities, however, including Old Courthouse Square reunification (can the city afford that at this point?) and project labor agreements (same question.) But our main question is this: What was the rush?
The council said it needed to quickly appointment someone to fill the vacancy created by Susan Gorin's departure so that individual could be a part of the priority setting. That was in January. But here it is mid-May and the list was just approved. Maybe developing a better process for filling vacancies — one that slows down and includes the public more — should be a priority as well.
Another repeal vote? It's insured
In case anyone missed it the first time, or the second, the third or even the thirty-sixth time, the House of Representatives voted last week to repeal the Affordable Care Act. You can safely assume that, for the 37th time, the Senate will ignore the House vote.
Imagine the Senate went along, and President Barack Obama did, too. How many young adults would be denied coverage under their parents' health insurance? How many people with pre-existing conditions would lose their coverage.What would happen to the federal deficit. That last question was addressed by the Congressional Budget Office on the eve of the vote: It would increase at least $109 billion over the next 10 years. So much for balanced budgets.
Coming soon: What else? Repeal vote No. 38.
Call this a double-bogey in judgment
So what's not to like about free rounds of golf at the Bennett Valley Golf Course? There's a lot for taxpayers to dislike, particularly when the free rounds — as well as free cart use, free lessons, free use of the driving range and discounts on merchandise — are going to the head of the city's Parks and Recreation Department, the very person responsible for negotiating the contract for operating the golf course.
The state Fair Political Practices Commission didn't like it either. Last week, the FPPC levied a fine of $6,500 against Marc Richardson, former director of the city's parks department, and $3,000 against former parks development manager Rich Hovden who also played for free. Both have since repaid what they owe and apologized. But both claim that the free stuff they received from the golf course operator was not related to their “supervisory responsibilities” with the city. Really?
A thumbs down also goes to the city for refusing to release the private investigator's report into this escapade. The city contends it's a confidential personnel matter. Tell that to the golfers who have been paying regular price for green fees, which went up last year.
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