What Comes Around...
Thursday, September 16, 1999
If Only Their Votes CountedSix months ago in a Weekly public forum, CSUMB President Dr. Peter Smith skewered a Weekly article ("Vision Quest," 4/15) concerning the racial discontent and dissatisfaction with Smith''s leadership.
Smith said the headline--"Is a blonde, blue-eyed Republican from Vermont capable of leading a multicultural campus?"--demonstrated that our editors were insensitive pigs clearly needing multicultural (re)training (my words, not his). I thought he was right, by the way, but I''m just a lowly squid near the bottom of the food chain.
Smith also attacked the article, writing that "pertinent numbers and information" were missing and that "blatantly skewed information told a story very different than the real story being told by the many satisfied people at CSUMB." According to the good doctor, the statistical makeup of CSUMB students and faculty--which was mentioned but not stressed in the article--testifies to the campus'' ethnic diversity.
Well then, allow me to make up for that statistical inadequacy by reciting some new numbers. In a recent vote, 73 percent of CSUMB faculty and staff responding to a poll indicated that Smith lacks the right stuff to create a multicultural campus.
As much as we appreciated the president''s statistics refresher, Squid has a feeling he''d now agree that there''s more to a story than just the stats. If you''re keeping score: Multiculturally Sensitive Faculty, one; the good doctor from Vermont in Newt''s party who happens to have eyes the color of the sky, zip.
"F" for Fair PlayJudging from their Sept. 5 meeting, Squid can''t tell whether Monterey City Council members have attention deficit disorder or simply don''t play well with others.
Considering that three out of five councilmembers are educators, it''s a wonder how childish some of them acted when the Monterey Heritage Society--led by Pebble Beach exec Neal Hotelling and Naval Postgraduate School Professor John Arquilla--presented their plan to renovate the historic Parmelee Victorian.
Teacher and Councilmember Ruth Vreeland gets an "Unsatisfactory" in conduct for her reproachful interrogation of staff before society members had even uttered one word. And during the group''s presentation, she barely paid attention, slumping back in her chair and muttering to herself. Would Ms. Vreeland allow such behavior during one of her classroom lessons?
And where did ex-military pilot and Councilmember Don Edgren learn such disrespect? His constant interruptions and belligerent tone had no place in chambers. Nor did retired football coach and Mayor Dan Albert bother to referee the two councilmembers as they completely disregarded the presenters.
Squid can only wonder if the council''s contempt for the Heritage Society was punishment intended for society member Barbara Bass Evans, who challenged Albert''s mayoral throne last year and is leading the Coastal Initiative. Or that the group is working with the National Trust, which skewered the city by deeming Cannery Row an endangered historical resource.
Politics aside, Monterey citizens who have volunteered their time to a struggle to save a local treasure deserve the same attention and respect that we were all taught in kindergarten. You three, to the principal''s office! NOW!
Got Bait? Squid@coastweekly.com