Top Gun Squid's mailpouch was stuffed this week with the usual bulletins and dispatches from the front.
Thursday, October 18, 2001
Two of the pieces were similar enough that Squid did a double take. The first one came from Monterey City Hall. The news? New police chief hired! The other came from Carmel City Hall. The news? New police chief hired!
At press time, Squid couldn''t catch up with Carmel''s new boss cop, but did learn that in Monterey, the new chief had successfully jumped through an exhausting obstacle course of hoops and loops set up by city manager Fred Meurer.
Monterey put out word soon after former Chief Gary Brown retired in May. Eighty-eight applied. Meurer soon whacked the list down to eight.
One bailed out when faced with a written essay. A panel of eight local officials and citizens then scrutinized the remaining seven. After oral tests and a simulation of city council action, the candidates were made to role-play with angry "locals." Three made it through that stage.
Then Meurer went to the towns where the candidates worked, and after getting whatever goods he could on each, brought them to Monterey to meet with city department heads and police brass. A private detective was even hired to sniff around.
Meurer eventually hired Carlo Cudio, most recently chief in Glen Ellyn. Cudio spent 1970 to 2000 with the Los Angeles Police Department. Meurer was not sure what Cudio''s role was during the LAPD''s troubles with Rodney King and the riots that followed. He retired after 30 years in L.A., having served as a deputy chief to the infamous Daryl Gates. Cudio''s first job as a police officer was in Chicago in 1968. It is not known if Cudio was on duty during the infamous police riot.
Cowboy Cooking Squid wants to clarify for the record both the immediate political aspirations of and the importance of proper nutrition to Anna Caballero, mayor of Salinas.
Squid has caught wind of speculation that if 28th District Assemblyman Simón Salinas should set his cap for the 12th District Senate seat, then Caballero would be an ideal candidate to replace him. One wag even went so far as to call Caballero''s predicted bid for the 28th "a done deal."
An interesting theory, except that Salinas has in no way confirmed his intentions to vacate his Assembly seat. And then there''s the purported candidate-to-be herself, who last week confided to Squid that she''s perfectly happy working with the city council in Salinas and that, furthermore, a certain undesirable something awaits those who go to Sacramento.
What could it be? wondered Squid. Greed? Pride? Lust?
The answer came: dinners out. An endless parade of fire-roasted whatever with a side of lightly sauteed who cares, all ponied up in chi-chi restaurants to which the gluttonous politicos have been chauffeured, night after overstuffed night.
The simple pleasures of the family dinner table recede, and the warming spirit of family life itself is snuffed out like a spent Sterno under a fondue pot.
"I like to go home for dinner," said Caballero. "My son is in soccer right now, and I''m going to watch his game this evening and go home after that. I wouldn''t be able to do that if I were in Sacramento...There''s a whole lifestyle up there that I''m not interested in."
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