Thursday, August 11, 2005
CA-CHING… Abel’s off and running—to the bank, that is. On Aug. 11, between 6pm and 8pm, ABEL MALDONADO, the Central Coast’s recently elected state senator—and even more recently declared 2006 state controller candidate—will hold a “SUMMER NIGHT’S RECEPTION IN PEBBLE BEACH.” That’s code for big, fat fundraiser. A $500 check to Maldonado’s campaign will get you in the door to the Pebble Beach Room at the Lodge. A $5,600 contribution will make you a “host.”
Not that Squid is surprised by the ambitious nature of the event, mind you. After all, this is the same politician who, seven months after being elected to his first term in the California Senate, decided to use his new seat as a springboard for a bigger and better job in Sacramento. Did Squid really expect Mr. Maldonado to be anything less than shameless? Nah.
LIGHTS, CAMERA… When it comes to dating, some prefer dinner and a movie. Squid, on the other hand, likes lunch and a Board of Supes meeting. Dorky and boring? Hell, no. The weekly Tuesday meetings pack more punch than The Island and Batman Begins combined. There’s loads of drama, intrigue, spectacular fight scenes, and, usually, comic relief, whether intended (Supervisors BUTCH LINDLEY and DAVE POTTER) or not (Supervisor Jerry Smith). It’s well worth the price of admission: Free.
The upcoming County Supervisors meeting on Aug. 16 won’t disappoint. In July, RANCHO SAN JUAN developer MOE NOBARI (who also happens to be a big-time campaign contributor. Hmmm, Squid wonders if he’ll be at Pebble Beach on Aug. 11?) asked the Supes to cancel a NOVEMBER VOTE on the 4,000-home development just north of Salinas, and consider a smaller project instead. Nobari wants to build 1,147 homes and a golf course on the land. And yes, his part of the huge project, called BUTTERFLY VILLAGES, would still be included in the scaled-back version of RSJ. On Aug. 16, the Supervisors will consider Nobari’s request. Aug. 17 is the last day to pull an item off of the November ballot.
Now Squid has heard the rumors from the get-go: The Supes didn’t have the political will to actually allow the entire RSJ growth area to be developed. The master plan from the start was to simply allow Nobari to build his mini-mansions and golf course on the hills.
But in December, the Supes approved RSJ, the largest project ever considered by the County.
Then in May, by a 3-2 vote, the Supes approved spending an additional $325,000 on an additional environmental study. At that time, RSJ opponents worried that once the new studies were completed, the Supervisors will rescind their earlier approval of the project, approve a scaled-down version, and force cancellation of the November vote. Sounding familiar yet?
In May, Supervisor Lindley, who along with Smith and FERNANDO ARMENTA voted to approve the $325,000 study, told the Weekly that that public would still get to weigh in on the project. “This action doesn’t speak at all to the November ballot,” Lindley said.
We shall see.