Thursday, April 27, 2006
“VILLAGE” SQUID’S ASS…The other day Squid was driving...OK, speeding north up Highway 1, tailgating some codger in a Hummer, when Squid caught glimpse of a massive construction next to the highway near Marina (Squid was heading to Mortimers to lose money and start a fight). “Could this be it?” Squid asked Squidself before maniacally screeching to a halt at the side of the highway. Behold, it was! This was the UNIVERSITY VILLAGES development, the pride and joy of Marina’s City Council.
Squid once loved University Villages. Finally someone was going to build a pedestrian-friendly mixed-use development on the former Fort Ord. But low and behold, that’s just another sweet lie.
Squid recently got Squid’s tentacles on another map of University Villages that the public hasn’t seen. This one was produced by Shea Properties, the site’s developer, and the bulk of University Villages looks just like Sand City’s big-box paradise! The place is surrounded by parking lots on all sides, except for the backs of the big-box stores, which face Highway 1. That’s right. Starting soon, when folks speed along Highway 1 and pass University Villages, all they’ll see is the backside of a Kohls, Best Buy, Old Navy and Target (all stores listed on the Shea Properties’ map). So much for the “village.”
SO LONG TONY… Here’s a very important lesson Squid learned on day one at a PR firm Squid used to work at. (Oh, yes, in a past life Squid spent 180 miserable days of Squid’s life as a flak. All of that spinning and tweaking language really soured Squid’s ink.)
So here is the public relations lesson: If you want to hide a huge, explosive news story, send out a press release at 6pm on a Friday. Looks like Monterey County Spokeswoman MAIA CARROLL learned that lesson long ago.
Late last Friday, she e-mailed a virtual bomb to local media outlets. “Monterey County’s Registrar of Voters, ANTHONY (TONY) ANCHUNDO, has announced his resignation after a 17-year career in the MONTEREY COUNTY ELECTIONS DEPARTMENT,” it read, giving no explanation, no nothing, and happening just weeks before the June election.
Well, it turns out that Anchundo’s under investigation for possibly misusing his county credit card. Now that, Squid gets. It’s so easy to rack up bills shopping online.
But here’s the shocker: No sooner had Anchundo’s mysterious resignation been announced than his famous smiling mug was banished from the Monterey County Elections Web site. With all the staffing shortages and money woes, Squid had assumed that it would be at least a week before anyone bothered to remove the photo. There’s probably a PR lesson there, too.