Squid Fry for May 31, 2007
Thursday, May 31, 2007
ANY DAY NOW… One of Squid’s censors— er, editors— calls Squid a pressure player. Thing is, Squid doesn’t just work well under pressure. Squid can’t work unless there’s pressure. Squid thinks that’s what’s happened to the Oldtown Salinas hotel project.
Twenty years ago, Redevelopment Agency Director ALAN STUMPF was hired. He walked into the job that first day, Superman lunch pail in hand (work with Squid here) and was given an assignment. Just one: Make a hotel happen in Oldtown.
Fast-forward 10 years, and let’s pick up the timeline. In 1997-ish, the City gets tired of haggling with BARRY SWENSON over his hotel project, and herds him out of town. Then in, say, 2000-ish, GERRY KEHOE of Berkley, Inc., gets exclusive rights to develop the property. By 2005, he’s pretty much deemed a fraud by HILTON HOTELS when that company’s West Coast honcho tells the Weekly that, despite Kehoe’s claims, there is no hotel with the Hilton name going up in Oldtown. Then the cavalry comes to town in 2005 when a group of big-dreaming locals known as SALINAS CITY CENTER is given development exclusivity. The city is abuzz with a groundbreaking “very soon.”
Squid rang up Stumpf last week to find out how his 20-year-old assignment was going. “Great! They could be breaking ground on the hotel by 2009!” Yep… world needs more deadlines.
STEPPING DOWN… Why doesn’t anyone ever quit a job to, say, spend more time reading magazines or preparing home-cooked meals? Hell, Squid thinks the opportunity to watch OPRAH every day would be reason enough to retire. But apparently these excuses don’t carry the necessary gravitas that public officials look for in a pretext to quit.
It’s always the same story: they’re leaving to spend more time with their family. So it is with Monterey Police Chief CARLO CUDIO, who, on May 24, announced his retirement and future plans to be there for his grandchildren, and be a househusband.
There may be other reasons. “I think it’s the best thing that could happen to the department,” says a tipster. “We’ve been going steadily downhill, morale wise and personnel wise. With [Cudio] gone now, we want to remain positive and get back to the great reputation we once had.”
Late last year, the City Council approved a 17 PERCENT PAY RAISE for city cops. The money wasn’t enough to keep some officers on the beat. “We’ve lost eight officers since the raise,” adds the formerly-disgruntled-but-now-hopeful mole. “And we’ll probably lose one or two in the next month or so.” But maybe now these officers will see the light at the end of the tunnel. Or maybe they just want more time to hang out with the kids.