Squid Fry for Mar 06, 2008
Thursday, March 6, 2008
The Guv And Ila… Something, other than Squid’s breath, smells fishy about the timing behind Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s decision to appoint Marina Mayor Ila Mettee-McCutchon to the Monterey County Board of Supervisors late last week. He could have waited to let the voters choose between Mettee-McCutchon and challenger Jane Parker in June. But, Squid assumes, that wouldn’t have made local members of the GOP very happy with their man in the governor’s mansion.
Mettee-McCutchon is filling a vacancy on the board caused by former Supervisor Jerry Smith’s death last November (Squid’s note: Parker narrowly lost the seat to Smith back in 2004). Months before Smith died – back in March 2007 – he took a medical leave from the board while he underwent surgery for intestinal cancer. He returned to work for a few weeks in May before his illness forced him off the panel for good.
During Smith’s absence, the formerly five-member Board of Supes was a four-man band. In other words, for almost a year now, the Supes have done important, elected-official- type things, like, oh, discuss the latest version of the Monterey County General Plan Update, GPU5.
In November 2007, the board approved a nearly final draft of the plan. But a month later, following a push by development interests, the Supes voted 2-2 on last-minute changes to the plan. Smith undoubtedly would have voted with supervisors Fernando Armenta and Simón Salinas, who supported the go-go growth changes; but without the board’s usual pro-development majority, the late changes didn’t go anywhere and the “compromise plan” remained. Since then, pro-development types have been yammering for Schwarzenegger to use his executive power and appoint someone (namely, Mettee-McCutchon, aka, Some Of My Best Friends Are Developers) to Smith’s vacant District 4 seat.
On Feb. 28 Schwarzenegger appointed Mettee-McCutchon, and on March 6 – about three months before the June primary, in which Mettee-McCutchon will run against Parker for the supervisor post – Mettee-McCutchon will be sworn in to her new office. Which, again, leaves Squid scratching Squid’s pointy head about the timing of the appointment.
It’s not like the Guv doesn’t have anything to do in Sacramento – the state’s budget deficit has grown to $16 billion; Schwarzenegger’s been busy slashing education money in this, his so-called “Year of Education”; his health-care reform plan died; and California’s water crisis continues to loom with no solution in sight. Maybe he needs a hobby. May Squid suggest pole dancing?