Squid Fry for Oct 28, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
The Guillen-Dollar Question… Will Rich stay or go? Months after former Carmel Human Resources Manager Jane Miller bagged a $600,000 settlement in her lawsuit against City Administrator Rich Guillen, Squid smelled blood in the water.
For a little while, after weeks of closed City Council sessions, it seemed the council would announce Guillen’s retirement. That appeared the reasonable course after Miller’s attorney, Michael Stamp, provided evidence that Guillen had not only showered his blond underling with horny e-mails, but also lied about it to the city’s own investigator. It was a decision legions of frustrated citizens sought. But no. And then Guillen took a paid three-week vacay.
Now he’s back, and it looks like he might stay awhile, or even dictate the terms of his departure. Mayor Sue McCloud and Vice-Mayor Paula Hazdovac defended Guillen’s honor in the Oct. 16 Herald, making it clear that if four of five councilmember votes are needed to oust Guillen, bossman ain’t going nowhere.
POOR FORM… As eligibility exams for local government go, campaign finance forms are no SAT test. You write in a few numbers, mind your margins, done. But in Pacific Grove, only a fraction of pols got it right. Mayor Carmelita Garcia is unopposed, but her campaign turned in an ordered statement, showing she’d collected almost $6,000 by Sept. 30. And incumbent Alan Cohen, whose re-election is probably in the bag, submitted proper papers too. Go team.
But incumbent Ken Cuneo’s scrawled statements are a mess. One leaves the time period blank and the other gets it wrong. That’s like losing points on the SAT for screwing up the spelling of his own name. Challenger Rudy Fischer’s handwritten form has the dates wrong too, and is missing the summary page. This is simple stuff. Yet these fellas are asking Pagrovians to trust them with the city’s dramatically more complicated finances and entrenched politics?
SAD BUT TRUE… A woman died in the waters off Carmel River Beach Monday. Another was heroically rescued by local lifeguards. Conditions were as gnarly as the infamous undertow at Mortuary Beach that day (read: signage needed here too), but when you know it can take upwards of 15 minutes for an overextended lifeguard to report to the beach – as few as two have to cover calls from Big Sur to Moss Landing – the reality gets even gnarlier. Sure, we’re short on resources, but the lifeguards need more help. With some basic training – think junior lifeguard program for adults – surfers and scuba divers can be catalyzed to help. And with just a little public education, we can encourage people not to turn their backs on the beach.