Squid Fry 02.24.11
Thursday, February 24, 2011
HERTS SO GOOD… Squid sometimes has free time on the old tentacles, and was thinking of making a foray into public service. But it looks like the open position might already be filled. That’s right, the (hopefully) last chapter of Jane Parker vs. her colleagues on the Board of Supervisors is scheduled to come to a close on March 1, when the District 4 rep will nominate Seaside resident Luther Hert to the Planning Commission. At her first go-around, Parker nominated the insanely qualified Janet Brennan. Brennan’s only flaw: living in Carmel, Dave Potter’s turf. The political snafu left Parker without enough votes to place Brennan on the commission.
Hert has plenty of experience as a public servant, with 30 years at the Sheriff’s office under his belt, but none in planning. No matter: As Lou Calcagno waxed philosophic about democracy on appointed commissions the day the board dug in its heels, the planning commission “wasn’t ever created as a panel that had to have professional planners.”
Not one for district-by-district divisiveness, Hert’s a Brennan supporter, and was sorry to see her turned away. One person who knows Hert expects him to “bring a nice level of civility to discussions.” Seriously? When Squid thinks about county meetings, civility ain’t the word that comes to mind.
WET AND WILD… There are certain things for which Squid will gladly shell out big bucks. Jimmy Choos – five pair – top the list. Desalinated drinking water, on the other hand, is way, way down the list, right between kitty litter and windshield wipers.
Cal Am ratepayers, however, don’t have much of a choice. They’re already on the hook for the $300 million to $400 million regional water project, a key component of which will be a desalination facility in Marina. But that dollar amount doesn’t include the millions of dollars Monterey County Water Resource Agency and Marina Coast Water District, Cal Am’s two public agency partners, are racking up before construction begins.
Recently, Squid’s colleague reported MCWRA has spent more than $2 million on the regional project since 2004. MCWD says it’s spent a whopping $9.7 million on pre-building costs. Again, these bills will all be passed on to Cal Am ratepayers.
But Squid’s favorite: Surfrider Foundation in January, submitted a claim and “request for intervenor compensation” to the tune of $330,228. Surfrider says it contributed to the regional project and sustained “significant financial hardship” by doing so; therefore, it should be reimbursed. Hmmm, Squid thinks, maybe we can take ratepayer money to set up a big fat petty cash that everybody can tap.