Guns and No Ammo… Squid walked into a lively scene at the June 4 Salinas City Councilmeeting, which was all about the 2019-2020 budget. The discussion got weird when it was theSalinas Police Department’s turn to face the music. Would the city cut the hair gel allotment for those hotties in uniform appearing on Live PD? Would they be forced to share handcuffs? Or would they be forced to economize on ammo?

The hair gel stays, but the ammo, well… let’s just say there might be less of it, at least for training purposes.

Councilmember Scott Davis, who by profession is a Monterey County sheriff’s deputy, suggested some cuts from the SPD’s budget, including cutting the training ammo budget from $160,000 to $80,000. Davis also suggested losing the line items for the investigation division equipment budget, the Violence Suppression Task Force equipment budget, cut overtime from $1.8 million to $1.5 million and lose the license plate reader budget item too.

Davis and Councilmember Steve McShane (who is running for higher office and doesn’t seem to want to piss off a police union right now) engaged in a battle of the wills, with McShane asking Davis, “Did you just come up with these ideas?” To which Davis responded, with a huff, “Yeah, I just come up with them on the fly, off the cuff, councilmember.” And then he told McShane that if he had been at the previous week’s meeting he might be better informed.

Squid appreciates a councilmember turning over every stone to save the cash-strapped city some bucks, but wonders if maybe cutting the ammo budget goes too far.

Ah hell, maybe they can practice throwing rocks instead.

An Appealing Feeling… Back in Squid’s day, everything was done by hand: bookkeeping, scheduling, note taking. As the world has become more complicated, even Squid knows a computer spreadsheet is the best tool to sort a lot of confusing data. Cue the battle over the future of water on the Monterey Peninsula. California American Water is seeking a coastal development permit, required for the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project. That’s the corporate name for Cal Am’s proposed desalination plant (plus some supporting infrastructure). What Squid is having trouble tracking is the sheer number of appeals launched by various stakeholders. The Marina Planning Commission denied Cal Am’s permit; now Cal Am, theCastroville Community Services District and Carmel River Steelhead Association are all appealing Marina’s denial. The Monterey County Planning Commission granted Cal Am a permit. Public Water Now, the Marina Coast Water District and Water Ratepayers Association of the Monterey Peninsula are appealing that approval.

Squid was keeping count of all these, but Squid ran out of tentacles for that old-fashioned counting method.

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