RINGY DINGY… Squid guzzled a third glass of Champagne, burped robustly and loaded a fountain pen with fresh ink. With just a few hours to go before kicking 2015 to the curb, Squid had resolutions to make for Squidself (work on manners, stop eating so much candy and be kind to Monterey County Supe Fernando Armenta, or, as one local journalist calls him, “Supervisor Mangled Syntax.”)
But Squid also had prognosticating to do. Squid loves predicting stuff – it’s an annual New Year’s shtick. Squid predicts Carmel Mayor Jason Burnett, who departs office in April, will look back wistfully on all the progress he made bringing the Peninsula a new water supply only to realize a thimbleful won’t keep hoteliers going.
Squid also predicts Seaside Mayor Ralph Rubio, in a bizarre effort to boost the popularity of horse riding, parimutuel betting and the proposed Monterey Downs racetrack development, will ride to meetings on horseback, and try to spin it as “going green.” And brand-new Seaside City Manager Craig Malin will quickly realizes how dumb an idea Monterey Downs is and apply for the city manager gig in Pacific Grove, which might be headed for bankruptcy thanks to that unfunded CalPERSmandate that won’t go away. Elsewhere on the Peninsula, Squid thinks Monterey Mayor Clyde Roberson will change his name to Mayor Fun Suck and completely ban pleasure (with the exception of massage parlors, which the Monterey PD, under the guidance of Chief Dave “Silver Fox” Hober, won’t stop investigating) within city limits. Seems reasonable since the city banned food trucks, pot dispensaries and vaping. Squid thinks the Monterey City Council may start demanding a zip code check for anyone trying to enter the city on nights and weekends – those whose zip codes fall below 120 percent of the median income will be denied entry unless they can prove they’re working a service job.
In national politics, Squid imagines U.S. congressional candidate Jimmy Panetta spends the rest of the winter pacing around his house, bored because there’s nobody to compete with in the 2016 election. Squid predicts Panetta will drop out of the race and declare himself a write-in candidate for president. Squid also thinks P.G. Republican Casey Lucius, also gunning for Farr’s seat, will become so demoralized by the lack of local GOP support she will turn Democrat.
As Squid’s eye starts to grow heavy, and Squid swipes a final carrot through a container of shrimp-flavored hummus, Squid starts dreaming about the future of local agriculture. In 2016, Sheriff Steve Bernal will complete his transformation into the Joe Arpaio of Monterey County and launch a pilot program to send jail inmates to the fields to pick crops before they’re deported by ICE agents.
Squid has no clear answers. Squid only has fun sipping bubbly and mulling what might be. Happy New Year!