CHECK, PLEASE… Squid has much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Sometimes it’s the little things that bring Squid joy, like the big bags of Happy Shrimp Chips currently available at the Costco in Sand City. Hartnell College Interim Superintendent/President Raúl Rodríguez told the college’s trustees in a memo dated Nov. 17 that he’s thankful for the job they awarded him 16 months ago – but sorry, there’s another one he might want more even though his contract isn’t up until next June (see story, p. 18).

Rodríguez was hired in July 2020 for a one-year contract at $265,000, then two months later was up for a higher-paying community college gig elsewhere. In response, the Hartnell College Board of Trustees offered him $310,000 for three years, with annual pay raises. On July 1 his salary increased to $316,200. Despite all that, he wants out again if he is hired on as president of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

“I can never adequately repay you all for the wonderful opportunity you afforded me to serve,” Rodríguez wrote in his memo to the board.

Nor, Squid assumes, can Rodríguez repay Hartnell for the opportunity to rake in more than $400,000 in less than a year and a half, thanks in part to leveraging the last job he was offered. That’s a lot of shrimp chips.

PLAY TO LOSE… While there are few things Squid enjoys more than a good game, Squid is very much aware that some games aren’t worth playing – unless you’re a lawyer. Take the current standoff between Seaside and developer Paul Petrovich, who entered into an exclusive negotiating agreement in 2017 to develop the city’s Main Gate project.

Petrovich recently filed two lawsuits against Seaside, alleging the city violated the terms of said agreement (the two parties never reached an agreement on a purchase price for the property). The lawsuits are nearly identical – the first was filed in federal court Oct. 5. After Seaside responded Nov. 12, arguing the case had to be heard in local courts and that the city had legal immunity pertaining to the allegations, a second lawsuit was filed on Monday, Nov. 15 in Monterey County Superior Court, just in case the federal case is dismissed. Meanwhile, Seaside’s taxpayers are stuck with the bill defending both.

This is the same Petrovich that, under a strawman entity, filed a lawsuit in 2020 seeking to overturn Seaside’s approval of the nearby Campus Town project. It’s also the same Petrovich who was involved in active litigation with the city of Sacramento in 2017 when Seaside – which was aware of that litigation – inked the exclusive negotiating agreement.

What’s that saying about playing stupid games and the prizes that come with it?

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