It’s time for another roundup of items that make me roll my eyes, shake my head, and utter a two-syllable puh-lease.
Gilroy City Councilman Dion Bracco generated an eye roll with his ridiculous prediction that if Gilroy doesn’t offer stipends and benefits for part-time City Council members, just “rich conservative white guys” will run for council seats.
City Council service is not something that anyone should do because they need the stipend or the benefits, which Bracco described as “measly.” Instead, it should be considered volunteer community service; stipends, if they exist at all, should just cover expenses. Benefits are completely unjustifiable.
It’s not just “rich conservative white guys” who volunteer for other community organizations — groups that offer no pay and no benefits in exchange for volunteer service — so there’s no reason to think that pay and “measly” benefits are necessary to attract poor or middle class, moderate or progressive, non-white, female council candidates. That Bracco is trying to make that ridiculous case makes my eyes spin.
Second, by denigrating Gilroy council members’ benefits as measly but also claiming that they’re essential to attracting diverse candidates, Bracco is trying have his cake and eat it too. Puh-lease: Either the benefits are measly or they are necessary. They can’t be both.
The Johnny-come-lately efforts of some Morgan Hill residents to “save the Granada” have me shaking my head, and it’s not just the stunningly dishonest efforts some made during the recent special election to tie Measure A’s passage to the long-shuttered movie theater’s fate.
I’m also amazed by folks who, now that the city’s making some decisions after the theater has gathered cobwebs for six years, are complaining about the changes under a “save the Granada” banner.
If operating the Granada as a movie theater was a viable business venture, I suspect someone would have made it happen by now. The most promising proposal to do that was one that would have required significant subsidies from the city to make the project pencil out.
Not only that, those who advocate “saving” the theater seem to ignore the considerable efforts the city is expending to preserve the Granada’s facade while creating modern buildings suitable for today’s retailers and restaurateurs.
They ignore that movie technology has changed, meaning that the configuration of the Granada is not suitable for modern films. So have our movie-viewing habits, with many households boasting hi-def televisions, surround sound, pause buttons, and inexpensive snacks, drawing fewer people to cinemas.
Nevertheless, we hear sentiments like those expressed in a recent letter to the editor by Wayne and Nadine Shrewsbury, who wrote, “We love the idea of going to our downtown for a movie and dinner.” We have petition drives.
If anyone wants to “save the Granada” — whatever that means exactly — you’ve had since 2003 to put your money where your mouth is: to buy the Granada, preserve it as a museum or figure out a way to make it profitable. Failing that, get out of the way so that we can finally fix what BookSmart owner Brad Jones once likened to “a big broken tooth in the middle of downtown.”
Sarah Palin’s convoluted explanation for why she’s quitting as Alaska’s governor had me shaking my head. Palin claimed that she’s avoiding political lame duck status: “It may be tempting and more comfortable to just keep your head down [and] plod along. … That’s a quitter’s way out.”
As Slate’s Bruce Reed snarkily summarized, “Sarah Palin is no quitter. That’s why she’s quitting.”
Puh-lease. Whenever I see logic this flawed, I immediately wonder if it’s an attempt to pull the wool over my eyes. I suspect that Palin doesn’t want to admit the real reason she’s quitting with 18 months left in her first term. Maybe she wants to make more money as a speaker or as a radio or television host. Maybe she’s hoping to avert a big scandal that might be brewing.
But I do not for a moment believe Palin’s lame duck nonsense. Palin committed to serve Alaska for four years. Nearly every elected official has a lame duck period — a time frame in which they’re holding office but not running for re-election. It’s part of what you sign up for when you seek elected office. She knew that — or should have — going in.
However, there’s likely good news in all of this: Many pundits, including Republicans, see her resignation as political suicide, eliminating the possibility of a Palin presidential run in 2012.
And that prediction elicits no eye rolls from me.