Thursday, May 17, 2007
MONEY TALKS… Squid keeps a close eye on Squid’s money—one-third of Squid’s income pays the rent and utilities, one-third pays for the Squidmobile and the final third for booze. And being such an accountable cephalopod, Squid likes to know how Squid’s elected officials spend Squid’s tax dollars. So when THE OPEN MONTEREY PROJECT (TOMP) last month made a California Public Records Act request to Monterey County for financial records relating to the County’s use of outside lawyers in the GENERAL PLAN INITIATIVE and RANCHO SAN JUAN lawsuits, Squid perked up.
The recently released records show…nothing, really. In accounts of all the important stuff—cost of litigation, county budget for litigation, amounts charged by the LA-based firm in the litigation—the numbers were all blacked out.
So MICHAEL STAMP, on behalf of TOMP, filed a petition in Superior Court. “The issue here is public accountability and transparency,” it reads. “The public is entitled to know what financial obligations the County has committed the taxpayers to.”
And so now, instead of simply handing over the public records, Monterey County will spend more taxpayer money fighting the release in court.
AND TALKS… Speaking of the General Plan and taxpayer dollars, an agenda item listed under the consent calendar of the May 15 County Supervisors meeting caught Squid’s beady eye: “Approve Amendment No. 1 in the amount of $216,630 for a total amount not to exceed $857,760 to the Professional Services Agreement with MICHAEL BRANDMAN ASSOCIATES, INC. for the Monterey County General Plan Update Environmental Impact Report (EIR); and authorize the Purchasing Manager to execute the Amendment.”
So what, Squid wonders, happens on June 5 should voters reject the Supe-approved GPU?
VEGGIES AND STUFF… Squid’s therapist says Squid is making real progress ditching Squid’s toxic behaviors and filling Squid’s self with happiness. (Truth be told, Squid’s always found cheerfulness boring.) Squid thinks the Oldtown Salinas FARMERS MARKET has something to do with this—the community event is again a Saturday morning destination. It has become one of Squid’s happy places.
But last weekend, when Squid ran into a woman complaining, Squid stalked—er, joined her. “Tupperware? Since when is plastic grown in fields?” the shopper sneered. “Cookie Lee Jewelry? Hmm. T&A’s growing beads now?”
But Squid understands the irritated shopper, who concluded: “I’m not getting up at 7am to shop at the Dollar Store.” Happy places are so hard to find.