Thursday, September 16, 2010
LET FREEMAN RING… On Squid’s slimy desk, marinating in spilled coffee and sprayed ink, sits a thick folder called the Only-in-Carmel Irony File. It just got thicker, with new plans for e-mail policy and openness for the City Hall-by-the-Sea.
The e-mail idea makes sense following revelations that City Administrator Rich Guillen burned the midnight oil tapping out one mash note after another to former Human Resources Manager Jane Miller (providing evidence that led to her $600,000 sexual harassment settlement from the city).
The chief architect of the e-mail eval, though, makes less sense. City Attorney Don Freeman ducks electronic communication altogether. He has managed legal issues for Carmel and Seaside for three decades, yet resolutely avoids using e-mail – at least according to his office assistant, who guards access to the in-demand lawyer like a Brazilian goalkeeper. Maybe that’s the plan for e-mails from now on. None get sent, no one gets sued. Only Guillen’s came from a private account. Uh oh. This could get complicated.
Freeman’s also the one suddenly talking about a new era of openness, despite years of calls for transparency from frustrated citizens in Carmel and Seaside – an anger that has mounted into cries for recall in both cities, which have seen more than their fair share of expensive settlements with disgruntled employees. At least Freeman himself can’t be recalled; he’s on contract with both cities and collects PERS bennies from Seaside.
TREASURE MAIL… Amidst the unbelievable business offers from Russian strangers, relentless e-newsletters from obscure trade associations and press releases touting non-events (like Hug A Greeting Card Writer Day: Sept. 18), Squid finds the rare e-mail that makes all that harvesting worth it.
It begins: “Hello. My name is Sarah Musni. I am a student at Everett Alvarez High School. And I’ve put together a writing contest for teens in Salinas. The contest is to write something, anything (a poem, short story, scene, monologue, etc.) about life being a teenager. The ups, the downs, the mellows, the problems, anything.”
Details are being worked out on the contest’s Facebook page (http://tinyurl.com/salaswriting). Submissions will be accepted through midnight Dec. 31 and judged by two local teens and three adults. The finalist entries will be sent to New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins, who will pick the winner. Runners-up will be invited to collaborate on a play for Alvarez High’s 2011-12 season.
Ahhhh. Charming, resourceful, inviting. Unlike the “Canada Lithium Announces Closing of Sale of Tully Gold Prospect” junk mails.