New Times / Shredder
The following articles were printed from New Times [newtimesslo.com] - Volume 27, Issue 31
Foot in mouth disease
Ever since my cable got cancelled and my jerk mom blocked all the good Internet sites, I’ve been reduced to watching government meetings to get my fix of human drama and petty insults. Most of the get-togethers are boring as hell, but gee willikers does my neighbor’s Wi-Fi pay off when public comment sessions roll around.
Who needs Honey Boo Boo when every week, speaker after speaker lines up to blast SLO County Supervisor Bruce Gibson for copping to an affair with his willing legislative assistant? Adults have sex sometimes, so I couldn’t really care less, but when words like “prostitute” and “whore” are getting flung around the county chambers like so much crap in a monkey cage, I boil some popcorn, call up my best gal, and enjoy myself some good ol’ fashioned entertainment served just the way I like it: vulgar and inappropriate for government business.
I thought the most recent meeting would be a total drag, man, since Supervisor Paul Teixeira, the board president who generally does nothing to stop the crowd from hootin’ and hollerin’ like deranged wrasslin’ fans, opened the Feb. 26 event with some sobering words—my least favorite kind of words, by the way. I spent a lot of time scrounging change together for a pre-meeting buzz, and he just up and ruined it. The nerve.
He sat there and called for some decorum this time around, and he promised that if things got uncivilized, he’d call for a break. Scary stuff. Then, if people kept acting all crazy, he’d put on his big boy trousers and clear the room. Don’t worry, though. Free speech lives on—for now. People continued to dissect Gibson’s sex life (with friendlier words) and Teixeira still let everyone cheer and clap from the back rows. Paul-ie! Paul-ie!
I almost fell asleep, but then, when the spectacle was almost over, Gibson went ahead and stuck his foot so deep into his mouth he almost suffocated on a shoelace, and his peers offered nothing but quiet support. After so much public tongue lashing (the bad kind), a beleaguered Gibson asked the board to reflect on the purpose of public comment and to consider certain restrictions on content and duration, to keep meetings running smooth-like. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
Slow down, fuzz face. This is America, and nobody but nobody squelches my speech, nor my last shred of entertainment. Folks are bound to say horrible things, but we have to err on the side of freedom, even if that means sucking it up and listening to some obnoxious garbage.
And when it comes to public grandstanding, the only folks who are fit to wave a competing flag at the anti-Gibson, pro-defamation crowd may just be those clamoring for the SLO City Council seat formerly held by everyone’s favorite geek, Andrew Carter.
As if the first hour of city meetings hasn’t become enough of a pissing match already, the city’s decision to hold a special election this summer has attracted political hopefuls like a Bakersfield resident to any shiny thing with four wheels. Not that they weren’t there already, week after week, taking up my precious time like a spaced-out Don Hedrick.
As if it weren’t bad enough that every two weeks SLOhemians are forced to listen to the self-serving ramblings of council-wannabes Kevin Rice, Jeff Aranguena, and Steve Barasch, now it appears that others want to get into the mix. Like everybody’s favorite bar owner-turned councilman-turned “Whoops! Where’d I put my gun?” Morro Bay police trainee Paul Brown, who threw his hat into the foray. Don’t stop believing, Paul.
At least the city is letting voters decide who’ll fill Carter’s Crocs. After all, leaders could have done like Grover Beach and just appointed someone to the two-year term, saving taxpayers nearly $70,000. But not in SLO Town. After all, Carter didn’t pull a Molnar (sorry, that phrase has been floating around the office for weeks and I had to fit it in somewhere). The guy found work and gave the council notice. He didn’t run for mayor in the meantime.
Hum-ditty hum-ditty hum. Iko iko an nay. What else? Oh, yeah. Speaking of things said and unsaid, looks like John Wallace peaced out from the South County Sanitation District. Smooth move, Wally. The only thing people rue more than a loudmouth is someone who keeps his mouth shut when there’s shit to be said. Like when Wallace announced his “retirement” less than 24 hours before the latest EPA bad-news inspection report on the Oceano wastewater treatment plant was released without hipping the board of directors to it. Haven’t heard this one? Check out bearded staff writer Nick Powell’s news brief on it. ∆
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