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Shortsighted 

We like badasses who stand by their convictions and kick ass! But what about when convictions encounter reality? At some point, shouldn’t pragmatism supersede idealism? Otherwise, we end up screwing ourselves, which is anatomically impossible but definitely a “thing” when it comes to local government officials. Let me give you two examples.

The proposed half-cent “transportation fund” sales tax will be on the ballot in November, which if passed is estimated to generate $25 million annually and $225 over its nine-year lifespan. The money will maintain roads, improve public transportation, and expand bike and pedestrian trails. Wanna guess who opposed it?

Predictably, the SLO County Board of Supervisors split along ideological lines. First District supe Frank Mecham, 2nd District supe Bruce Gibson, and 3rd District supe Adam Hill voted in favor of putting the proposal up for a vote while the two most conservative-minded supes, District 4’s Lynn Compton and District 5’s Debbie Arnold, voted against.

Compton and Arnold’s criticism is that the state mismanages our county’s tax funds (which include gas tax revenues) like drunken sailors on leave. They want to force the state to spend wisely. Yeah, good luck with that, Capt. Ahab. Low gas prices and more fuel efficiency—both arguably good things—have led to fewer revenues, meaning less dough to fulfill local needs and potholes. Should we all buy fuel-sucking monster trucks and drive more, ladies?

Convictions are great, but the problem is our roads will continue deteriorating while you two stand around puffing out your chests like badasses and feeling superior about your rigidly held position. We’re right, and we have the shitty roads to prove it! Yeehaw!

Compton disingenuously took a play from the Democrat playbook by claiming the “regressive” tax would hurt the poor more because everyone pays sales tax. I thought you only cared about landowners, Lynny-poo. Aren’t the poor just lazy anyway? And we’re talking about a half-cent here. If you spend a hundred bucks on groceries, that amounts to an extra 50 cents. The service industry employs many working poor, and that industry depends on tourism, so having good roads is pretty freaking important. The new tax would also improve public transportation, like the buses that poor folks who can’t afford monster trucks ride.

Sorry, Lynn, but generating our own transportation funds that we decide how to use is smart. First off, it’s locally grown! Spend local and reap the benefits locally. I know. I’m such a liberal yuppie. Wait—isn’t more power in local governance a conservative thing? I’m confused.

But it also puts us in line with 20 other “self-help” counties that have their own transportation tax. That’s 84 percent of California’s population, so it’s not exactly a wacky idea. Self-help counties are more likely to receive grants and matching funds, so instead of stomping your feet and bitching about state government, let’s take care of ourselves like badasses.

Next, let’s look at the native tree ordinance that sprung up after Justin Vineyards and Winery bulldozed hundreds of native oaks to make way for more grapes and pretentious wine sipping A-holes. Pissed off people continue to encourage a boycott of Justin wines as well as all products produced by its jackhole not-so-local overlords, The Wonderful Company, which hawks Pom Wonderful juice and Fiji Water among other environmentally unfriendly items. It’s now illegal to clear-cut native trees without an environmental review and permit … at least for the next 45 days, and then the temporary ordinance is up for an extension vote.

Because the extension requires the same four-fifths majority that the emergency ordinance needed to pass, this one’s going to hinge on Compton, who—much to her gal-pal Arnold’s chagrin—tepidly endorsed it while Arnold voted no. Uh-oh, besties on the brink! If Compton votes against the extension, the ordinance is doomed, opening the door to another rich nonlocal dickhead to remove trees willy-nilly to build another winery we don’t need.

Arnold’s opposition is basically that the ordinance will hurt the small local farmers, who are good stewards of the land. Hey, I get it, but doing nothing isn’t an option. Big operations like The Wonderful Company with its filthy rich, land-raping owners from places like Beverly Hills—Lynda and Stewart Resnick—will keep exploiting our natural resources and treating our land and our resources like a used tissue.

I know these two property rights advocates like to argue it’s the property owners’ tissue and if they want to blow snot into it and throw it on the ground, so be it, but that snot-rag is in our county, which you’ve been elected to safeguard from the wicked. Right now you’re sort of on my “nice list,” Compton. Don’t blow it!

On a side note, I just want to assure Adam Hill that we at New Times got his email complaining about us not writing a story about how nasty Karen Velie of CalCoastNews is and how she’s lying about Hill’s involvement with a lawsuit against her and her website and how her claims that Hill has threatened her advertisers is wholly false.

“My only question to the ‘legit’ local media is: When is this a story and why is not yet a story?” Hill asked. “And please do not use this serious matter as fodder for The Shredder. If you see no news value or are simply afraid of the vindictive creepiness of that world led by Velie, then admit it and I will understand.”

Excuse me? I admit to nothing but being uncontrollable, a little catty, and too legit to quit.

Adam-baby, rest assured, we’ll keep this out of The Shredder. We know you’re a public official, we’ll be sure to write only the stories you want and not make fun of you even when you come off as a demanding little crybaby. 

The Shredder does whatever he wants. Send ideas and comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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