Quick Links for whatever day I happen to post this

I sincerely apologize for the erratic posting lately. I pride myself on posting multiple times a week and I haven’t even been doing that lately. It’s mostly laziness on my part, but there’s also jack shit going on. Plus, I’ve been gearing up in real world land for my upcoming vacation and as we all know real world land gets priority over this place. But before I completely check out with visions of my drunken visionquest dancing through my head, let’s finish up last week’s news with these thrice delayed Quick Links!

Here we go again (Paywall warning. Non-paywalled at Siders’ blog)

So yeah, the budget still blows. Luckily carving out $14 million should be a little easier than $31 mil. Especially since last year’s cuts (and department restructuring) have kind of simplified where to cut.

If the city were a person with leprosy, last year we were covered in sores and we carefully cut around them but still generally kept it together. This year, while there are less open sores, there’s also less area for them to cover. So instead we’ll just have to cut the offending appendage off. Sure, that’s a gross analogy, but considering we’re discussing shuttering two libraries, it’s apt.

But before we get to turning City services into the Black Knight from Monty Python, we have months of posturing to deal with! Yes, it’s time to dig in and essentially beg the PD and Fire unions to extend the expiring labor concessions that account for a little over half the budget overage (Not to mention FD’s over the current budget by another $4 mil). Of course, like last time, they’re being total dicks about it.

I would love to empathize with them because they do great work that often goes unappreciated (especially in the case of PD. Although ramping up enforcement like they appeared to do the other day isn’t going to win them any supporters), but it’s fairly cut and dry here. This isn’t like other organizations (that will remain nameless) that make cuts based on profit margins to appease higher ups. We have no money. We’d love to pay PD as much as they wanted and have 80 cops for every 1,000 residents, but it’s belt tightening season and everybody has to make cuts. Well, unless you’re the Fire Department and cut a deal with a lame duck Council that didn’t give a shit.

The point is, the city’s finances are very public. They’re not trying to pull the wool over PD’s eyes to make a quick buck. They said it in the City Council meeting, even if shut down everything but PD and Fire we’d still have a budget problem. Of course, in that scenario we would assume that counts as everybody else taking their lumps and FD and PD would stick to their word and negotiate cuts right? Hey, why are you laughing?

Nosky Goneski (Paywall warning. Non-paywall here)

Well, the City Council has once again pushed away someone who helped drag us out of the legal hellhole Mark Lewis and the Podesto Council put us in by questioning pretty much everything they do and have ever done. This time it was City Attorney Ren Nosky who decided to call it a day and will return to private practice in March.

Now, Nosky wasn’t perfect, he was accused of sexual harassment way back in April of 2009 (although we questioned the veracity of those as far as we know unresolved claims), he also backed the flawed legal language in that whole Maxim’s debacle, and he played a prominent role in the whole Johnny Ford debacle advising the City Manager Gordon Palmer.

Of course, it’s easy to point out the bad stuff because that’s the shit that gets reported on. Plus, it’s the stuff that we remember. We forget the shit that’s either boring or we don’t understand, but Nosky had a full plate to deal with on most occasions. As noted in Siders’ article (and earlier in this post), upon arrival he was charged with cleaning up Mark Lewis’ mess which included dealing with Arena developers that that eminent domain thing that popped back up fairly recently. Not to mention he helped negotiate whatever that “green” General Plan thing that was all the rage last year.

But perhaps the thing that gained most of our respect was being the guy who has to explain everything to the City Council, a job that increased in difficulty in recent years with the new Council pretty much questioning everything he said. The most cited instance of this being the time the City Council rebuked Nosky’s advice to pay for legally required legal assistance to Palmer and HR head Dianna Garcia for their roles in that pesky Johnny Ford thing while simultaneously approving legal counsel for themselves. Then, an independent lawyer came by and said “No really, you have to pay for this” and Nosky’s been mentally choking Dale Fritchen with his eyes ever since (well, at least in my mind).

So while it hasn’t been the cleanest of roads for Nosky, as he said in the Siders article, he left it cleaner than when he got there. Which is really all you can ask, even if that’s not really saying much considering it couldn’t have gotten much worse. I hope he gets a cooler party than Pinkerton got. And I can’t wait to laugh at the new guy as he gets asked a bunch of credibility insulting questions about medical marijuana.


~ by Slick Diaz on March 2, 2010.

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