Quick Links for April 19th

News dropped late last week so why not get an early (for me at least) start to the week with some Monday Quick Links!

City finally hires new scape goat (No paywall here, here, here, and here)

After months of misdirection and cloak and dagger techniques usually reserved for sneaking Lindsay Lohan (or, more currently, Tiger Woods) in and out of rehab, the City has finally chosen the guy they’re going to blame when the budget goes to shit again in 2011. In what was clearly a “fuck you” move to David Siders and his relentless attempts to discover the identity of the City Manager candidate, the City announced late Friday night that they hired the one guy who didn’t have to worry about David Siders jeopardizing his current gig, former Sonoma County “administrator” (whatever that means) Bob Deis.

Yes, after all that bitching the City did about the local paparazzi, they hired a guy who didn’t have a job to jeopardize because he ironically left his previous job after election turnover caused a rift between him and the governing body he administered to. The City feels like they have their man though as word coming out of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat (the paper of record in Deis’ old stomping grounds) is that he’s a gruff, no-nonsense union buster. Oh man, hope he can tone that down a bit, we all know what happened the last time the City brought in a straight-shooting asshole who lacked bedside manner. Oh wait, he’s backtracking a bit and saying good stuff about Stockton, all if forgiven.

All joking aside, it’s great that the City finally got this hire behind them, and not just because Ann Johnston needs good news to report at the State of the City address next month. The City seemed to be in some sort of holding pattern waiting for the economy to turn around and that wasn’t working. The economy’s going to take a while to rebound and the budget’s going to continued to get peppered with haymakers to the gut until something changes. Luckily this Deis guy seems to have experience turning shit around in a declining economy. Whether or not the unions liked him (and if they were responsible for his ouster in Sonoma) is up for debate, but government unions aren’t exactly the most popular group around here so I don’t think pissing them off will be much of a problem. Welcome to Stockton dude. Get settled in, then prepare to dig in and negotiate with some of the whiniest people you’ve ever met (think of the response times!). Hope you brought the heavy duty pruning sheers.

Judge Murray would like to make himself more available to the press (no paywall)

Record Courts reporter Scott Smith tweeted this link to the blog with the question of whether or not he should take Judge Murray’s comment to a press summit personally. The comment was that he’d like to see court reporters like Smith add context to their stories to educate the public on just why a judge made a certain decision. It’s a good idea in theory, if the judge wants to make themselves available to comment on the case they’re currently presiding over, which presents obvious problems.

Obviously Smith was being tongue-in-cheek with his tweet, but the fact that a judge he covers thinks court reporters need to do more to back up the judge’s decisions is a testament to the quality work Smith does. It’s the job of the reporter to objectively report on the news, to give reasoning for a decision without speaking with the judge would be presumptuous. Guessing why the judge made a decision would be speculation and speculation isn’t news, it’s commentary. So unless judges want to free up more of their time to comment on just exactly why they sustained an objection, reporters are going to stick with dryly reporting what happened because that’s what they’re supposed to do. The speculation and commentary can be left to those talentless hack bloggers on the internet.

Just so we’re clear, Steve Vaczovsky is not Tony Amato

Last week, Interim SUSD Superintendent Steve Vaczovsky rifled off an epic response to one of the scathing letters that have become commonplace in the dysfunctional school district, and fortunately Roger Phillips has the thing in it’s entirety on his blog. To say it’s a giant “fuck you” to the drama, infighting, and misinformation that has plagued Stockton Unified would be an understatement. There are many messages in both letters, but the biggest is that if Vaczovsky loses the interim tag and becomes Superintendent he’s not putting up with this bullshit anymore. It’s about God damn time. I may not enjoy learning how to spell his name, but this guy seems like the right fit to whip SUSD into shape.

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~ by Slick Diaz on April 19, 2010.

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