I’ve got a brilliant new business plan that’s going to sweep the nation, starting with the late-night infomercials and ending with me becoming Ellen Degeneres’ new bestie. Of course, when El (which I’ll call her, although no one else will be allowed to call her that) realizes that I’ve been couch-hopping with any television host with the good sense to book me, we’ll have a huge on-air blowup culminating in a discussion about her jealousy issues and major book deal for me.
But enough about El. I’ve got two words for you. No, three words. Three words, two concepts: “Weed hut” and “clowns.” I’m not even sure how they go together yet, but I’m pretty sure I have the makings of a multi-gazillion-dollar idea. And it’s all thanks to Kevin Weigant, the guy the city of Morro Bay hired to shake down its residents for spare change related to unpaid businesses licenses.
You see, Weigant has been corresponding with Morro Bay City Manager David Buckingham. Nothing weird about that. Weigant’s Fresno-based firm Municipal Auditing Services has a contract with the city, so you’d expect them to be in pretty regular contact. But what stands out about these correspondences is Weigant’s less than respectful attitude toward Morro Bay residents. In fact, at one point he gets downright Don Corleone on their asses, demanding that Buckingham provide him with the names of any Morro Bay resident who criticized Weigant’s company during public comment.
“Anyone who steps to that podium and makes such an allegation, I would like their name, and business name. In return, I will give you a complete breakdown of their case and a copy of all phone calls. After which we can discuss the taxpayer slander (libel—actually). The bottom line is that these clowns don’t understand that the City Council proceedings are recorded and broadcast. MAS will defend itself to the fullest extent of the law,” Weigant ranted.
Three things are clear from this:
First, and most importantly, self-knowledge isn’t high on the list of Weigant’s priorities. If it were, he’d recognize that a well-paid city consultant has zero chance of intimidating the pit bulls who tend to show up at public comment. He’d also probably recognize that the city of Morro Bay isn’t paying him to waste time hassling people he doesn’t like, which to me sounds more like an abuse of power than studly show of force against the enemy. Oh, and he doesn’t know the difference between libel and slander, which isn’t so bad because I wouldn’t either if I weren’t continually accused of it by people who don’t actually know what it means.
Secondly, he doesn’t know that his emails are public, too, which wouldn’t be all that funny if he hadn’t made that dig about the “clowns” who don’t realize the City Council meetings are broadcast. And if he were half the badass he thinks he is, he would attend a public meeting and announce his intentions of investigating anyone who spoke out against him rather than doing it secretly behind their backs.
Three, people who stand to get paid half a million dollars should be able to take some abuse.
The thing that confuses me is why the city’s other public officials refuse to recognize how Weigant’s lack of respect for the Morro Bay residents he’s been hired to shake down might translate into a poor working relationship with them. In fact, there have been complaints about the company, to the point that business owners have gone straight to the city to appeal the company’s demands for money. Weigant told Administrative Services Director Susan Slayton, “Taxpayer’s are fully informed on how to protest and are given written instructions. We are getting a ‘f*** you’ I am going to take this up with the city. It’s kind of like the kid playing mom against dad thinking that they don’t talk. Turn them around, without comment, and point them back
So, thus far, Weigant has characterized upset and confused business owners as clowns and disobedient children. Not exactly flattering, but not particularly original either. And thus far he hasn’t felt compelled to respond to the media and be up-front with his insults, which was why I thought I’d do that for him. I mean, I owe him for giving me my multi-gajillion-dollar business idea: “Weed Huts and Clowns Emporium.” But you’re still in the dark about the most titillating aspect of the business.
Apparently Weigant’s got a Pat Hedges-sized hard-on for driving medical marijuana dispensaries out of town because he took the time to alert city officials about the presence of “Weed Huts” in the city. You know, just a casual, “Hey, I know it’s not my job to dictate what kind of businesses you do or do not allow in the city but I just wanted to give you a friendly heads up, using derogatory terminology to show what I really think, that you might want to do something about this. Y’know, like call the police. Start an investigation, arrest some folks.”
’Cause that worked out so well in the Doobie Dozen case.
Still, Weigant recommended handing the information over to law enforcement, which the city apparently did with no hard evidence to indicate criminal behavior. All because Weigant, who seems to have a 1930s Reefer Madness view of marijuana, decided to tattle. Maybe next week he can actually assist the cops with their investigation of these alleged weed huts no one really cared about. As long as he can conduct his part of the investigation from behind the cover of emails that the people he’s threatening and insulting never get to know about. Oops, did I blow the lid on that?
Shredder hopes to one day live in a weed hut. Send real estate listings to firstname.lastname@example.org.