Opinion » Shredder

Game of drones


I just realized that I never weighed in on the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors decision to reduce the number of meetings they have every month. And then I realized why. I guess I didn't care until it affected me!


Here's why it affected me: As I listened to frequent public commenters such as Eric Greening, Julie Tacker, Dr. C Hite, and Jeff Edwards drone on during the Feb. 20 meeting about the same old things they used to chastise supervisors for on a weekly basis, I was suddenly extremely happy that I didn't have to listen to them spout their usual three-minute rants on Feb. 13.

Don't get me wrong. They have every right to utilize their First Amendment freedom to comment during government meetings on the public process, but it doesn't mean they have to cash that right in. Every now and then, everybody needs a break from hearing about the Los Osos sewer shitstorm, how terrible 3rd District Supervisor Adam Hill is, and what piece of SLO County needs to be saved from development. Let me tell you. It gets old!

But then I realized, after supervisors once again failed to put a resolution forward that formally opposes the Trump administration's plan to open up oil drilling lease sales in federal waters along the Pacific Coast, that there would only be one more meeting for them to do that before the March 9 deadline to submit comments to the Department of the Interior. And then I realized that even though this split board of ideological nonsense penned two letters to elected officials last year about their opposition to offshore drilling, they were going to refuse to do it this year!

What's the big deal, guys? Smells stinky like Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke.

I want to listen as people like Greening ask them to do it week after week, so the board majority can uncomfortably ignore them. I want to listen to supervisors Bruce Gibson and Hill lobby over and over again, even if they're unsuccessful, for the Conservative Gang of Three to be consistent and sign a comment letter when it actually matters. And I want to see it be part of the record, repeatedly, that the elephant trio sat on their trunks and made excuses.

I take back everything I said about you public commenters, and for the record, I'd like to tell you repeat offenders participating in the governing process to continue to drone on. Fight with your words. Maybe someday, someone in a position of power will actually listen to you. Or maybe, instead, our Board of flighty Supes will slim down their meetings to once a month.

Speaking of elected officials too scared to make decisions, the Pismo Beach City Council appears to be suffering from a literal case of "shit or get off the pot."

After narrowing down where to place new bathrooms at its $8.7 million revamped pier to two options, after asking residents to vote between the two in an online poll, after discussing this public throne dilemma for more than a year (!), the council voted 3-2 on Feb. 20 to explore maybe keeping them in the spot they stand. Sounds like the Morro Bay City Council discussing where to put its new wastewater recycling plant, amirite?

Only it's public restrooms. And as far as I'm aware, the California Coastal Commission hasn't decreed the existing bathrooms to be environmentally unsound like it did with the wastewater treatment facility in Morro Bay. I do believe this elongated Pismo potty discussion is merely a question of aesthetics. You know, as one hotelier put it, a visitor might make negative comments on social media about looking out the window of a hotel room, only to have their view impeded by (gasp!) public restrooms!

The council took fire from hotel owners who didn't want the crappers blocking enchanting views of the Pacific and residents who thought using the johns to frame the entrance to the multi-million-dollar rehabbed pier was, let's say, less than classy. Oh, the controversy! So, instead of making a decision when everybody's yelling at them, council members said, "Hey, we don't need to decide, like, right this second." After spending $8.7 million, what's another few thousand dollars in staff time?

"This sounds to me like no decision at all, frankly," said Councilmember Erik Howell, who voted against slinking out of making an un-poopular decision (Groan! I know, but I just couldn't help myself!).

Amen, Erik.

Look, in an era where high school students are making their voices loud and clear about how disappointed they are in politicians who fail to make controversial decisions on something as difficult to move the dial on as gun control, you numb-nuts can't even get your shit together over where to put toilet seats. Game of Thrones, move on over, this thing is about to pull through another season.

And the public will drone on. Hopefully, at a meeting where I can hear Pismo residents shaming their council for not taking a stance on where to put lavatories, while the country once again argues about mental health issues and assault-style weapons. And maybe Pismo voters will do exactly what high school students across the nation are threatening to do:

Flush do-nothing elected officials down the toilet and out the environmentally friendly sewer system. Δ

The Shredder is environmentally sensitive to political hot air. Send comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.


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