In less than a month, SLO Town residents will have to decide who should be the Grand Poobah of the happiest/saddest (depends on your point of view, dig?) burg in the land.
In the blue trunks with the red rose is current Mayor Heidi Harmon, who opponents call self-aggrandizing, pushy, and more interested in her hyper-progressive agenda than in residents' wishes. In the red-now-dyed-blue trunks with the pink pate is T. Keith Gurnee, who opponents label a hypocritical NIMBY-centric elitist who pretends to be for the common people but is really in developers' pockets.
Heck, they both seem like super attractive candidates! How to decide between these lesser of two evils?
Well, you could just vote with your tribe. Liberals will line up behind Harmon and her feminist, environmentalist, pro-affordable housing, bike lanes everywhere, zero-emissions city platform. But what about conservatives? They've got to be very confused right now. Sure, they know they're against Harmon and her snowflake-libtard-commie bullshit, but is Gurnee their man?
Well, good news liberal-hating conservative patriots! Gurnee's quasi-liberal platform is built on a house of cards! He's been a registered Republican for years and years. He only re-registered as a Democrat before entering the mayor's race. He's a LINO—see?—a Liberal In Name Only, so you're safe! Let me explain.
His liberal-sounding motto is "For our neighborhoods," though he seems to operate under this motto instead: "For my neighborhood—yours can fend for itself, suckers!" For instance, Santa Margarita residents are vehemently opposed to the proposed Las Pilitas Quarry, which Gurnee has been shilling for. He's all for protecting his Anholm neighborhood from expanded bike lanes, but he's called Santa Margarita residents NIMBYs for rejecting the quarry. Uh oh! Gurnee has called NIMBY the "new N-word" (and then took it back) when it was directed at him, but apparently it's fine to label others NIMBYs.
Gurnee's a "professional planner and urban designer," according to his website. Doesn't that sound like the kind of guy who pals around with developers? About the Women's March, he wrote online that they're "an ideological dictatorship determined to force its will upon the rest of us."
How dare Women's Marchers demand we respect women, minorities, LGBTQ-plus, and other marginalized people! The nerve! The unmitigated gall! Sputter!
Of course, in a bid to win middle-of-the-road voters, he tries to make himself sound like a centrist candidate who cares about people, open space, and our small-town atmosphere, but his endorsers are largely conservatives (former Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, former Supervisor Jerry Lenthall, former Mayor and County Supervisor Peg Pinard) or NIMBY-centric groups (Preserve the SLO Life, Save Our Downtown, SLO Neighbors United).
See, conservatives! He's one of you!
Harmon, on the other hand, is endorsed by the SLO County Democratic Party, the SLO Progressives, Planned Parenthood, the Teamsters Local 986, and well-known sitting liberal politicians such as State Sen. Bill Monning, SLO County Supervisors Bruce Gibson and Adam Hill, and City Councilmembers Andy Pease and Aaron Gomez.
So, don't be fooled, centrist voters! It's not a choice between two Democrats.
Let's face it, trying to pick who's in the right can sure be difficult, so hats off to SLO County Superior Court Judge Linda Hurst, who saw through Coastal Dance and Music Academy owner Kathleen Schultz and her suit against Grover Beach marijuana dispensary Natural Healing Center. On Oct. 2, the judge denied an injunction to prevent the dispensary from operating.
Schultz argued that the pot shop was ruining her business, but she provided no evidence and didn't bother to sue until six months after Natural Healing Center applied for its operating license and had already sunk $1.5 million into its business. Even more ridiculous, she rejected an offer from the dispensary to help Schultz move her business to another location.
Sounds to me like Natural Healing Center and its owners were trying really hard to be good neighbors, offering to buy out Schultz's lease and help her move. While it's not in Schultz's backyard, per se—it's across the parking lot—it still smells like rank NIMBYism overpowering the dank smell of recreational marijuana. Stay high, Grover Beach!
Hey Paso Robles! What in the actual hell? So I was visiting a friend the other day, playing with her hamster, and I notice at the bottom of the cage a SLO Tribune editorial that claimed Paso hasn't elected a woman to its City Council since 1984—34 years ago! Are you kidding me? The editorial went on to claim (and I assume correctly since the Trib does good local reporting even if their editorials do end up lining Pammy-hamster's see-through prison) that only three women in the history of Paso Robles have served on the City Council!
A candidate named Maria Elena Garcia—a woman and Latina!—is currently running, and the Trib's commentary said it's been 20 years since a Latino has run, even though Latinos comprise 30 percent of the city's residents.
Paso residents, here's your chance to acknowledge that half your residents are female, nearly a third are Hispanic, and both groups deserve representation in city government. Or you could vote for more white men, who sadly are under attack. Kavanope! Ha-ha-ha! Δ
The Shredder will referee. Send ideas and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.