That mischievous ol' Keith "T-bone" Gurnee is up to his shenanigans again, making waves on the blue side of things and leaving a wake so wide CalCoastNews can't help but jump in with both water skis—even if it does look a little awkward and desperate.
Only this time, T-bone's target isn't 3rd District Supervisor Adam Hill, his favorite little minx to poke until he hisses. It's SLO Progressives Club darling and co-founder SLO Mayor Heidi "I just got a lipstick named after me" Harmon. She was as dumbfounded as I was that longtime conservative Gurnee swapped his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat mere days before he announced he was running against Harmon for mayor. And then, Gurnee, being the political deviant he is (wanting to add to the CalCoastNews backing he's sure to get—cue the favorable "articles" and "polls" giving him a leg up over Harmon), asked the Progressives Club for a ringing endorsement!
The circus that you need to prepare yourselves for in the 2018 race for SLO city mayor started on July 26 in the SLO Guild Hall, when ringleader Gurnee and unwilling participant Harmon spoke in front of a very confused crowd of club members who didn't know whether to eat their peanuts or throw them at the stage.
Hill, I believe you were right to call Gurnee a sly little minx! Because after referring to the club as a bunch of "schizophrenic" "political hacks" on a "downward spiral toward irrelevance" in op-eds published by—you guessed it!—his CalCoast buddies, it makes absolute sense to turn around and ask those Bernie Sanders wannabes to endorse your run for mayor.
Harmon, for her part, did spar with him for about half an hour during the weird version of reality, where our two Twilight Zone characters pretended like they didn't know who the progressives were going to endorse. But then, our rose-adorned protagonist had enough.
"I am done pretending this is a real discussion about which progressive is the best or which progressive is the real progressive, because there is only one progressive up here tonight, and I think you all know who that is," she declared through mighty red lips (that's that lipstick color), before doing a sweet mic drop on a table and storming out!
I knew I liked her!
Gurnee muttered something about civility as she swished out the door in her black dress. Meanwhile, one of his supporters screamed, "This is why progressives are going to go down the drain!" after Harmon left. Civility indeed.
And would you believe it? Ten percent of the club's members actually voted to endorse T-bone the antagonist.
Dun-na-na-nuh, dun-na-na-nuh! Maybe he is right about that club.
Their reasoning? Overdevelopment in SLO.
"I am shocked and dismayed by the changes that I'm seeing. Everything I've seen since Heidi [was elected] has been overdevelopment. ... Nothing that speaks to the character of this town," one resident in attendance stated.
Ummm. Let me get this straight. You're fine with giving students a free college education and socialized health care? But if someone wants to actually live between four walls with a roof over their head, they can move somewhere other than your special paradise? Because, you know, they're ruining your viewshed with their residential unit.
Without development in SLO, the only way a new person, a new business, or economic growth could move here is if one of you "progressive" NIMBYs kicks the bucket. What are you going to do? Offer someone a free education at Cal Poly and tell him or her they have to telecommute? Give someone health care and say we don't have room in town for any new doctors and all the existing doctors aren't accepting new patients?
News flash! We're pretty much there—at least, um, without all the free stuff or that pesky health care for all. This city is so desperate for housing that people who work here could actually afford to live in, its officials will pretty much let you do whatever you want if you put "affordable" housing units in your project!
You know a progressive who's pro-affordable housing? Jimmy "I lost the supervisors race so I'm running for City Council" Paulding. If you live in Arroyo Grande, you can vote for this young politician, again. Maybe this time, he'll win by 60 votes! But what if he loses? Well, there's always the Lucia Mar Unified School District's board of trustees.
I'll bet some of the progressives who voted to endorse Gurnee also endorsed fresh-faced Paulding in the supervisors race.
I also bet some of the same pro-Gurnee progressives showed up to the SLO Planning Commission hearing about that four-story building proposed for Foothill Boulevard—right across the street from that other four-story building that was approved last year for the same area. They're pissed! Because you won't be able to see Bishop Peak anymore if you're standing right in front of this future building! I mean, they could walk one block down Foothill to the next block. Poof! There's Bishop!
Hey NIMBYs: That's what happens when you NIMBY a city's development for more than three decades. It becomes stifled and desperate. You get "overbuilt" and "underparked" projects because California is so needy for housing that state laws pulled the rug out from under the discretion NIMBYs have been using to keep their town character the same since they moved here. Δ
The Shredder believes NIMBYs should be voted out of the town. Send comments to.