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So dramatic!


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Thank goodness the SLO Repertory Theatre is here to save us from the local hardworking and creative artistic nonprofits that just aren't as great as it is! If you listen to Managing Artistic Director Kevin Harris tell it, SLO Rep is better than Festival Mozaic, Opera SLO, and SLO Symphony combined!


Combined, people! And it's only got 97 seats. Just you wait until it fills those $9.5 million britches Harris is raising money to build. It's going to be amazing. Just phenomenal, people!

And that's exactly what he told the San Luis Obispo City Council before they voted to allow SLO Rep to build its much-needed new theater downtown—and accompanying parking garage! Now all of you "there's no parking downtown" complainers can focus on the fact that 404 parking spaces are coming to a soon-to-be constructed, five-story parking garage near you!

"We are ready to become the only destination regional theater in the county," he said.

Wow, Kevin! You sound too big for your pantaloons! SLO Rep is great, really it is. And it has definitely outgrown its SLO Little Theatre origins, but in the great words of the nicest rapper on earth, Kendrick Lamar, "Sit down. Be humble."

Have you ever heard of the Melodrama in Oceano? I'm pretty sure that it's a destination theater with professional actors—plus the shows are so funny and always packed—and yes, Oceano is in San Luis Obispo County, people!

Speaking of melodramatic behavior, the Arroyo Grande City Council is finally delivering the kinds of shows that I got used to with former Mayor Jim Hill and his trusty sidekick, former Councilmember Tim Brown!

Arroyo Grande Mayor Caren Ray Russom threw a temper-tantrum over a pay raise she obviously wanted on Nov. 12 as I mischievously laughed at my good fortune. It's been so long! Too long, you guys.

On deck? A 60 percent raise. Yes, you read that right. Honestly, Arroyo Grande's elected officials make a pittance compared to SLO's City Council members. Remember when SLO Mayor Heidi Harmon was complaining about how little they made? Well, turns out she makes a bajillion times more money than Russom does. Well, Harmon's collecting a cool $1,750 a month while Russom is bringing in a whopping $405! I would say Harmon doesn't have much to complain about.

Just as every elected body does when its members give themselves a raise on the taxpayer's dime, the Arroyo Grande City Council got railed by community members! No surprises there.

"Have you no shame?" resident Sandra Bocchicchio pointedly asked the council.

Well, other council members did, but I don't think that Russom did that night.

Councilmember Lan George said she'd feel better about this whole 60 percent raise thing (which would bring them to a whopping $648 per month) if they gave it to the 2022 iteration of the council—which would also look unbiased and better to constituents, don't you think Russom?

Constituents be damned! Russom was adamant. Every person sitting on the dais is undervalued by their constituents! Undervalued I say! Except for maybe Jimmy Paulding, who Russom was pissed at. Paulding said he puts in about 20 hours a week as a council member and added that nobody serving on the dais was in it for the money, which she scoffed at.

"Given the amount of time that we all put in, where I'm really glad Councilmember Paulding can get this done in 20 hours a week. That is a nice average for him. And that's not always the case. And maybe that's why the mayor's salary is different," she fired back.

Damn, Gina! Them's fighting words. Fight! Fight! Fight! Sounds like somebody wants a raise.

Geez Russom, they don't call it being a "public servant" for nothing.

And then, after all of the back and forth, railing about how they needed to put it into play for themselves, she refused to make the motion to do exactly that! What?! Is wrong with you??

"I think my disappointment is clear," she stated as she may as well have stomped her feet, crossed her arms, and turned her head away from everyone.

Wow! Russom. You sound positively self-righteous!

Almost like 3rd District SLO County Supervisor Adam Hill did when he called out a SLO Tribune editorial saying that Donald Trump shouldn't be dragged into SLO County politics.

"Don't go there Democrats," the Nov. 7 piece warned. "Don't point the finger at local candidates ... and demonize them as evil 'Trumpers' because they belong to the Republican Party."

Hill responded at the SLO Progressives annual Friendsgiving dinner.

"Bullshit!" he proclaimed.

Well, at least he's succinct. Oh wait, no he's not.

That exclamation came at the end of a long-winded rant that I stopped paying attention to. But I think Hill took the editorial personally—I would almost bet money on it if I could only get a 60 percent raise—because he's already done it to his Republican challenger Stacy Korsgaden.

Who needs local issues when you've got Trump!

And Hill will be damned before he lets some hokey local newspaper tell him what to do!

I agree. You do you, boo-boo. And, you know what? The Trib can too.

I'll sit in the back laughing to myself as I take it all in. Δ

The Shredder thrives on drama. Send comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.



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