Opinion » Shredder

Sweet memories

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While it seemed like everyone in Santa Barbara County was fawning over their outgoing 1st District Supervisor Salud Carbajal—your newest representative in Congress—at the Board of Supervisors Dec. 13 meeting, I was wondering how he would manage to beat Lois Capps’ title as nicest member of Congress when he takes her seat in the House of Representatives.

But then I heard words that I never thought I would hear from Santa Barbara County’s most mustachioed supervisor—the libertarian-leaning leave-people-be advocating Peter Adam, who almost always disagreed with liberal-Kool-Aid-drinking environmental advocate Carbajal.

“I love you like a brother,” Adam said—to which every jaw in the place dropped to the floor, except for Carbajal’s. 

“Brothers like Cain and Abel?” was Carbajal’s quick-witted response. Sarcastic, not nice. But hilarious, so jaws pulled themselves off the floor and erupted in awkward laughter. Maybe he’ll get the title of funniest freshmen member of Congress (who can’t get anything done because he’s up against a tidal wave of Repulicans, drunk with power from slurping up all the resources in the United States alongside Overlord Trump). Good luck, greeny!

Well, Santa Barbara County: Things were just as jovial and tear-jerky at the SLO County Board of Supervisors meeting, where retiring 1st District Supervisor Frank R. Mecham was honored for eight years of service. He even got gifted a gigantic magnum of wine with his face plastered on it—and, according to fellow supervisor and self-proclaimed “friend” Lynn Compton, Mecham’s getting a bridge named after him! Take that, neighbor to the south. 

When Compton asked him what the “R” stood for, he said, “Ready.” Get it! Hah! Yup, Mecham’s been ready for the last few months, and he’s brought it up at almost every meeting since he announced he wouldn’t be seeking re-election.

Well—we’re ready, too! Just kidding. We’re going to miss you. But you probably won’t miss us, me especially. I’m going to miss your fence-sitting ways, though. I’m not so sure we’ll get that lucky with your successor, John Peschong. But I’ll try not to be pre-judgy or anything. 

People just can’t help but stick to their side—even if making a decision based on your values (and no one else’s, dammit!) gets you sued. The SLO County Board of Supervisors knows a thing or two about that one! 

Hey Mecham, remember Pasolivo? That snarky little fight between Adelaida neighbors over the olive oil maker’s plans to develop its land into more than just olive oil making. They wanted events; to build two new facilities for processing, a commercial kitchen, and a tasting room; and to tear down a historic barn. For neighbors, it was the last straw in a bottle of wine that was almost empty. Save Adelaida (a group of neighbors who wants to … yup, save … Adelaida) tried to bar it from happening but supervisors granted Pasolivo its wish in the form of a conditional use permit. 

How sweet. Long live private property rights! Olive oil is so sweet! 

Actually, good oil leaves a really bitter taste in your mouth. Kind of like the one 5th District Supervisor Debbie Arnold can’t seem to scrape off her tongue after the Dec. 13 meeting. 

As if a sour lemon made her pucker up and cry, she was very upset that the county dared to comply with a court order to rescind the permit and mandate an environmental impact report for Pasolivo’s new tasting room and event center (we’ll call it what it is, shall we) in the Adelaida area. 

Save Adelaida had sued the county over the decision and court ruled in its favor, but that decision was appealed, of course. 

“It seems premature,” Arnold said, when fellow supervisors opted to rescind the already issued permit. To which Assistant County Counsel Tim McNulty replied, “We’re under jurisdiction of the court.” 

As if! The county can do whatever it wants, right? Such as not ever allow a brick-and-mortar dispensary to open in SLO County, even if legally it’s allowed. Like, even if there’s a county ordinance that allows for it to happen. 

Totally. At least that’s what the Board of Supes (aren’t they the greatest?) decided when it came to Ethnobotanica’s application to open a medical marijuana dispensary. All those gangs (from Santa Maria) would have caused more trouble stealing cash and pot from the place than the SLO County Sheriff’s Office could handle! “We’re understaffed”—whined Sheriff Ian Parkinson. Parkinson would rather keep things the way they are. You know, medical cannabis deliveries, some of which are clandestine meetings in parking lots where pot is exchanged for cash. That’s much safer than transactions happening in a building with a security system and a guard that law enforcement knows the location of. 

Remember that, Mecham? Good times. Isn’t it just the worst that 3rd District Supe Adam “three stars” Hill was right in saying the county would get sued over this particular decision? 

Yes. Ethnobotanica did sue. And it seems like the court will rule in its favor. Money well spent, SLO County. 

Hey man, safety concerns trump legal concerns, amirite? It seems like political concerns trump money-well-spent concerns with the SLO County Board of Supervisors. And Phillips 66 is starting to spend some of that county defense money. They sued the county, too. I wonder who’s next in line? 

The Shredder can’t wait to traverse Mecham Bridge. Send comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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