Opinion » Shredder

This may not be true

'Old people. Big cars. Inflexible necks. And, now, three-point turns! Brilliant.'


Well, Merry Christmas, Shredder! It turns out San Luis Obispo has a Shredderific new City Council. John Ashbaugh, the brand new member, went raving mad with power at the new board’s very first meeting. I think it’s going to be a very happy new year indeed.

First, Ashbaugh shocked fellow new council member Jan Marx, as well as Allen Settle and Andrew Carter, by secretly conspiring with Mayor Dave Romero on a brand new version of the Mitchell Park parking lot for the senior center. 

He sprung it on the other members, who were not pleased. 

Here’s the upshot of that plan, which passed 3-2: There will still be a parking lot for the seniors dug into the park, but it will be harder to park in!

Old people. Big cars. Inflexible necks. And, now, three point turns! Brilliant. 

Nobody else was very pleased with the surprise change. For one thing, the project had already been put out to bid in a different version, so anybody who didn’t get that bid lost out on the chance to bid on the new version. Doesn’t seem too fair.

For another thing, when talk turned to shout, Ashbaugh started shouting at everybody, interrupting his fellow members and generally seeming like he didn’t quite get how these meetings work. It was nearly as much fun as watching an Atascadero council meeting.

Um (Shredder asked sheepishly) … is Paul Brown still available?



Ever since I made that giant fart mistake two issues ago, the editors have required that I put this disclaimer on all suspect information.

Here goes: Warning. This may not be true. I’ve been told that friends of Supervisor Harry Ovitt threw him a big going-away bash the other week at the fair grounds and donated money on his behalf to the Boys and Girls Club in Paso Robles. 

I’ve also been told that the Santa Margarita Ranch developers were big time supporters of that event, and that the ranch’s wines were generously poured. 

Not too long after, Ovitt, with a history of health problems, went to the hospital; he stayed there long enough that he missed part of the Board of Supervisors meeting where the Santa Margarita Ranch issue was up for a vote.

Now we enter into the realm of conjecture. Can’t you just see the developers wondering what they’d done? 

What, they may have wondered, if they’d somehow both hurt Harry and their chances for a victory. Still wearing a hospital wristband, Harry made it back in time to vote. For another developer-friendly project. Barring another going away party, he should still be around to rubber stamp the ranch on Dec. 16.


Something else

Did any of you hear that Hanna Beth Jackson finally conceded her race for State Senate?

The district isn’t near SLO County, so I wouldn’t care except that she and victor Tony Strickland made my television unwatchable for a full month before Election Day. 

I learned a lot about both candidates.

I learned that he’s a right wing Republican who promised “independent leadership.”

I know that her name sort of rhymes with “taxin’.”

And that, experts probably say, is why she lost. Lesson: never have your name rhyme with anything. Need proof? Three words: President Barack Obama.

Jackson may still have ambitions but she’s going to need to do some work to make that nickname disappear. Here are my suggestions. She could become really good at operating facsimile machines and become known as “Faxin’ Jackson.”

Or she could become a lumberjack and become known as “Axin’ Jackson.” If she’s out of work for a while, maybe she’ll be known as “relaxin’ Jackson.” Or maybe she’ll wash the car and go for “waxin’ Jackson.” I don’t know her genealogy. Maybe she could go for “Saxon” Jackson. It could come in real handy if her next challenger is an Arthurian. 

Anyway, she’s free to use any of these in future campaigns. 



And finally 

No matter how many times they go over how and why Atascadero City Manger Wade McKinney fired Redevelopment Agency Deputy Executive Director Marty Tracey, he never seems to come out looking good.

Quick background: In 2005, the city officials got all weirded out after New Times reported that Tracey had left a message with Pat and Sue Gaughan telling them the city had started an eminent domain process to potentially purchase their property. 

City leaders tried to distance themselves and McKinney fired Tracey, shirking any responsibility himself. A new report, by white-hat-wearing outgoing Mayor Mike Brennler, clears Tracey of any wrongdoing, and makes a special point of quoting things that make McKinney look mean. 

Here’s one example:

“The good news is that the council is not firing me,” McKinney told Tracey. “I have been exonerated of everything and they gave me a 5-0 vote of confidence. However, the council wants you to resign.”

I like how McKinney thinks. Here’s more good news, Wade: The good news is I am not shredding other people. I’m only shredding you.

Shredder can be reached at shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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