Did you hear that, Sacramento? That was the loud sound of a ginormous brickbat landing with a thud this week, as local school districts began an initial round of cuts for the coming fiscal year.
Cuesta, for example, cut $2.9 million from the budget by laying off six employees, reducing the hours of 43 others and reducing or eliminating the teaching load of 70 part-time faculty.
But wait, it could get worse.
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If Sacramento can’t come up with a compromise to an “all cuts” budget, schools, SLO County and other local agencies will lose millions more in revenue — and we can expect even deeper cuts to follow.
A group of business leaders from the state’s metro areas unveiled a compromise plan this week that includes tax extensions, pension reform and spending controls. That’s a good start, and we hope it spurs some action.
Otherwise, the politicians in Sac had better stock up on earplugs. The anger — and the brickbats — will be deafening.
A remarkable ball game
We’re lobbing grand slam bouquets to the Coast Union Broncos and Cuyama Valley Bears softball teams for setting a national high school scoring record with 95 combined runs. The game lasted four hours — we’re tired just thinking about it — and earned a mention on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” Tuesday night.
In the end, the Bears just edged out the Broncos, 48-47. Our congratulations to both teams on their staying power. Now, go ice those arms, pitchers.
A welcome return for internal affairs
We offer a big welcome-back bouquet to the sheriff’s internal affairs unit, which was noticeably absent during Sheriff Pat Hedge’s reign.
Sheriff Ian Parkinson has made good on a campaign promise by reinstating internal affairs, which will investigate citizen complaints against the department.
A retired Los Angeles Police Department commander, Jim Voge, has been tapped to lead the unit. Voge — who will work part time — has a hugely impressive résumé. He has a master’s degree in criminal justice and his assignments during a 33-year career with the LAPD included training officer, vice investigator, watch commander, squad leader of a surveillance unit, commander of narcotics and special operations divisions, etc., etc.
As commander of the LAPD’s internal affairs group, Voge was in charge of 278 employees who handled more than 6,000 complaints per year.
He won’t be nearly so busy here. The SLO Sheriff’s Department receives about 25 complaints annually, and most allege employee rudeness.
Bad marks for SLOPOA, Blackstone
Matt Blackstone, president of the SLO Police Officers Association, says his group isn’t trying to stop an election on binding arbitration and employee pensions. Why, then, did the union file for an injunction to prevent the City Council from calling a special election?
Oh, right, because it wants to teach the City Council that it doesn’t have “absolute authority” to do what it wants. Guess union leaders have never heard that old saying, “Actions speak louder than words.”
If SLOPOA didn’t oppose an election, the union wouldn’t be trying to block the City Council from calling one — it’s that simple. For conduct both duplicitous and undemocratic, we’re writing up Blackstone and Co.; the brickbats will follow in the mail.