For the good of the public, policy plans should stay on track
Whether they aspire to climb Mount Everest or give up gluten, we’re fine with whatever New Year’s resolutions our public officials, corporate honchos and miscellaneous VIPs set for their private lives. But where public policy is concerned, we believe we all have a stake in setting goals for 2012.
Here, then, in no particular order are some New Year’s resolutions we urge state and local movers and shakers to make and — more importantly — to keep:
1. Democrats and Republicans in Sacramento resolve to do right by all of their constituents — even those who can’t vote. For starters, they stop balancing the budget at the expense of schoolchildren, even if that means supporting a tax increase. (See resolution No. 2.)
2. Republican lawmakers, starting with our own Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, promise to undertake a daily regimen of backbone strengthening exercises so they can stop caving in to Grover Norquist.
3. Elected leaders at every level of government resolve to roll back public pensions to affordable levels, even if it means angering labor unions.
4. PG&E and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission vow to take the lessons of Fukushima to heart and never again downplay the possibility of simultaneous disasters at Diablo Canyon.
5. PG&E resolves to follow through on its commitment to deed Wild Cherry Canyon to State Parks, so the long-awaited expansion of Montaña de Oro State Park can move forward.
6. Opponents of state and county redistricting efforts resolve to get on with their lives and drop their lawsuits.
7. Advocates for the homeless — be they elected officials, churches, nonprofits or volunteers — resolve to work together to create a countywide safety net. For starters, no one should have to spend a frigid night out-of-doors, whether that person happens to be in Grover Beach, SLO or Shandon.
8. The board of directors of the Integrated Waste Management Authority resolves to stick with its decision to ban single-use plastic bags, despite intensive lobbying by plastic bag manufacturers.
9. The county Air Pollution Control District board vows to stay the course in requiring State Parks to limit the amount of dust blowing off the Oceano Dunes OHV area, despite intensive lobbying by off-roaders who see this as an assault on their “right” to tear up the dunes.
10. Candidates for local office promise to address all the issues — and not fixate on the plastic bag ban and/or the new dust rules for the Dunes. (Are you listening, Ed Waage?)
11. Senior Cal Poly administrators resolve to follow the lead of senior administrators in the city of San Luis Obispo and take a voluntary cut in pay, especially if the university plans to ask Poly students to vote on a fee increase. 12. Wal-Mart resolves to look at the bigger picture in Atascadero, and stops sniveling about paying for traffic improvements
13. South County Supervisor Paul Teixeira agrees to stop feuding with the South County Advisory Council and reinstate its budget for office expenses.
14. Golden State Water resolves to be abetter corporate citizen in 2012 and withdraws its exorbitant rate increase requests.
15. The SLO City Council vows to lighten up — starting with a repeal of the ban on visible garbage cans.