Bouquets and Brickbats: Two failures emerge in Paso election

We don’t know what’s more disappointing — the fact that the Paso Robles water rate increase failed at the polls, or that more than half the city’s registered voters were no-shows on election day.

The low turnout begs the question: If more people had bothered to vote, would the final result have been the same?

Whatever the answer, city officials are left to pick up the pieces. They’ll try yet again to propose a rate plan that will float with customers —but will still raise enough revenue to cover the city’s share of the Nacimiento Water Project. In the meantime, they may have to dip into reserves to pay the Naci bills.

A shame to think that might not have been necessary had there been a respectable turnout on Tuesday. And for that, we elect to send a ballot box of brickbats to each and every election day stay-away.

Clinics plan bucks an unhealthy trend

We prescribe a healthy bouquet for the Lucia Mar Unified School District and Community Health Centers of the Central Coast for partnering on a plan to open health clinics at each South County high school. If all goes as scheduled, clinics at Nipomo, Arroyo Grande and Lopez highs could be open by January. In addition to primary care medical services — including health exams, immunizations and treatment of minor injuries — the clinics may also provide dental care and counseling services.

This is a great convenience not only for students, but also for busy working parents who are often hard-pressed to get their children to and from medical appointments.

And with medical services being trimmed elsewhere on account of the lousy economy — for example, weekend hours recently had to be eliminated at two CHC clinics — it’s a welcome change when services are added.

Hands-on harmony at the Headlands

We were glad to see that Harmony Headlands State Park is getting some finishing touches — including a 16-space parking lot and an informational kiosk — but we were initially mystified as to how the state could afford it. Isn’t State Parks closing campsites and cutting back on maintenance at its existing facilities? Why reduce services at some parks yet add amenities at another?

Then we had our answer: There will be few out-of-pocket expenses because the actual work will be done by parks staff and by volunteers from the Cayucos Land Conservancy.

That’s a great model for getting things done even in a depressed economy. We offer a harmonious bouquet to the volunteers and State Parks workers for pitching in on this worthy — and economical — project.