Bouquets and Brickbats: High drama in county government

Who needs “The Hills”? We already have our own grown-up version of the teen reality show right here in the halls of county government — at least we did when the former regime of David Edge and Gail Wilcox was in charge.

As revealed in e-mails printed in Sunday’s Tribune, all the elements of high drama were present when Edge and Wilcox were at the helm: backbiting, betrayals, failed friendships, sexual attractions — much of it blown gloriously out of proportion.

Our favorite episode: Edge’s critique of Wilcox’s fashion sense — he told her that her boots didn’t “work” with her dress — and the string of e-mails that followed.

First, a disgruntled Wilcox fired off an e-mail to her then-buddy and human resources director, Deb Hossli, in which she groused that Edge had taken time out of his day to comment on her outfit.

Whereupon Hossli e-mailed Edge to tell him that his comment was inappropriate because “Gail always dresses very professionally.”

Whereupon Edge fired back to Hossli, informing her to mind her own business.

Good advice; in fact, they all should have been minding their own — i.e., the taxpayers’ — business.

We recognize that in the workplace a certain amount of banter goes with the territory, but it’s up to the highest-ranking executives to set the tone for the entire office. In this case, the tone set was more junior high than professional. For that, we’re ordering a pair of his-and-her, low-heeled, boot-cut brickbats for Edge and Wilcox — let’s just hope they “work” with their current wardrobes.

Keep eyes open for wild animals

Between the wild piglets and the mountain lion spotted in SLO, we’re wondering whether this is a downtown or the set of “Wild Kingdom.” No bouquets or brickbats — just a reminder that we all need to be careful out there, and be especially watchful of small children and pets. And if you do spot a mountain lion in downtown neighborhoods, SLO police would appreciate a call.

Eleven years of ‘SLO Democracy’

The local chapter of the League of Women Voters earns a huge bouquet of admiration for hosting “SLO Democracy” for a remarkable 11 years. Over that span, the organization taped 215 shows for public access TV, and interviewed 200 people, including candidates, elected officials and government staffers. The League has been so thorough, in fact, that it’s run out of material and is taking a break. The show will return next year, just in time for election season. We look forward to it.

SLO city attorney will be missed

We’re tempted to file a formal objection to SLO City Attorney Jonathan Lowell’s upcoming departure, but instead we’ll offer him our congratulations and a well-briefed bouquet. Lowell, who has been with the city of SLO for six years, is leaving at the end of the year to take a job in the Bay Area community of Pleasanton. We wish him all the best as he starts another chapter in his successful career.