Following the acrimonious battle between John Laird and Sam Blakeslee, it’s a relief to the see the campaigns of Assembly candidates Hilda Zacarias and Katcho Achadjian off to such a positive, upbeat start, as evidenced by their congeniality at a Wednesday forum in Pismo Beach.
The two candidates have even signed an ethics code in which, among other things, they pledge “not to use or permit the use of character defamation, whispering campaigns, libel, slander or scurrilous attacks on any candidate”
Wishful thinking, we know, but if only all of our political candidates would do the same.
Zacarias and Achadjian prove that it is indeed possible to disagree without being disagreeable. For that, we’re delivering big bouquets of peace lilies to both campaign offices.
Hoops for meeting minutes stink
The South County Sanitation District may have nothing to hide, but it sure isn’t acting that way. As reported in Thursday’s Tribune, a member of the public who recently asked to see some minutes of a meeting was told to file a written request. That’s beyond ridiculous. Minutes of a public meeting are just as public as the meeting itself, and they should be readily and easily accessible. Forcing the public to jump through hoops to view some minutes of a meeting is inexcusable. We’re filing a formal, written request for a brickbat and when it arrives, the South County Sanitation District can stick that in its minutes.
Giving redevelopment a chance
In the past, redevelopment has been a dirty word in some of the county’s unincorporated communities. We were a little surprised, then, to learn that the Board of Supervisors is once again considering forming a redevelopment agency.
No, the board isn’t looking to build any fancy shopping centers or grandiose swimming pools. Rather, officials say redevelopment could be a mechanism to fund some much-needed public improvements, such as replacing aging drainage pipes and repairing crumbling roads.
We can understand why redevelopment has a bad rap. It raises the specter of homeowners and mom-and-pop businesses being forced out through eminent domain. Also, no community likes to think of itself as a blighted area. However, redevelopment has allowed several communities to make significant improvements they never could have afforded otherwise.
The board showed courage in agreeing to take another look at the process — bouquets of fortitude for that. And bouquets to the residents of unincorporated communities if they keep an open mind in weighing the pros and cons.
Community lends its aid to family
Good Sam bouquets to all who pitched in to help the Reinbold family of Paso Robles, who lost their rental home and all of their possessions in an Aug. 8 fire. The community donated food, clothes, diapers and other necessities to help the family of five back on their feet. The Reinbolds were able to move into a condo within days, which the landlord generously offered to furnish for them.
We aren’t surprised by such generosity — we’ve seen it time and again — and yet it never ceases to amaze us. Good work.