Bouquets and Brickbats: Paso council’s about-face on car lot too late

Like picky suitors who recognize too late that they let the Right One slip away, the Paso Robles City Council acknowledged this week that a used-car lot at 201 Spring St. may have been a good match for the city after all.

But guess what? Six months have elapsed since the council turned down the application, and Smith Volvo has since withdrawn its request. Too bad. The city would have gotten a lot of mileage out of that sales tax revenue. Also, a car lot wouldn’t necessarily have detracted from the ambiance of downtown; the applicant had offered to work with the city to make the business “look less like the typical car sales lot, and more like an upscale professional store.”

We give the council credit for revisiting the issue. While it appears to be too late for this particular business, at least the city has signaled other car dealers that it would be willing to consider such applications in the future. Still, we’re delivering rusted-out, banged-up, fender-bent brickbats to the council members who slammed the door on opportunity — with the notable exception of Mayor Duane Picanco, who voted in favor of the application last summer.

SLO mayoral race may be a long haul

We don’t know whether to toss Andrew Carter and Jan Marx early-bird bouquets for announcing that they’ll run for San Luis Obispo mayor this November — or jump-the-gun brickbats for reminding us that it’s going to be a long, long election season. Sure, the office of mayor is important, but do we really need nine full months of campaigning? The answer is no. So while we’re glad there will be at least two strong candidates in the San Luis Obispo mayor’s race, in the future could we agree to delay such announcements, at least until after the Super Bowl?

We’re waiting for PG&E to delight us

To say that Anthony Earley, new chairman and CEO of PG&E, has his work cut out for him is an understatement. Last week, he told The Tribune Editorial Board that the company’s reputation is in such tatters over the San Bruno pipeline explosion that it can’t settle for simply satisfying its customers. “We have to delight our customers,” he said.

For that, Earley earns an on-the-right-track bouquet, with a couple of caveats: We were disappointed that he didn’t commit to goals that are of particular interest here on the Central Coast. One is reducing the density of fuel assemblies stored in spent fuel pools at Diablo Canyon.

The other is signing the deed to Wild Cherry Canyon to state parks, for expansion of Montaña de Oro. While he liked the concept, Earley said he wasn’t up to speed on the Wild Cherry project. We recognize that he has a whole lot on his plate right now, but time is of the essence for this project. If Earley truly wants to “delight” Central Coast residents, he’ll find a way to make it happen.