CITY COUNCIL NOTES
CITY COUNCIL NOTES
City Manager Carlos Palacios Makes Bold Statement
At last night’s city council meeting, City Manager Carlos Palacios seemed to get somewhat feisty, especially after I said that the Manabe-Ow project lacked transparency. In response, Palacios said that it was always known that Redevelopment Agency (RDA) money was going to be needed to complete the project and that this was also explained to the Grand Jury. Some members of the G.J. were also present at the city council meeting so I think Palacios was directing his comments at them. Sure, that’s a fact. But, as I responded to Palacios and who didn’t disagree, the public and the city council were never advised that the George-Ow property, prime farm land, had to be first designated as “blight” before the city could use RDA monies to help build the Business Park. And, regardless of what was said or not disclosed, Gov. Brown put a monkey wrench in the project when he abolished RDAs.
I thought Palacios was going to blow a fuse when I brought up the “blight” issue, and I thought I saw spittle. He came out swinging and said that construction of the project could start as early as next year. What? Yet another surprise! Although, George Ow was probably more surprised than anybody because who is going to pony up the needed $33 million to build the Business Park? We know the city doesn’t have that kind of money.
I couldn’t see George Ow’s reaction but I thought to myself, I know that if I was a developer and my project was going to cost 33 million greenbacks and a city manager committed my money and a time line for completion of my project, I would wish for a set of Depends.
On a similar subject, have you ever heard of the Kickapoo Indians? This Indian tribe owns a casino in Eagle Pass Texas. I know that it may sound crazy but I think a casino in Watsonville would create jobs and be a great boom to our economy, but then what do I know?
But, City Manager Palacios didn’t stop with his promises. He also said that our Police Force and our Fire Department would not be facing cuts or layoffs because our budget has not been better since the past three years. I wondered if he had just heard soon- to- be- departed Finance Director Mr. Marc Pimentel explain that our budget should be faced with caution because of the uncertainty of how the state is going to balance its budget. The state could go after more of our city’s money. Tell you what, when the city council is presented with the end of the year budget, yours truly will be wearing Depends because I think we are going to be faced with another surprise.
Ms. Rhea DeHart Blasts Register-Pajaronian?
When Ms. Rhea DeHart, our city’s treasure and icon of our community, speaks, everybody listens as we all should. I have to admit my bias for this wonderful lady that we are so lucky to have.
Well, at last night’s city council meeting she explained she reads 3 newspapers, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Santa Cruz Sentinel, and the Register-Pajaronian. She made it clear that she is dependent on the Chronicle to read about national issues from syndicated columnists. And, she also made it clear that she would rather like to read about local issues by local columnists/writers in local newspapers.
I recommend that the Register-Pajaronian take heed from a very wise and intelligent woman because the rumblings on the street are that the Register-Parjaronian is getting worse instead of better.
There is a new newspaper being published by ex-Register Pajaronian Editor Jon Chown. It’s called the Monterey Bay News and Views. I hear that he will print your views as well as the Watsonville Patch which seems to be gaining readers by the minute.