From: Katie Finley
Yesterday my three girls and I were at Albertsons and my 5 and 1/2 year old kept loving on this REALLY big stuffed bear. After I checked out, an older gentlemen, Phil, came up to us and said he wanted to pay for her to get that big bear! At first I said no way (it was $40!), but I could just tell in his voice and eyes that he really wanted to bless our family with this.
So we went to buy it and walked around the store to look for him with my daughter lugging around this BIG bear. When we found him, his face just lit up! I could tell he was so excited. I gave him one of our Christmas pictures that I had in my purse. Then, around 3:00pm the same day, there was a knock on my door. Who is it? Its Phil. He saw our last name on our Christmas card, and looked up our address. In a small town like Morro Bay, I really don't feel creeped out by that. He felt bad that he didnt get something for my 4 year old and then tried to give me $40 for her! I said that he doesnt have to, but he then went on to tell me that he is 94 years old and just wanted to give this to us! Wow, what a nice man!
My daughter has not stoped playing with her HUGH big bear, and my other daughter is dreaming about what she wants to buy today at the store.
So thanks Phil, if you are out there reading this. I have told a lot of people this story, and it has blessed their day. Plus, My daughter walked home with her BIG bear, and I think we made every single person who saw us smile!
Anyone who knows me is aware that my own personal standard of ethics exceeds most legal definitions, and that this standard is what I practice both as mayor and in private. On the one occasion where my brother's company was involved in a project before the council, I stepped down to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest, although there was no financial conflict at all.
Therefore, I find Ms. Stedjee's accusations regarding my vote on the JPA board to be offensive and bordering on libelous. I was one of 10 people voting on a contract with MWH. None of us has any influence or control over the subcontractors MWH may or may not hire. To suggest a conflict of interest because my brother is employed at a company subcontracted by MWH is absurd and, I repeat, offensive.
I have to wonder at the ethical standards of those who are so eager to make accusations without basis or proof, and whether they are simply projecting their own slippery standards on others.
Response from Linda Stedjee
First, please note that the article is about the APPEARANCE of conflict of interest, the concerns it has raised in the community, and the potential for negative consequences to those whose actions have caused those concerns. The article clearly states that "Morro Bay City officials have stated that Wade and Peters have no financial interest in MWH or RRM Designs and that there is, therefore, no legal conflict of interest. "
However, I believe it is clear that public officials need to heed the warnings from the Attorney General's pamphlet. People have gotten in trouble for doing things that just looked like conflicts of interest, even though no laws were actually broken and even when they did not necessarily have bad intentions. The article explains why this occurs. I believe it would be prudent for all of our City officials and staff to read the Attorney General's pamphlet and keep its warnings in mind.
I understand and fully anticipated Ms. Peters' reaction to the article. However, statements made reflect the very real concerns that have been expressed to me and to others by a number of Morro Bay residents, not my personal views about Ms. Peters' character. When people don't like what they see they are going to talk about it, and bringing this kind of concern out into the open (rather than having rumors circulating in private) is, I believe, a positive thing.
Photo by Linda Tanner: Morro Bay Stacks
From: Sandra Beebe
Residence – Santa Monica
Heart & Soul - Morro Bay
Re: As Seen From My Couch
I am deeply moved by the emails that have been sent to me personally and to the SLO Coast Journal asking that I continue my column from afar. Since the City Council meetings are available on streaming video I could "attend" them on my computer.
After much pondering the pros and cons of this issue (no small feat for my worn out brain) I have decided, at least for now, not to write it. I simply am too disappointed in both the voters of the country at large and those in Morro Bay. If I live to be 100 I will never comprehend the logic in voting against what is best for your country, town, or self.
Normally when I write the column I watch each meeting a minimum of two times to make certain I really heard what I thought I heard. There have been many meetings where I’ve watched parts an extra viewing for some happening seemed too incredulous to be true. Can you imagine sitting through four hours of Yates & Company 2-3 times? No one should be that masochistic.
There are so many talented people in Morro Bay. How did we end up with such a City Council? My empathy goes out to Councilman Smukler for his role on the City Council will be hellish. If one is to believe the rumors, and if you read my column you know I always do, one of these new characters (councilpersons) is The Barta’s puppet.
My fantasy is that I will one day move back to Morro Bay for it fed my soul. With election results like these I’m not certain I will have the heart to do so.
As a supporter of rooftop solar and appellant of four carport solar projects San Luis Coastal Unified School District (SLCUSD) intends to build at area school sites, I read with great interest "Rooftop solar panels a renewable investment for businesses." Tribune December 13, 2010.
The article states "San Luis Coastal Unified School District has announced plans to install carport-like structures with solar panels on top of them at campuses. The district estimates it could save from $6 million to $8 million in energy costs over the next 20 years." Those cost saving estimates are long gone; through reductions in size and scope the projected savings has been reduced to just $3 million over 20 years. For myriad reasons numerous SLCUSD schools have been removed from project contention—ironically none of the four that have been appealed.
The article seriously understates the loss of as many as 130 trees project-wide by saying "Some trees in parking lots would have to be removed."
If SLCUSD was using rooftop technology similar to that J&J Cellars is; more schools could be included in the project, cost savings would be increased and environmental impacts (including tree removal) would be reduced.
From: Melanie Warren
Trailer Park Hell, Space
Thanks for the Journal! You guys kick butt!!
From: Steve Ayraud
As a long time critical reader I've become increasingly dismayed by the articles written by Jack McCurdy. The language he uses is needlessly inflammatory to the point of indicating bias in his reporting. In these days of sensationalistic reporting we need some professional journalism. Quotes from today: "...apparently futile planning" "produce huge amounts of purified seawater" "$300,000 in possibly wasted money"
In addition, the author fails to report comments from the Morro Bay Public Works director (quoted in other news sources) to the Commission Staff report, but quotes excessively from the CC Staff Report.
Photo by Howard Ignatius:
Dredging Operations by Moonlight #2