$11,000 goose egg for City Hall

The following organizations and individuals deserve either
CHEERS or JEERS this week:
JEERS: For the purchase of an $11,000 pontoon boat that the
Gilroy Fire Department cannot use because no one in the department
is trained for water rescue (not that we have great need for water
rescues anyway).
The following organizations and individuals deserve either CHEERS or JEERS this week:

JEERS: For the purchase of an $11,000 pontoon boat that the Gilroy Fire Department cannot use because no one in the department is trained for water rescue (not that we have great need for water rescues anyway). Hopefully, former interim Gilroy Fire Chief Hugh Holden, who apparently is responsible for the ill-advised purchase, simply made a silly mistake. Unfortunately, circumstances surrounding the $11,000 purchase have not been adequately explained. Because of that, we can only assume frivolity and a lack of accountability at City Hall. What exactly is the review procedure for capital purchases? The Council should perhaps consider new rules for anything over $4,000. Slapping taxpayers with an $11,000 bill should not be taken lightly.

CHEERS: For chefs Rick Santos and his nephew Ralph who took top honors for clam chowder at the annual Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Clam Chowder Cookoff. The whole Santos clan chipped in to help and the “Stinkin’ Clams of Gilroy” concoction, which took four years to perfect, took first prize. Someone from the Garlic Festival committee should make that call – we’ve got a famous award-winning, garlic-laden chowder from a local chef. Don’t we have a booth for that?

JEERS: For Chris Coté’s political guerrilla warfare tactics against the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce. There’s a line between working for change and “end-justifies-the-means” disruption. Coté crossed that line with his latest “hit” motion to include a Hispanic Chamber member on the Gilroy Chamber political endorsement committee. How political was this? Well, the Hispanic Chamber didn’t even endorse the idea. There is no room to

sugar-coat the latest motion: It’s dirty pool. Whatever merit his ideas have is being negated by the tactics. Coté should back off and work for change in more productive ways.

CHEERS: For veteran Gilroy Unified School District math teacher Tobi Brown whose outstanding classroom strategies brought out the video cameras Thursday. Documentary film makers from the New Teacher Center at the University of California, Santa Cruz filmed four of her classes at Solorsano Middle School for a video that will be used to help guide new teachers. Brown’s skill is legendary inside GUSD. Her 21 years of experience, and her drive to influence the lives of children positively through her work, has clearly made an impact. Now, those strategies will influence fellow teachers including, we’re sure, those within GUSD when the finished product is proudly shared.

CHEERS: For the five, count ’em, Gilroy High wrestlers who are in Bakersfield for the state wrestling championships this weekend. Nico Narnjo, Armando Gonzalez, Adin Dueñas, Austin Gubrud and Hunter Collins will represent the Mustangs at the state finals. The GHS wrestling program, fed by the strength of the South Valley Hawks youth squad, just keeps getting better. Outstanding, dedicated coaches, Armando Gonzalez and Mike Koester, have guided Gilroy to three straight CCS championships. This weekend may mark Gilroy’s finest wrestling hour ever. Good luck!

CHEERS: For Mitch Madruga, who investigates sex crimes, and Gilroy Police Department detectives who set an Internet communication stage by posing as a 13-year-old girl. Sure enough, Jason Robert Bell, a 34-year-old Gilroy man, allegedly answered the call. Police arrested him at Del Rey Park with rum and coke requested by the “girl” along with rope, tape and a knife. That’s outstanding work on the set up and the sting.

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