Madness of the March, Merlot and just plain City Hall variety

Pardon my absence last week, emergency appendectomy for a
daughter away at college threw a monkey wrench into the middle of
the week. She’s fine now, and due to the wonderful progress in
medical care, her scar is thumb size compared to my considerable
slash.
Aha, I get it … closing City Hall every other Friday when the
workers are in the building, but not on furlough, is the
continuation of Gilroy’s

best of the best

policy.
Pardon my absence last week, emergency appendectomy for a daughter away at college threw a monkey wrench into the middle of the week. She’s fine now, and due to the wonderful progress in medical care, her scar is thumb size compared to my considerable slash.

Aha, I get it … closing City Hall every other Friday when the workers are in the building, but not on furlough, is the continuation of Gilroy’s “best of the best” policy. That’s where our city workers, by policy, get a better deal than any workers in comparable cities. Closing the doors and turning off the phones at City Hall so the workers can get work done … and I thought interacting with the public was a key part of the service provided at City Hall. Let’s get this going on the county level, shall we? How about the state? DMV should close the doors, too, so workers can “do their best” without public interference. What about librarians tidying up the bookshelves without the hassle from customers? How about teachers – they could surely use 8 hours every other week without the students in class? Good Lord, where does this insatiable public employee insanity end?

One insatiable insanity chunk should end – four firefighters to an engine, that is – now. Right now. The Executive Board of the Gilroy Fire Fighters Association IAFF Local 2805, led by Jim Buessing, should offer to rescind the portion of their contract that requires Gilroy to staff a single fire engine with four employees. It’s absolutely unnecessary in our city’s environment. The firefighters know it. It’s not really a safety issue – the only other city in Santa Clara County that has the requirement is San Jose. What’s next? Chicago firefighter safety rules for Gilroy firefighters who go out on medical calls more than 95 percent of the time. Save jobs, save the residents money, retain public good will … give up the four-to-an-engine clause now, and give it up without any strings attached.

No strings for the happy-to-donate revelers at the annual St. Patrick’s Day dinner to benefit St. Joseph’s Family Center. Gilroy is such a generous community. While Brad Nye and his lovely partner Robin ably took care of bar duties, Dave Bozzo and Dave Perez cooked the best corned beef and cabbage dinner I’ve ever eaten. The Dynamic Dave Duo has taken the volunteer torch carried for so many years by Val Filice and friends. Other volunteers like Bob Scholtens and David Armenta, who pick up food donations and organize the warehouse, were honored. By the way, the Dynamic Dave Duo cooked up 8 Irish themed corned beef dinners for various groups … now that’s March madness.

No sooner were my March Madness college basketball brackets filled out than my beloved Notre Dame fighting Irish fell out of the tournament losing by one point to Old Dominion. The NCAA basketball tournament is clearly the best American sporting event. Hope they don’t ruin it by increasing the field beyond the current 64 teams. Sometimes the recipe for success is to just recognize a good recipe when you have one.

Speaking of really good recipes … the ageless one, Loretta Ventura (formerly Piedmont) at the Looking Good Salon over by Stubby’s, talked me into purchasing a community cookbook put together to benefit the FFA in Hollister. Thanks Loretta! Not only has wife Jenny, former FFA officer, enjoyed seeing some familiar family names and the marvelous old pictures, two recipes already have been big hits with the entire clan. The Silacci family tamale pie takes the cake so far …

Who will take the cake in the Gilroy Library writing contest headlined “Family Fables, Family Feasts: Tales Told Around The Table” isn’t clear. But you have a few more days to “tell a story from your family lore as a short work of fiction, non-fiction, poetry” of 1,000 words or less. You can submit your story by Sunday via email to [email protected], There are prizes and a reception for writers during National Library Week on April 17. Write on …

Right on for the great spring weather predicted for this weekend – 75 or so luscious degrees on Saturday … Break from March to Merlot Madness at Solis Winery on Hecker Pass which will complement the sunshine with world-class Merlot tasting from noon until 4:30 p.m. The vineyard setting is particularly beautiful in spring …

Beautiful and well-deserved, too, is the intelligent marketing idea to offer local residents free admission to city-owned Gilroy Gardens on Saturday, March 27 to celebrate the horticulture-based theme park’s 10th anniversary. Show your “Golden Ticket” invitation that went out with city water bills or bring proof of residence if you’re outside the city limits. Music, balloons and, most importantly, community good will on tap. It’s just the kind of thing Gilroy Gardens has to do more of to build the local bond. Kudos to General Manager Barb Granter … I’ll never understand why – whether it’s car sales, wine sales, the outlets, the Gardens or golf courses – those in charge so often ignore home base, the local market, in favor of San Jose. Build a solid home customer base first, nurture it, then grow. Shop Gilroy, court Gilroyans, think Gilroy …

Reach Mark Derry at [email protected]

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