Figuring out the local election an exercise in futility

How does Jaime Rosso lose his seat in an election for the Gilroy
Unified School District two years ago, then win the most votes by
far in the next election?
How does Jaime Rosso lose his seat in an election for the Gilroy Unified School District two years ago, then win the most votes by far in the next election? How about “No Campaign” Peter Arellano almost eclipsing “Running Hard” Dion Bracco in the City Council race? And what about Julia Hover-Smoot winning a seat on the Santa Clara County School Board after dropping out of the race? Don’t have answers, but I do know this: It was a mistake to bundle Gilroy’s local elections with general elections and, no MayorAl, not because it awarded you one more year at the helm, but because the focus is lost. Voters turn out to vote on the governor’s race, or the proposition to legalize marijuana, and the local races – the ones that most affect their lives – get lost in the general election shuffle.

Shuffling of to Dad’s Weekend to visit daughter Mariah at college. Great idea to have a Dad’s Weekend. Football game, bowling at the student union and a comedy show are on the agenda with plenty of time to just “hang out.” That “hang out” time can be all important in dad-daughter relationships. Mariah’s had a visit from two Gilroy high school teachers, Jen Hokanson and Justin Ponzio, Gilroy High and Christopher High, respectively. Jen grew up in Corvallis and is an avid Beaver fan. They went up for homecoming weekend and were kind enough to visit Mariah – always great to have a taste of Gilroy. That kind of caring dedication is what makes many teachers so special and an important influence in their student’s lives.

“Building the Arts through Community” is the topic for a round table forum next Wednesday, Nov. 17, in the afternoon at Lizarran Restaurant. It’s a first effort sponsored by the City of Gilroy Arts and Culture Commission. The event has received quite a supportive response. Councilwoman Cat Tucker, Visitor’s Bureau Director Jane Howard and Gilroy Foundation Director Donna Pray are on board. Hopefully some good ideas will be hatched and acted upon down the road. Art can have a real influence on the quality of life in a community – whether it’s theater for children, a mural under a bridge along the Uvas Levee or a high school choral program. We’re fortunate in Gilroy to have many people who recognize that and are willing to go to bat for programs and projects that enrich our lives.

Were I in town, the Fall Wine & Cheese Classic at Solis Winery, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4:30 p.m. would be on the docket. Mike Vanni is doing some outstanding winemaking and a hand-selected assortment of artisan cheeses individually paired with five Solis wines. No reservations required.

Not sure if local gadfly Ron Kirkish will catapult from his anti-marijuana crusade against Proposition 19 and make a reservation to take on the more volatile issue of binding arbitration in the city of Gilroy, but he might begin a citizen signature drive to get the issue on the ballot. San Jose voters, aware of ever-growing per employee costs and luxurious public safety pensions, pulled the teeth from binding arbitration last week by passing Measure V with an overwhelming 66.72% of the vote. Here’s what V said: “To provide fiscal stability, control costs and maintain City services to residents, shall the Charter be amended to permit binding arbitration only if outside arbitrators are (1) required to base awards to employees primarily on the City’s ability to pay; and (2) prohibited from; creating any unfunded liability for the City, increasing police and firefighter compensation more than the rate of increase in General Fund revenues, or granting retroactive benefits?” More than 20 years ago, voters gave Gilroy’s firefighter and police unions the ability to force final contract decisions into the hands of an outside arbitrator. It’s time to change that and keep city costs under control so that Gilroy can, for example, afford to maintain our parks and offer vibrant recreation programs. What’s in the best interest of the community should come first.

Thanks to Roscoe who posted this worthy and eloquent tribute below on our comment board. Two Gilroy families, the Ailes family and the Gutierrez family, have suffered the ultimate loss. The service of their loved ones is not forgotten.

To all American Veterans, Thank You for your service and sacrifice!!

It is the veteran, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the veteran, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the veteran, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the veteran, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is the veteran, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the veteran, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote.

It is the veteran, who salutes the Flag, who serves under the Flag, whose coffin is draped by the Flag.

~ author unknown

A salute as well to Karen Humber, Operation Interdependence, and all the staff and students at Christopher High School who brought in goodies and packed up bags with thank you notes to send to our troops overseas during the holidays. That’s the kind of effort that makes Gilroy great.

Reach Editor Mark Derry at [email protected]

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