Our View: Yet another Gilroy Cool Hand Luke moment

What we have here – again – is a failure to communicate. The infamous lines from the classic movie “Cool Hand Luke” come quickly to mind these days in Gilroy. Miscommunication seems to be the prevailing wind blowing through City Hall, and it’s an ill wind indeed.
The latest example: The Gilroy City Council killed a possible proposal to put a half cent sales tax on the November ballot that would have benefitted our schools which are facing a possible $8.1 million cut in the annual budget.
The Council voting against the proposal isn’t really the issue, pulling the rug on the process and out from underneath the Gilroy Unified School District Board is. That’s exactly what the city administration and the City Council did.
School funding is not some inconsequential issue for this community that isn’t worthy of the Council’s time and effort. But that’s how the city administration and the Council treated the sales tax possibility. The poor, underdressed cousin came knocking for a helping hand and was quickly and without hesitation or reservation thrown off the property. Never mind the legalese about whether a sales tax would have been a special or regular tax.
The fact is, school board members understood, as did we, that there would be several meetings and discussions before a decision was made. But the city administration and Council went for the jugular kill.
In the short term, that makes their lives easier since they effectively stopped the idea in its tracks, but by short-circuiting the process they most certainly further soured the relationship with GUSD trustees. And, to add insult, they offered not one single constructive or creative idea in a dialogue to help our schools during difficult times.
That is an abject failure in leadership.
Statesmanship in Gilroy appears to be dead. The only good news is that there is a city election in November for mayor and City Council that will blow a more favorable and reasonable wind into the hallways of power.  
Again, the point is not the Council’s vote. Whether to put the tax before voters or not is beside the point. But it’s hardly immaterial to our community when the Council blindsides the school trustees.
The lack of respect for the process and the clear lack of communication – or was it a strategic miscommunication? – is the issue.
Statesmanship in Gilroy has sunk to an all-time low. Talking things through has taken a back seat to taking the easy way out rather than working through tough issues. There is, however, a November light in the tunnel ahead.

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