$20,000 for a month’s fill in work – good gig if taxpayers will stand for it

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Mark Derry

Just don’t buy it, that the Gavilan Community College trustees made the prudent decision to pay an interim president $20,000 to sit in for a month while President Steve Kinsella recovers from back surgery. One reader had this to say on our comment board: “I am sure the interim president is very capable but Gavilan has two existing vice presidents who are and should be capable of taking care of business for a few weeks. But to spend $20,000 for less than a month on things that are not needed and refuse to spend dollars on necessary items just does not make any sense.” Couldn’t agree more.

Agree to strongly disagree with Gilroy City Council representative Cat Tucker, who refused comment when asked about the Local Agency Formation Commission’s threat to shut down or take over our local Veteran’s Hall (see front page story). As an alternate representative to the LAFCO Board and an attendee at the meeting, Councilwoman Tucker owes our war veterans and all Gilroyans an articulate earful from  on such an important topic for this community. Think Mayor Don Gage’s comments were right on point – there might be some serious issues that need addressing, but the solution should be to keep the Vet’s Hall under local Gilroy control and carve out a plan to keep the governing board on track. Maybe we need an experienced Council representative on the Board to help in that regard. Certainly the Vets deserve that kind of help.

Help out the Gilroy Rotary Club which, in turn, helps out the community with scholarships and grants and also B-AH-UTIFY your own yard and neighborhood by purchasing some amazingly fresh flowers at the annual Gilroy Rotary Flower Sale generously hosted by Syngenta Flowers. It’s wonderful that Syngenta Flowers has kept this fantastic fundraising tradition alive after purchasing Goldsmith Seeds a few years back. The flowers are grown in Gilroy for show, sold in Gilroy for community benefit and that’s a real blossom in our garden. The dizzying array of fabulous flowers go on sale at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 20 at Syngenta Flowers, 2280 Hecker Pass, and festivities end at 2 p.m.

That’s the same time festivities will end at the Future Farmers of America Community Open House this Saturday at the Gilroy High School Farm Laboratory, 9110 Kern Ave. Student-grown plants for sale, games, demonstrations and animals to interact with are on the FFA agenda. Sounds like a great outing with the kids and you have until 2 p.m. to get there.

Even the super sharp FFA minds couldn’t hazard a guess to explain why dog owners are constantly hounded about picking up after their animals in the parks while horse owners can freely litter the trails. Is it just because dog owners aren’t saddling up and riding their canine steeds? My lord, when a horse “hits” the trail it’s not a roadblock you can just two-step past. But silly me, I still don’t get most government rules like this for example: Why is it against Santa Clara Valley Water District rules to swim in the reservoir/lakes but it’s fine to drag a boat in there and water ski?

Been tough skiing or sledding for the Gilroy Unified School District lately, so it’s good news that Superintendent Debbie Flores reports “the District recently completed a very successful bond refinancing which saved the voters $50 million …” and that “ We paid off approximately $884,000, leaving a balance of $1.47 million in outstanding CABs.” That’s outstanding because those Capital Appreciation Bonds, used to finish off Christopher High School, burden taxpayers with crippling debt for generations. But better yet is the news on the graduation front. GUSD has made significant progress in its graduation rate, moving up a very healthy 7 percentage points from 78 percent to 85 percent and really moving the needle from for Hispanic students up 10 percentage points to 82 percent. That’s a great academic job the district can and should be proud of and crow about. Now if GUSD can get the financial house in order, everything will really be moving on the right track.

This would be on the right track: After the Gilroy Downtown Business Association Art & Wine Stroll on Saturday, May 4 from 2 to 6 p.m., you gather with other Gilroyans downtown to watch our own Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero take care of Floyd “Money” Mayweather in the huge boxing match for the Welterweight World Championship – and don’t event have to move your car. Say it’s so Melanie Corona, Downtown Coordinator. Or let us know, owner Adam Sanchez at the Milias Restaurant that Gilroyans can make a full afternoon/evening plan of it. Buy a $25 ticket for the wine stroll, enjoy, then have dinner downtown where the live Showtime pay per view fight will be showing and enjoy the event. It would be cool if the DBA in conjunction with the city could set up a movie/TV screen outdoors downtown, but a cozy spot at Station 55, The Milias or Old City Hall would be cool, too.

Reach Editor Mark Derry at [email protected]

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