We offer our cheers and jeers for local newsmakers as we look back over the previous week:
CHEERS, and thanks, to the nearly 40 teachers and other school district employees — representing more than 700 years of total experience — who are retiring with the close of this school year.
And CHEERS to all of our community’s graduates, from junior high to high school to UC Davis undergrads and professional and graduate students. It took sweat and dedication to complete this phase of your life, and now you can look forward to a bright future.
CHEERS to the creative and hard-working parents of Davis’ high school graduates for hosting an all-night, safe party to celebrate the end of our students’ high school careers. Grad Night has become a rite of passage for Davis teens — one last party with their friends as they get ready to fly from the nest, and it’s all due to the wonderful volunteer spirit in our town.
JEERS to the debacle arising from the Yolo County Grand Jury’s investigation of Sheriff Ed Prieto and his alleged “wild, wild West” management practices. The investigation was requested by the Board of Supervisors after having received what it described as numerous complaints and allegations from employees about Prieto and the work environment in the Sheriff’s Department.
But the supervisors were not pleased, to say the least: “The board believes the grand jury’s findings, in many cases, are superfluous,” they said in a statement. No kidding — why, for example, is a 13-year-old charge of nepotism in the report? And why does it misstate the number of relatives the sheriff has on his staff?
And what, in the big picture, were the supervisors looking for? To complain publicly about the results of investigation they, themselves, requested smacks of pre-judgment. Did they want more dirt on Prieto? The whole thing is a mess.
CHEERS to Davis High School’s new athletic director, Jeff Lorenson, and his enthusiastic approach to his daunting new duties. We thank departing AD Dennis Foster for four years of hard work under challenging circumstances, and we wish him well.
JEERS to the timing of the City Council’s discussion of its next bid to siphon dollars from our wallets. While a parcel tax to fund overdue road repairs may well be needed, the discussion just one week after the approval of Measure O, the half-percent sales tax increase, was like rubbing salt in the wound.
First, let’s have a wide-ranging, public conversation about ways to boost our city’s revenue stream that don’t involve taxes — specifically, business parks or so-called “innovation centers.” We have at least two opportunities on the near horizon to add to our business base — the Nishi property and land east of Mace Boulevard — and these must be seized if we’re to dig out of our endless budget problems. High-tech, locally based businesses like Marrone Bio Innovations and FMC Technologies Schilling Robotics want to stay in Davis, but we lack the facilities for them to expand.
Let’s give ourselves a chance at generating more revenue rather than piling additional burdens on Davis residents.