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The politics of highly effective appointments makes democracy messy. | Monterey County NOW Intro

  • POLITICS

Sara Rubin right here, interested by how elections get a number of consideration—and for candidates, they take a number of effort—however it’s not till after officers are elected that the work truly begins.

A few of the first duties are normally principally ceremonious. That features appointments to varied committees, boards and commissions, the place a lot of the particular coverage work is finished.

Who will get highly effective appointments is of course a matter of politics. It is usually a matter of illustration. And typically, these issues collide.

When Salinas Metropolis Council met on Jan. 10, Mayor Kimbley Craig really useful appointments to a spread of boards and commissions. She described a course of that included a spread of things: What councilmembers requested; scheduling and availability; getting new voices on boards that had had years-long illustration.

Councilmember Anthony Rocha arrived prepared for a political battle over who would symbolize the town on the board of Monterey One Water, the regional wastewater remedy company that recently finds itself caught within the extremely political saga of the Monterey Peninsula’s water provide future and Cal Am’s function in Merchandise.

Craig really useful appointing herself, beforehand an alternate, to serve on the board of M1W, and Rocha advocated to nominate himself as a substitute. “The one space the place [Craig and I] I disagreed was M1W—it was my perception that her and I’ve a really completely different philosophy…because it pertains to water coverage,” Rocha mentioned.

Then he addressed Craig straight: “I feel you are an clever individual, a reliable individual—I feel that is one thing you and I each share, however this isn’t about intelligence or competence, it is a matter of imaginative and prescient and values. The fact is we’ve a special council majority that has a special imaginative and prescient for this metropolis.”

Rocha was referring to an upset in District 5, the place Councilmember Andrew Sandoval ousted incumbent Christie Cromeenes. The considering was that Sandoval—who’d obtained endorsements from Rocha and the opposite three Latino members of Metropolis Council—would solidify a voting majority of 5-2. However within the first check of what had been considered as a potential voting block—whether or not or to not appoint Rocha to M1W, as a substitute of Craig—the check failed.

Councilmembers Rocha, Sandoval and Carla Viviana González voted for Rocha. Two of Sandoval’s political allies, Tony Barrera and Orlando Osornio, voted to maintain the mayor in her seat, and he or she prevailed, 4-3. The political winds don’t at all times blow within the path you anticipate them to blow.

Votes like this are occurring in every single place, with regards to appointing elected and likewise common individuals who serve in varied management roles. In Pacific Grove, Mayor Invoice Peake confronted criticism for his suggestions to remake the town’s Variety, Fairness and Inclusion Job Power, regardless of curiosity from former members in persevering with to serve—whilst their brief monitor report to this point has been spectacular. (Given the political nature of such appointments, I’m unsurprised that Peake opted to not suggest Mike Wachs to any of the 4 positions to which he utilized; Wachs ran towards Peake in November and misplaced.)

Most appointments occur with little dialogue. Appointments to the regional planning company LAFCO (Native Company Formation Fee) are routinely a sizzling concern because of the significance of the fee, and particularly now, on condition that LAFCO has been thrust into the general public highlight for extremely charged and consequential selections in regards to the Monterey Peninsula’s water purveyor and progress in Soledad.

At a gathering of the County Board of Supervisors on Jan. 17, the board chair, Supervisor Luis Alejo, submitted his suggestions for who must be appointed to 2 LAFCO seats: himself and Supervisor Chris Lopez, each of whom beforehand served on LAFCO.

Supervisor Wendy Root Askew provided up her personal suggestion: Appoint herself and newly elected Glenn Church, axing Alejo and Lopez from the influential fee. Lopez prompt a compromise plan: Reappoint himself, and add Church to the roster.

It was a political sizzling potato, testing the alliances on the brand new board, as I wrote about in a column within the present concern of the Weekly. Would Church adhere to the established order and wait a 12 months for his flip, go for a compromise, or upend the facility construction? He selected the latter.

The brand new LAFCO board is assembly for the primary time proper now, together with swearing within the new commissioners and congratulating the outdated ones. You’ll be able to take part within the assembly on-line at this hyperlink.

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