Most of us are simply horrified at the wholesale trashing of ethics, truth and the rule of law in Washington these days. We shake our heads in disbelief and mutter, "Well, it can't happen here." But maybe, just maybe, we're just kidding ourselves.
It was revealed on Feb. 11 that 3rd District Supervisor Shirlee Zane didn't have the mandatory zoning permit to allow her large re-election campaign signs, which were already posted all around town. Rival Chris Coursey noted, "Look, if you're willing to break small rules, what rules aren't you willing to break?"
The answer to that is already on the record, Chris. At the Nov. 19 Board of Supervisors meeting, options were discussed for resolving the Rodota Trail encampment crisis. The county is bound by the Martin v. Boise 9th Circuit decision along with agreed terms of a Federal injunction which protects certain rights of unsheltered individuals staying on publicly owned land in Sonoma County.
Shirlee Zane's opinion on the matter? "I'm not in favor of allowing the courts to dictate our actions on this matter, I'm really not," she declared, adding, "Too often we're bound by these legal decisions ... what would happen if we decided not to respect this injunction?"
What, I wonder, would happen if we are fools enough to re-elect yet another official who thinks that breaking the law is a good idea?
Pass the Pliny
Every year Sonoma County sees globe-trotting beer lovers pack the streets for a taste of the infamous Pliny the Younger. I have lived in Santa Rosa since long before The Russian River Brewing Company even opened its doors. We locals know a good thing, and are proud to call Pliny our own. We bring growlers out of town and pack bottles in our suitcases when visiting friends across the country and beyond. We love the beer and the pizza and the Drew bites year-round, not just for two weeks in February. We have helped The Russian River Brewing Company become what it is today.
Yet, for two weeks in February, RR forgets about us. To get even a taste of our favorite beer, we have to stand in line for hours. We have to take time off work, because unlike the globe-trotters, we are NOT on vacation. We are your teachers and doctors, roofers and checkout clerks. We deliver mail and pick up trash. We are the people that keep this community moving. It's time Russian River showed us some love, and gave us a chance to try Pliny the Younger without needing to wait in line for 4 hours. A driver's license swipe, a locals-only voucher or a day when only locals can visit—Sonoma County residents should get one time to go to the front of the line, as a "Thank You" for making you who you are.
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