Eeny Meenie Miney Mayor
September, 2012

If you’re anything like me, you don’t think much about who’s running for local offices, let alone propositions, until the night before you have to vote. I mean, all the commercials and signs are just so much noise. So, as a public service, I’m going to get a head start on the local candidates based on the same criteria I always use at the last minute – kneejerk reactions and blind prejudice to a person’s name, profession and web page.

There are no less than five Salinas mayoral hopefuls. All of them are down on crime, and a few are down with crime. District 1 (where’s that?) City Councilman Sergio Sanchez has the most name recognition, probably because he’s papered the city with signs longer than anyone can remember. But is he looking out for me or will he just leave me alone? I see he almost botched his own election paperwork, so that doesn’t bode well for keeping things like budgets and zoning proposals straight.

Running against Sanchez will be Joe Gunter, a retired Salinas Police detective. Law and Order, that’s the ticket. He also runs the Air show and is a big shot on the Rodeo. So far, I like this guy. But there’s just one more thing, as a detective, was Joe more of a Columbo or a Clouseau?

Hla Myaing, a dentist. Don’t like dentists. They’re always in your face and telling you what to do. Must be a nanny-stater. No web presence is the kiss of death. See ya, Hla.

Rick Phinney, a real estate broker. Evil businessman, probably fallen on hard times and needs a new gig. Fancies turtlenecks, which makes me wonder if he’s just too hip. Facebook pic indicates he panders to Mexicans. Opposes tax increases (always good) except to help the police. What’ll the exception be tomorrow?

Margaret Serna Bonetti, former Salinas Union High School District board member. Already she’s part of the problem with our miserable education system. A Labor Relations Consultant, Educational Advocate and Community Organizer, er, Volunteer. That’s it, three strikes and you’re out.

Turning to the City Council races, in District 1 we have Joshua Kuzmicz, a correctional officer. Now we’re talking. Arm the citizenry with pepper spray and handcuffs, impose curfews and shoot gang bangers like they’re busting out of Soledad.

Also running for City Council is Jose Castañeda, president of the Alisal Union School District’s Board of Education. Another educator, predisposed to neglecting citizens like they’ve neglected kids. A year ago, Castañeda was convicted of filing a false election affidavit. No, thanks.

In City Council District 4, Councilwoman Gloria “AK” De La Rosa is prepared to defend her seat using any means necessary. She got in trouble when an illegal AK-47 assault rifle was stolen from her home in February. Gun lover, that’s ok.  Then, her son was arrested and charged with trying to sell a handgun online. Gun runner, not ok. He pleaded guilty to possession of heroin, street terrorism and carrying a concealed firearm. Not exactly a Romneyesque family portrait. Laters.

Challenging AK will be political newcomers Michael James Sharen, a complete mystery, and Steven Malvini, who owns a financial services firm. Guys, you have to be easy to learn about or nobody but your family will care what you’re running for. A handmade sign on Alisal and Monterey Streets isn’t going to cut it.

Finally, Robert Wallace will challenge City Councilwoman Jyl Lutes for her District 6 seat in North Salinas. See above regarding name recognition and publicity; you can’t wait until the week before the election to introduce yourself. As for Lutes: another educator, labor, central committee Poobah. Wants more of our money, wants to tell us how to think and probably uses curly bulbs.

There, that was easy. Now all we have to do is sort through whatever lying and deceptive propositions the Demublicans will be throwing at us and we’ll be all set.