So, I’m listening to Gloria Penner’s “Editor’s Round Table” last Friday morning on KPBS.

I like this program because the intellectual/emotional underbellies of the various news papers’ (papers and on-line news) editorial boards can be seen/heard there in real time. Real time is revealing.

Last Friday, they on had two guys I know pretty well, Bob Kittle of the U-T and Tim McClain of Metropolitan Magazine; also, John Warren of San Diego Voice and Viewpoint. This is one of ERT’s standard groups, and a good one.

Normally, Kittle anchors the “right” side of the political spectrum, Warren the “left,” and McClain is like a referee with perspective, which is often closer to reality, though not nearly as fun to listen to. We don’t do a lot of reality here in San Diego, so it’s nice to have Tim around. [By the way, if you like this smart thinking stuff on a national level, watch the “Shields and Brooks” segment on the “NewsHour Report” (formerly the “McNeal/Lehrer Report”) on Friday nights on KPBS TV. It is routinely excellent.]

Now, I might not be writing about this were it not for Sunday’s second episode of “Aguirre is an animal” in the news section of the U-T. Not since the adventures of Sherlock Holmes were published episodically in The Strand, have newspaper readers had so much entertainment to look forward to from the local section of a newspaper.

But, this blog is not an Aguirre piece.

This is a Donna Frye piece. And, a Kroll piece. And a Republican piece – sort of.

I’ll start by saying that it really irritates me as a Republican to have to weigh in substantively for Frye and Aguirre. They are both serious Democrat party members. Both are populists. Both have postures inclined in non-R positions.

But, Frye is clearly the hardest working person on the City Council, and everybody on the council familiar with its workings, will (privately) agree. She reads everything. Even the stuff she is not expected (wanted) to read (like that stuff the council gets on Friday night for votes on Monday morning) which not everybody reads. She thinks about stuff – not crazy thinking – just thinking thinking.

I do not agree with her on everything, nor with Mike for that matter, but I can disagree with her and not be sent to political hell for so thinking. Something not offensive about that.

In terms of public finance and financial reporting, Frye and Aguirre are easily the most regular in a compliance sense, and internally consistent, and conservative of the elected members of our government.

How is that possible? Look at our recent history. Where are the R’s?

Maybe I’ll do some more of this in a later blog. But, back to the ERT from last Friday.

So, my friend Bob Kittle is gushing over the mayor’s adoption of all 121 of the Krolls’ remediation suggestions (the phrase I recall is that the mayor, “to his everlasting credit” basically agreed to everything, all 121 of the 121 recommendations, the Krolls told him to do). [At that point I started to subconsciously hear one of my favorite songs from days past, “Could This be Magic” -by The Dubs, 1975 – went to number six on the U.S. charts – you had to be stone cold or lonely not to love that one in the background.] OK. I’m back now.

In response to Penner’s questions, Kittle opined that the City Council (a bit on the defensive these days) must stay. This based on the theory that the government of the past will have “learned” from their mistakes and will now be able to chart a totally new course. Everyone, that is, with the possible exception of Donna Frye who maybe has to go because she votes no on everything. And, what we need now is for all the council members to vote yes, yes, yes to all the Kroll’s 121 suggestions right away and not get all hung up with questions and stuff like that. Just the kind of mischief that Donna Frye is always getting into.

Penner suggested that as it turns out, Frye was one of the few persons that voted no (the right way) on so many of the council’s wrong decisions of late. She voted no on the MP II massive “backloading” deal with the pension thugs, voted no on hitting consumers with business water charges, etc. So, isn’t that the kind of thinking and behaviors that should be encouraged or rewarded? Kittle suggested her being right on those things was due almost entirely to the fact she votes no on everything – she’s just a negative person. So she’s bound to get a couple right every once in a while. It’s all luck -no brains involved. (I think we heard something like this before about the pension deficit warners.)

Kittle suggested that that Frye might have to go unless she just votes yes on the “Whole Kroll Enchilada,” as all the other council members are (I guess) already committed to do.

Will the council just vote yes on everything [121 for 121] from the Krolls? Is that all it takes to fix us up? Heck, even I didn’t know it was that easy.

[At this point Tim McClain suggested there might actually be some Charter amendments required (that would take us to 2008), so maybe this all can’t happen next Tuesday.

Look, I suspect we might not be too terribly inconvenienced by some thinking and discussion on the Kroll enchilada before eating the whole thing. Ready, fire, aim doesn’t work that well.

We all (including a more inquisitive press) need to ask the required questions about this plan before it is implemented. After all, not asking questions when they needed asking contributed mightily to getting us here.

And, it wouldn’t annoy me if my friends in on the R side of the isle would ask a few more questions, too.

PAT SHEA

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.