Most of you who read this paper on a regular basis are familiar with the half-dozen local columnists who are vain enough to believe that anyone might be interested in what they have to say.
Robert Minch is the dean of us all, having written a weekly column for well over half a century. While most of us have difficulty filling our weekly 1,000-word allocation, Robert is apparently so full of interesting thoughts that until recently he actually convinced the paper to allow him a second bite of the apple in the form of his “The Passing Parade” column. that appeared in Wednesday’s edition along with mine. I will miss said column.
If you are into cattle drives and western heritage, Jean Barton’s column cannot be beat. I learned a long time ago not to mention a lady’s age, but I am guessing Jean is at least old enough to draw Social Security–and she still has more energy than the rest of us put together. Jean Barton seldom misses a public gathering, and she knows her stuff about her.
Thursday’s paper is home to Corky Pickering and Shanna Long. Corky is a Johnny come lately in that I believe he has only lived in Tehama County for a decade or so. I believe Corky is an attorney and enjoyed a long, distinguished career in the military. I therefore have nothing but respect for Corky Pickering. Corky’s columns tend to be brief, to the point and pragmatic in nature. Thank you for your service, Corky, and welcome to Tehama County.
When I actually worked for a living several decades ago, I had the pleasure of knowing Mari Petty, who owned and published the Corning Daily Observer. Mari was a character’s character. She owned St. Bernard dogs, which is not important to either you or me.
Shanna Long purchased the Observer from Mari Petty. As a fledgling columnist, I feel compelled to register a complaint when compared to one who actually owned and published the second most read paper in the entirety of Tehama County.
Shanna is married to Greg Long of the Dairyville Long family. I would suggest she title her her column “The Farmers Wife,” if not for the fact that said title will forever belong to the late great Sydney Lindauer.
Open up your Tuesday paper, and you will find the yin and yang columns written by Allan Stellar and Don Polson. On the “left” side of the page Allan Stellar mostly writes about blue state issues.
Separated by only a thin black line on the very same page are the “right” minded musings of Don Polson. Polson appears to be a “Trumper” to his core. Like CNN vs. Fox news, if you provide each of these gentlemen the same set of facts, their interpretation and opinions will likely differ greatly.
I mean no disrespect to either Allan Stellar or Don Polson, who I suspect are both solid citizens merely expressing their opinions. People who buy into Mr. Stellar’s opinions and people who support what Mr. Polson writes, likely have long ago drunk that same Kool-Aid. Each of us believes what we believe, and therefore we are right, at least in our own minds. At least we are getting both sides of the same story from which we form our own political views.
Last but not least is our Saturday columnist Liz Merry. Liz and I knocked on doors together a lifetime ago on behalf of then Assembly candidate Barbara McIver. Liz has a way with dogs, and in addition to being an excellent comedian she is a dog whisperer extraordinaire.
Liz is the watchdog columnist concerning all things government, and in particular the Tehama County Board of Supervisors. As such, Liz is often critical of decisions made and actions taken by various members of that board. While you or I may or may not agree with her opinions or conclusions de ella, few can argue that she forms said opinions in a vacuum. The lady puts in her time for her and does her homework for her.
As for my own column, a friend recently informed me, “You are the Seinfeld of columnists. Every single week you write 1,000 words and say absolutely nothing at all.” I took her words from her as a compliment.
I worked in government for my entire 35-year career. While I am more than willing to write about juvenile halls, jails and corrections in general, I very seldom write about individual public officials.
Based on personal experience, it is my observation that every time a person who works with the public makes a decision it is guaranteed that someone will not be happy with said decision. It is also my opinion that in today’s world, no one seems happy. We are all angry. It is too darn easy to complain and criticize, when we do not have a clue what constraints and issues our public officials face on a daily basis.
Working with the public is difficult and accepting criticism, justified or not, is sometimes difficult to take. That said, criticism comes with the territory and the recent statements made by our south county supervisor were not only ill advised, they were reprehensible. Unfortunately his statements by him only served to validate the negative opinion his critics held in the first place.
In a time when the general public already questions just about every action taken by public servants, his behavior sullies not only his reputation, but by extension, that of the remaining board members and the hundreds of other hard-working Tehama County civil servants who often under untenable circumstances, they are doing their very best to provide quality services for you and me.
At this point whether he resigns or not is of little consequence. As a lame-duck politician, his power and influence are mostly gone. He can serve his community best by publicly apologizing for his monumental lapse in judgment. I hope he has the courage and wisdom to do so — for his sake from him as well as ours.
Have a great Wednesday, everyone.
Bill Cornelius is a life long resident of Red Bluff, a retired Chief Probation Officer, a champion of the State Theater and an exceptional athlete. He can be reached at email@example.com.