Time for a quick lesson in print journalism. One thing journalists pride themselves on (and something that's always brought up in the blogs v. print debate) is objectivity. While complete objectivity is rarely attained anymore these days, newspaper writers try their best to remain somewhat balanced. One place objectivity has no business though is the opinions page.
On the opinions page, any douchebag with a computer can send a letter to the editor bitching about anything ranging from nitpicking the Record's following of the AP style guide to "The CHP shouldn't have shot my son. even though he was in process of running from the police, he was a good boy!" (I know if I led the cops on a chase of any sort of speed my dad would probably shoot me himself.) Or if you want surprisingly relevant letters to the editor, you can always try here. (Scroll down to "City officials should feel repercussions")
The opinions page is also home to the editorial staff. The one group of people not reviewing shit that get to post opinionated pieces daily. The way editorials classically work is the staff gets together and picks a subject, then together they form an opinion and have somebody write it without a byline so it represents the opinion of the newspaper as a whole. Which is why we're slightly confused as to why the editorial staff failed to state an actual opinion yesterday.
As far as either Dukè or I can tell, the only real opinion stated is that Stockton's finances are in trouble, oh and the next City Council is going to have a lot of work to do. Really? I thought we were doing just peachy. I thought they'd be able to just kick back and reap the benefits of a successfully revitalized downtown. Allow me to show you how to actually state an opinion Record staff.
The problem stated in the article/column is that the city overestimated the amount of tax revenue they'd be receiving during the all too obvious econmic downturn we're experiencing. From the Record:
"Mark Moses, the city's chief financial officer, estimates that revenue from sales, property and other taxes will fall about $11.4 million below the amount estimated in May, when the fiscal 2008-09 budget was adopted."
Has that much really changed in the last 3 months? I'm pretty sure I was feeling the same economic crunch in May that I'm feeling now. And as the Record's told us a few times over the past couple months, I'm not the only one. Did they think the economy was going to do anything but get worse in the coming months? If the did they're the only ones. How do I know? The Record told me so:
"That's (ed. note: "That's" being decreased tax revenue due to the economic downturn) correctable, of course, if the economy suddenly turns around. But no economic experts expect that to happen. (note: emphasis ours) Rather, any recovery is likely to be prolonged and painful."
So nobody should be counting on an influx of tax dollars anytime soon. Which means we'll probably have to cut funding to some public services. The service who receives the most public money is the police (who apparently aren't spending it on driving lessons). So I don't think it'd be much of a stretch to assume that the police will probably have to do without some of their budgetarily promised monies. (After the previously linked buyouts and furloughs are inevitably fucked up by city leaders) Sorry guys, guess you're not getting that raise.
And if we can't afford to pay for essential services such as public safety, we sure as hell can't be spending it on frivolous shit right? Don't tell that to Fitzy, he wants us to buy a fucking boat. Not just any boat, a boat built here half a century ago. A boat that soon won't legally be able to operate. A boat that comes with an assload of legal work to it. I'm all for off the wall ideas, but saying we should buy a useless boat on the same day the paper says we can't even afford to pay for essential public services is just going to make somebody look like a dumbass.
Oh, and I'll have more on this later, but this has to be one of the more vindicating things I've read in a long time. Suckers.