Fortunately for Santa, most of the items on our list are long-term projects he could spread out over a while. We don’t need to find this stuff under our tree immediately to be happy.
So, Santa, if you’re reading this, take your time. Good things come to those who wait, anything worth doing is worth doing right, and — oh, enough with the clichés. Here’s our list.
• The first thing we’d ask for — not because it’s the most important, but because it’s the most timely — is a quick, fair solution to the Del Puerto Health Center issue.
We want the major players on each side of the issue to continue working together. We want them to put aside their personal differences. We want them to figure out a way to move the health center to the Keystone Pacific Business Park without any shady backroom deals or drawn-out political battles.
To be honest, we think the move would be good for the health center and the city, but we don’t like the way the process has been handled on either side. We want it to get done so we can go back to focusing on things like the general plan and West Park — things that will have a much bigger impact on this city over the next 50 years than a squabble over a health center moving across town.
• Another thing this city could really use is an improved intersection at Highway 33 and M Street. Fortunately, after years of trying, our city officials seem close to making it a reality — not only adding a signal light, but realigning the intersection and connecting M Street to Walnut Avenue, which makes all kinds of sense and should make things a lot safer for pedestrians in that area.
There’s a chance the whole thing could be done by this time next year, but you know how these projects go, right? Delays, delays and more delays. We don’t think this is too much to ask: Make it happen, and make it happen on schedule.
• This one might seem a little selfish, but what the heck. It’s Christmas.
The Irrigator has been more fortunate than most newspapers over the past decade or so, but that doesn’t mean we couldn’t use a little help. How about giving us something all newspapers are searching for — a successful revenue model to take us into the next decade and beyond. You know, some revolutionary new way to take advantage of everything new media has to offer. Something that will save newspapers and make them viable for years and years to come.
That would be awesome.
• And, last but not least, we wish for something for the people in our city who are struggling so mightily to cope with the slumping economy. That could mean jobs. It could mean food. It could mean any number of things.
There are many people in this town who donate their time and money to help those less fortunate, but in times like these, we could use all the help we can get.
It was brought to our attention by City Attorney George Logan that in our editorial of Dec. 3, we made an error that requires clarification.
In illustrating the reasons why Del Puerto Health Care District officials and other proponents of the health center initiative held the perception that the City Council is aligned with John Ramos and against the district, we stated that the council “accepted Ramos’ attorney’s use of case law as a questionable precedent to show that a city’s zoning law should trump a development agreement.”
The case law in question, which originated in Tuolumne County, was actually introduced to the discussion by an attorney the council had sought out for an impartial opinion on the situation. Ramos’ attorney, if he brought it up at all, was at least not the first to do so.
We regret the error, and we thank the city attorney for bringing it to our attention, but we do stand behind our opinion that the case law itself was weak and that it was questionable to use it as precedent here.
And the point we were trying to make — regarding the perception of Ramos’ influence on the council — was a valid one. That perception, whether it’s accurate or not, exists.