Another Saturday, another opportunity to hand out roses and toss a few raspberries.
We love raspberries on cereal and in jam. But they also can be a bit on the tart side.
Roses are clearly a better gift, and the first batch goes out to our military veterans, because this is their day.
In fact, we could make a good argument that every day should be Veterans Day. There truly is no adequate way to thank the men and women who serve in our military, working together to protect this nation and its citizens.
Bravo to all veterans. Enjoy your virtual roses on this day.
Roses also to the folks at the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, who once again are scrambling to fill empty tables for the approaching holiday season.
First up is the challenge of rounding up 3,000 Thanksgiving turkeys needed for low-income families. The Foodbank is asking for donations of frozen birds, or cash donations so they can make bulk purchases.
The ideal gift is a frozen turkey in the 14-16-pound range. As most holiday meal shoppers now know, the price of turkey has soared a bit, due to freaky weather conditions in which turkey farmers experienced some damage.
The folks at the Foodbank are among our favorite local heroes, because they come through for needy families throughout the year, but especially during the Thanksgiving-to-Christmas period.
The Foodbank is actually the hub that supplies more than 300 charitable organizations countywide. We’re not sure what would happen if there were no Foodbank.
Thankfully there is — and the staff deserves red roses.
Only one batch of raspberries to fling out this week, and it’s for a situation that we believe is just flat wrong.
The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors voted itself a 2.2-percent pay raise at last Tuesday’s meeting.
Now, don’t get us wrong. We are confident that board members likely deserve a pay raise, and if anything the amount of the raise may seem paltry — it fattens their paychecks by a little over $70 every two weeks.
It’s not the reality of the situation that bothers us, but the fact that elected officials are compelled to give themselves raises because that’s the way such business is done.
It shouldn’t be done that way. Elected officials at every level of government should be able to stand clear of such decision making, and put it in the hands of a non-partisan, citizen-based committee, with plenty of members who would study the issue, settle on a raise or no raise, and have the authority to carry it to completion.
Another option would be to put the question of pay raises for elected officials to voters. and every year or every two years, vote on a raise. The problem with that is, given the public’s general attitude about elected officials, such a ballot measure would always lose.
There also is the issue of “public service” and what it really means. We can see elected officials receiving stipends, say, for mileage driven in the line of duty, and other necessary expenses.
But the idea of public service as a relatively high-paying job has created a category — a very big group, in fact, — of career politicians, which are the sort of folks many Americans would just as soon live without.
Making public policy can be a demanding job, and a person shouldn’t be dinged financially to campaign for such a position. But neither should they reap significant profits — especially if those they serve believe they’re doing an inferior job.