During campaigns, candidates get to talk about big bold ideas. And then they win and reality hits.
Garrad Marsh has gotten a taste of that during his first four months as Modesto mayor. His bold ideas grow up, not out; annex Salida; improve Modesto's image, etc. haven't disappeared by any means.
They've just been shoved aside in the short term by the mundane matters of trying to get concessions from bargaining units, the growing pains of a young regional fire agency and negotiating with the Modesto Irrigation District over a fouled up construction project and over the sale of water.
Marsh talked about his first days in office at separate appearances before two Rotary Clubs this past week, but says he hasn't abandoned his ambitious to-do list.
Marsh is clearly enjoying the job even if it is taking a whole lot more time than he envisioned and turning him into more of an early riser than he anticipated. As a former city leader said, in the midst of all the challenges facing local government, it's nice to see the mayor smiling.
Of course Marsh is only in his first lap. It will be interesting to see his expression and review his to-do list after a couple of years.
Get prepared for an onslaught of political ads on TV this fall. There are 11 state propositions on the ballot, and the props tend to get debated in 30-second sound bites just long enough to be thoroughly misleading and annoying.
On June 17, I wrote about the high interest from national parties in three congressional races in our region (9th, 10th and 16th), based on a conference call with the deputy political director of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Morain elaborated last week, in a column about how the American Action Network and its political arm are gearing up to spend big dollars against two Democratic incumbents John Garamendi and Jerry McNerney. Where will those ads run on the Sacramento TV stations. And what do we in Modesto get? You know the answer.
The Democrats are just as intent on reclaiming the House of Representative and, Morain reported, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has reserved $4.6 million worth of television time in Sacramento, Modesto and Stockton.
I'm predicting back-to-back political ads from Labor Day on, and maybe starting earlier.
The stations will be happy with the revenue, of course, but viewers even serious voters probably will want to have their finger on the mute button. (At my house, I don't control the remote. In fact, I rarely get to touch the remote, but the person who does is a channel surfer. I think we'll be OK.)
After the primary, losing candidates are supposed to lick their wounds and then lineup behind their fellow party member. But that isn't always the case.
Lesa Rasmussen, the former Atwater school board and council member who came in third in the voting for the 21st Assembly District, and almost immediately posted on Facebook that she will support Republican Jack Mobley instead of her fellow Democrat Adam Gray. "As the rest of the district discovers the truth about Mr. Gray, I hope they will join me," Rasmussen wrote.
Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, R-Modesto, just returned from a three-day program at the University of Virginia after being selected as an "emerging leader" by the State Legislative Leaders Foundation. Fifty people are selected nationwide, so it is an honor. The session focused on leadership and ways to make a difference. That's not easy as a member of the minority party in Sacramento, but Olsen has gotten some attention from the Democrats. She chairs the Legislative Rural Caucus and is vice chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee.
I try to practice what we preach here about the value of civility. So I am hoping that a certain Modesto City Council member will take this as the gentle suggestion it is intended to be:
You know, not all of us are trained as public speakers, and, you know, most of us can avoid it most of the time. But if you are elected to an important position like this then, you know, you probably will have to explain your views in front of a crowd and on television. You might, you know, want to review some of those council videos to check out how you sound. For example, you might want listen to the tape of last Tuesday's discussion about outsourcing operation of Modesto Centre Plaza. Just a thought, you know.
Worth considering: "You cannot, as a public official, retain your own limited personal viewpoint. And until you are a public official, you seldom realize how limited your personal viewpoint is. Broader concepts forced upon you, sometimes painfully, stay with you, and you'll always be a better person." from a 1963 speech by then-Modesto Mayor Don Hammond
Sly is editor of The Bee Opinions pages. Contact her at (209) 578-2317 or firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @judysly.