Monday, August 25, 2014

Alisal recall moves forward as Castaneda reportedly loses his cool

My colleague Jeff Mitchell at The Californian wrote in July that Juan Sandoval, an Alisal Union School District employee leading a recall effort against Salinas Councilman Jose Castañeda, reached an agreement with the councilman and his supporters to suspend the recall effort. Read all about it here.

It doesn't look like the truce with the supporters lasted long. Sandoval, who's also leading the effort to recall Alisal Trustee Meredith Ibarra, is taking a hit in the form of a mini-documentary. Very nicely produced. And so much effort went into research. Fascinating.

The documentary has the fingerprints of the Ibarra family -- staunch Castañeda supporters -- all over it.  You can find the video here.

I bring this up for two reasons: one, because the recall election is in full swing, and if the video is any indication, it sounds like it's getting nasty over there. Two, because part of the agreement asked of the councilmember to seek psychological counseling -- as reported by Mitchell.

And judging by yet another fine piece of journalism by Mitchell, either the counseling didn't happen or is not working. Mitchell wrote that Castañeda almost went to blows with the city attorney and the assistant city manager last week, after a meeting in which only two councilmembers and the mayor agreed to a $400,000 settlement with former librarian Elizabeth Martinez. Apparently, Castañeda wanted to know how the settlement was reached, and he was trying to use his charm to get the information out of city employees.

I doubt it worked, but you never know.

The great thing about having elected officials such as Castañeda and Ibarra is that they provide endless opportunities for writing juicy stories. The sad part is the damage inflicted on the children, starting with the example they set on so many different fronts. Behavior, to begin with.

It'll be interesting to see how the Alisal recall unfolds. Stay tuned.

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