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Off Beat: Barking up the right tree

Sutter County's animal shelter saga has been an interesting one, although not for the obvious reason.

Sure, the county, Yuba City and, to a lesser extent, Live Oak, have pretty much botched things up for many years.

Only a grand jury report seemed to rouse the elected officials from their quality snooze time.

But it must have been quite humbling for the crème de la crème of elected officialdom to have to listen to somebody from U.C. Davis tell them how to do their business.

Yes, Davis. Yuba City and Davis are pretty much polar opposites in every possible way.

Davis: Liberal.

Yuba City: Conservative.

Davis: Rich (by Central Valley standards).

Yuba City: Poor (but not as bad as some other places).

Davis: Sophisticated, well-educated population.

Yuba City: Not very sophisticated, not-so-well educated.

So there was the person from the U.C. Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program trying to explain to the folks from Yuba City, Sutter County and Live Oak — very few of whom attended U.C. Davis — how badly they had mangled things and how they needed to set things right.

Shockingly, the Sutter Animal Services Authority, which oversees the shelter construction program, last month agreed to contract with Koret to put a professional finish on shelter operations.

So if you just criticize elected officials enough — and you actually know more than they do — they'll hire you because they apparently have no other options.

Luckily for the electeds, there hasn't been much public outcry about this multi-year fiasco, even as the shelter devolved into a house of horrors.

It will be interesting to see in the Sutter County supervisor races if candidates raise the shelter as a issue, or if it resonates at all.

It should be an easy issue to raise, and they can always wrap their criticism in the imprimatur of the grand jury.

It's always much easier to be for levee repairs and against more taxes, along with the usual mantra of preserving agriculture and protection North State water rights.

CREW cut

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington released a report last month on how members of Congress benefit themselves and family members.

Your man in Washington, Wally Herger, wasn't mentioned. He's that darn ethical.

But Rep. John Garamendi, who may be your next congressman, well, he had a small blemish.

Turns out Garamendi, in 2010, had his daughter and his son-in-law on the campaign payroll to the tune of about $15,000.


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