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Santa Maria Sun / Canary

The following article was posted on May 8th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 9 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 9

Gaze into the future

Behold, the Great Canarini! I know and see all! Tremble at the terrible power of my prognostication!

While I love this column, I do sometimes enjoy a little more theatricality than it typically allows. So I’ve been trying out some other things. I found a cool glass sphere at a local thrift shop, and then I sewed myself a sparkly hat a la Johnny Carson’s Great Carnac. And now I can see the future!

It works best if you imagine me reading that part in italics out loud, with my voice booming and echoing.

Anyway, allow me a moment to get back into character.

O, mysterious spirits of the unknowable universe, reveal to me that which is yet to come!

I … I see something. It’s faint. The mists of time are cloudy, but … wait! Yes … yes … it’s becoming clear! It’s …

Will Smith talking about litigation.

So much for this act.

You don’t need a crystal ball to predict that the Santa Maria Bonita School District’s most notorious and fractious board trustee is going to talk about lawsuits and civil actions and this and that just about every time he opens his mouth. Sometimes they’re his own suits. Sometimes—as in this case—they’re potentially from other people.

I’ve said this before: He might have some good ideas for the district, and some genuine concerns that should be addressed by his fellow trustees and other district officials. But the only thing that obscures intentions more than the mystical mists of time is a character of contentiousness. Yes, Will positions himself as a champion of transparency and truth and justice and all that stuff Superman shouts about before leaping tall buildings, but his message is often obliterated by his method.

He can argue all night that he’s left with no other options, but when every conversation seems to turn into a fight—legal or otherwise—nobody’s going to remember the words. They’re just going to remember the dust-up.

For instance, in the latest chapter of this crazy book, Smith said he didn’t want the district’s lawyer representing him after the Santa Maria Elementary Education Association filed a complaint against the school district due to Smith’s actions. Smith refused the counsel because the district’s lawyer also is involved with other litigation brought by Smith.

     Smith told a Sun reporter: “Would you want your enemy to represent you?”

That’s a good question. I certainly wouldn’t. But it struck me as horribly awkward when I broke that idea down: Smith believes that he and the lawyer seeking to represent him on behalf of the board on which Smith serves are enemies. And, I suppose, they are.

This particular legal scuffle ended with a judge issuing a cease-and-desist order against the district. And primarily Smith. Turns out they’re not supposed to intimidate employees—something Smith maintains he never did. He insists everything he did that irked the teachers’ union was on the up and up. But that’s kind of my point. Everything he does rubs somebody the wrong way, and he may wear such an attribute as a badge of honor, but how can any progress be made at this point? Smith, I’m guessing, would argue that he’s trying to move forward despite literally everyone else he serves with defending against his own claims.

So is he a lone wolf howling at the injustice of it all? Or is he just barking mad at the moon?

Only time will tell—and I just chipped my crystal ball when I accidentally dropped it. I should’ve seen that one coming.

 

The Canary is much better at looking into the past. Send comments to canary@santamariasun.com.