≡ Menu

A monument to people who died crossing the border

If I keep doing this, Joe Heston over at KSBW-TV is going to start thinking I’m picking on him. I’m really not. It’s just that the station manager’s editorials, often wrongheaded in my humble opinion, are great conversation starters.

His latest editorial amounts to opposition to a proposed ordinance in Salinas that would enable non-citizens to serve on city commissions and boards. The idea was put forth by Councilman Tony Villegas and was headed for a City Council agenda, with some procedural help from Councilman Steve McShane, who attracted Heston’s wrath even though McShane says he is fully opposed to the idea. It didn’t make it onto last week’s agenda but it apparently isn’t dead yet.

Anyway, Heston said letting non-citizens serve could provide non-voters with “significant control over millions of voter-approved Measure-E and Measure-G dollars.” He asks, “Would this open the door to somehow requiring that they be allowed to run for City Council, too?” In Heston’s view, the measure would diminish the value of U.S. citizenship.

It should surprise no one that I feel differently. First off, I don’t have what some would consider proper respect for borders. I’m not a big believer in the idea that a poor person from Mexico or wherever can’t come here to survive because of an imaginary line in the sand. Does that make me a hopeless liberal? Probably so. Live with it.

Secondly, there’s that thing about taxation without representation. And don’t tell me that non-citizens don’t pay taxes. Those who work, and that’s most of them, have income taxes and Social Security taxes withheld from their paychecks. I get a Social Security check now and then and it seems to me that if all those non-citizens eventually collected their due from the Social Security system, my checks would likely be smaller.

They pay sales tax and directly or indirectly they pay property taxes. Don’t tell me renters don’t pay property taxes. They might not make out the check to the county but I guarantee you the landlord includes the tax in the rental price.

If Villegas’s idea was to become law, I don’t think there would be a flood of non-citizens applying for seats on the Planning Commission or the Recreation Commission. Most non-citizens I know aren’t about to raise their profiles in the Trump Era. But a few non-citizens helping the city mothers and fathers decide which service needs to fill or which neighborhoods need better policing, that doesn’t bother me a bit.

What do you think?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Maureen March 27, 2017, 5:37 pm

    This may be to correct the issue of him potentially not living in salinas. He is under investigation

  • Maureen March 27, 2017, 5:53 pm

    Furthermore, I’m tired of people like don Chapin and peter Kasavan who wNt to run the city but not live here. Get some skin in the game.

  • Gregory D Lee March 27, 2017, 6:10 pm

    Here’s an idea, Royal: Just for pure politically correct purposes, let’s put illegal alien Serrano gang members on the police advisory board. Who else would be better to evaluate the police department’s performance?
    What else can Salinas do to put it in the spotlight when AG Sessions prioritizes which cities to deny Justice Department grants?
    The Salinas city council needs a spanking and I think it’s coming soon.

    • Maureen March 27, 2017, 6:29 pm

      Good point. Why not just get some folks form Calera Canyon to run our city. WTH. Maybe we can have folks from Fresno run Monterey County, have a few thousand John rises along the shore line cause they like to visit there. Why we are at it, let’s have folks from Kansas run the Coastal Commission and be Governor.

  • Eric Sand March 27, 2017, 6:51 pm

    Sorry Royal….you are just wrong on this….for a thousand reasons….

  • Karl Pallastrini March 27, 2017, 7:44 pm

    Royal, you have to be kidding. Is there any value to US citizenship? If you are not happy with the laws and regulations of the Federal and State Government, find the correct channels to move your thinking forward. This is not the 1960’s anymore. Civil Disobedience goes back a long way in our history, but there is a legal process to change the law rather than ignore it. States (like California) have ignored Federal Law, e.g. Sanctuary Cities, while still expecting Federal dollars to sustain grants and allocations targeted for public assistance on a number of levels. I am not opposed to the ideas…just the process of ignoring current Federal law because aliens pay rent, sales tax an social security. Heston, as strange as he appears, has a valid point on this one.

  • Bob Coble March 27, 2017, 8:14 pm

    Interesting topic. Sadly most of the comments thus far have grossly distorted the whole idea. Having said that I will add that at this point I had not decided whether I support or oppose the proposal. However, it does raise a question — Is there any law prohibiting it?

  • Craig Malin March 27, 2017, 8:22 pm

    What do I think?

    I think not having a television is solidly within the best fourteen decisions I’ve ever made.

    Fixed your KSBW “editorial” angst, right there. And library cards are still free!

  • David Breedlove March 27, 2017, 8:39 pm

    Ok, Royal. I’ll bite. Sorry to say that first my reaction was also “Hell No!” But after a moment of thought I’m thinking: Where can we get some light on this topic — viz the current law, here and in other countries. Maybe a reader or two with some legal background could write us a little treatise on the definition of citizenship.

  • Royal Calkins March 28, 2017, 12:01 am

    I am curious about whether the various city charters, etc., formally require citizenship for membership on city commissions. It might not have occurred to folks to make it a requirement.

  • Gregory D Lee March 28, 2017, 8:15 am

    In 2015, the L. A. County city of Huntington Park appointed two illegal aliens to its park commission and the public went nuclear. Citizens demanded their removal. The same thing should happen in Salinas. Facilitating the harboring of an illegal alien is a felony. What is there not to understand about that?

    • Royal Calkins March 28, 2017, 8:40 am

      All non-citizens are not undocumented. What is there not to understand about that?

      • Gregory D Lee March 28, 2017, 9:43 am

        Good point. But you know the true intent of the council’s proposal.

    • Helga Fellay March 28, 2017, 9:37 am

      Gregory, there are illegal acts, but there cannot ever be illegal people. And aliens show up only in Hollywood movies. What you are referring to is hard-working, tax paying, undocumented immigrants who are Salinas residents and who have as much right to take an interest in and contribute to the city in which they live and work, and which they love. That self-righteous angry little Heston guy shows nothing but smallness of mind and smallness of heart when he attempts to divide, rather than unite and further contributes to an “us” versus “them” ugly climate. What we need most in local government is good IDEAS, and whether the person who brings them owns a US passport or not should never be the issue. Remember that unless you are Native American, we are all immigrants. The ancestors of those reviled “illegal aliens” owned this land, your own ancestors did not.

  • Nancy Runyon March 28, 2017, 10:26 am

    I think it is necessary to have all “stakeholders” represented on boards and committees to find answers to problems that really work. We need homeless people on Committee about the homeless, we need agricultural workers on committee for agricultural issues, and it might be very informative to at least have ex-gang members on police committee, etc.
    The biggest mistake I have seen made by employers was to not consult the people actually doing the job before they changed the programs. It always wasted time and money making employees try to adapt to programs that didn’t really work. One company spent thousands of dollars on consultants who determined something any of the employees could have told the employer in 2 minutes, if asked. State Parks management delayed the new General Plan for the Point Lobos area for 3 years so far, by not asking all stakeholders what was needed or possible.
    The more knowledge we have—the better off we are. Life is not simple and we live on a small planet where we are all interconnected. One person’s profit is another person’s polution, etc.

  • david fairhurst March 28, 2017, 10:52 am

    As much as it pains me I have to agree with KSWB on this one.

    What would be the point of having independent Nations? What would be the point of borders or National laws? Who would be the governing authority and how would it operate? It couldn’t be the United Nations, since that is a confederation of “independent” nations. Do we now pick what ever immigration (or other) laws an individual wants to follow? Why do some have such a desire to put violent criminals, just to save them from deportation, back into the very communities they prey upon? No one is screaming to deport everybody, only the violent criminals and truly undesirables.

    There are a lot of people screaming that we (California) should be (are) part of Mexico under their laws, (and drug cartels), their political and education systems. Their roadways, police, Courts and more. (remember the Coast Weekly’s “Ask A Mexican”) I for one prefer our institutions, even with our flaws. In 1835 the original Californios wanted nothing to do with “the sham republic” of Mexico.

    Neither the established RipUoffIcans or the Demoncraps will solve legal immigration because they are more concerned with their personal power than solving issues (ObombYa had 8 years with his “superman” suit and ideal worshiping lemmings) Our professional politicians would rather see more destruction and division than solutions. (Maybe that is why a lot of people voted for Trump, because they were tired of the same old lies, blame and excuses.

    The real answer is to find a way to take the people that truly want to become American citizens and find a realistic pathway for their citizenship. Then of course they should be on “boards”, run for offices and be part of the fabric of this Nation, how could one do this from the shadows of illegality? So why can’t we find someway to legalize the people we want as our neighbors and friends? (and please instead of just blaming Trump, why not try to help with an answer and solution that works for all concerned)

  • bill leone March 28, 2017, 1:22 pm

    The above argument is a red herring; a distraction from dealing with the real issue of Immigration Reform. The Pimp President is not dealing with it in a sensible way either, by deporting anyone with a Green Card, or “undocumented,” who has had a traffic ticket in the last 30 years. If you don’t believe this fact, it only means you have not spoken with anyone who speaks Spanish since January. I which case, you would have learned that Federal Immigration Officers have been intimidating & taking people into custody under the slightest pretenses. As a result, children & young adults (many of them American citizens) are not going to school, or their grades are dropping, & some are experiencing anxiety disorders from the bullying they are getting from students, teachers, & stupid television personalities who don’t have a clue….like Mr. Heston.

    • david fairhurst March 30, 2017, 11:24 pm

      I know and talk to many people who speak the New World dialect of Spanish. I have helped some to citizenship, I know of no mass deportations, nor of “bulling” nor of being too scared to attend school nor any of the other hysteric ramblings you state. Please show examples and where and when these “slightest of pretenses taking people into custody” are happening.
      I personally glad that we aren’t suffering under the lack of law and the repression that would have been under the Whore President had it been Hitlery.
      Those that I know do not want the violent illegals released back into their Hispanic communities and would rather see them deported too. The “progressives” are once again wiping up unfounded claims and hysteria to mask their hate of those that disagree with their agenda of a ruining America.

  • Brian Higgins March 28, 2017, 1:28 pm

    Someone should let Mr. Heston know that in the City of Salinas, commissions have control over nothing. Their decisions and advisories mean next to nothing (especially when there is no local media to cover their meetings). They have control over $0 tax dollars.

    If he wants to see the people of this county truly lose their minds, allow non-citizens on the County Planning Commission. Then the $h!t will get real for a lot of people who like to judge Salinas from outside the city limits.

  • Karl Pallastrini March 28, 2017, 8:31 pm

    Ok Helga and friends…what is the solution to the problem? Work to change the law? Forget the Federal laws regarding immigration? This should not be about the hard-working Latinos who keep our economy going. They are not the issue. The issue is about existing Federal Laws regarding immigration requirements. Apparently there are many in the state and country who are quite willing to ignore the law, with few, if any, suggesting a process for changing or modifying the laws to accommodate those who we know add significant value to our communities. What is wrong with doing it through process? Should the Federal Government continue to allocate funds to sanctuary cities who are flying in the face of the law? Screw the law…but we still want your funding? The Fed does not have to agree with the states, but they (we) shouldn’t have to pay for it. Everything comes at a price. Regarding the children of illegal immigrants…they are guaranteed a public education in the state of California, regardless of their parents status. That is California Education Code.

    • david fairhurst March 30, 2017, 11:35 pm

      Perhaps first learning if that person wants to be an American. I know of some that, though by law are illegal are no more “Mexican” than you or I. They were brought here when very young, grew up here and no longer have ties to “Mexico”. Somehow we need to find out who they are and, yes, “fast-track” them to citizenship. The question begets, how do we determine who should be here and who should not. i like the idea of deporting those with a violent criminal history, but why does everyone think Mexico is going to accept them back?
      Running around declaring “sanctuary! sanctuary!” isn’t going to address the problem or arrive at a solution, only inflame more anger, discourse and division. But heck, isn’t that a “Progressive” does?

  • bill leone March 30, 2017, 8:53 am

    As of last night, Seaside is a Sanctuary City, thanks to the efforts of (above everyone else) Kayla Jones, a fellow Progressive Democrat, who introduced the Resolution, Craig Malin (who I’m actually beginning to like as a person), all the Seaside City Council members (except Dave Pacheco, who for some strange reason voted Against the Resolution), & all the citizens who supported the Resolution, & filled the City Council Chambers. It made me very proud to be a resident of this diverse & vibrant community of Seaside.

    Carmel, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, Del Rey Oaks, Carmel Valley, Sand City, we are waiting for you to Take A Stand. Remember the quote I posted before Thanksgiving, from the NYT, written by the most well-know undocumented immigrant in the US: “What will You do when they start rounding us up?” And, if you refuse to take a stand, history will Not be on your side.

  • Jean March 30, 2017, 10:31 am


    Do you have a link to the statement or resolution approved by the Seaside Council?

  • bill leone March 30, 2017, 1:23 pm

    No, but you could probably access it online, or drop by Seaside City Hall & get a revised final copy of the Resolution. The important facts are: Kayla Jones introduced the Resolution (after it was nearly put off by Mayor Rubio, who eventually saw the light), & David Pacheco voted against it; something everyone should be reminded of when they come up for re-election. Someone at the Weekly should do some good investigative journalism & give us the full, accurate story of the Resolution from beginning to end. This may be another assignment for David Schmaltz, who by the way, has been responsible for the past three or four Real incidents of investigative journalism at the Weekly (formerly “The Weakly”). Moreover, we are looking at other Peninsula cities to Take A Stand.

  • Jim guy March 30, 2017, 8:06 pm

    Why does it seem to me that that red state parts of California might wholeheartedly endorse blue state parts becoming sanctuary areas?

  • bill leone April 2, 2017, 10:51 am

    Yes, & it may also seem to you that the image of The Pimp President should be engraved on Mount Rushmore; however, as is the case with most Paranoid Right-Wing conspiracy theories, there Seems to be no credible Evidence to back up your statement.

  • Jim guy April 3, 2017, 5:23 pm

    Pimp shaming is never acceptable. When you see a pimp, Bill, you should simply think, “There but for the grace of God, go I.” ….

    OK, skip the last part.