The criminal case against Monterey County water official Steve Collins ended some time ago with a no contest plea involving conflict of interest in connection with a Cal Am desalination project. But Collins continues to plead his case in the court of public opinion. To that end, he has released a series of documents in an attempt to bolster his position that when he quietly took a side job with the project management firm, he was acting at the direction of other county officials, particularly supervisors Lou Calcagno and Dave Potter.
Last week he distributed a transcript of a prosecution interview with Curtis Weeks, who once was the county’s chief water official. Weeks acknowledged he knew about Collins’ double role almost from the start.
Then he released logs of Deputy County Counsel Irv Grant’s emails, which strongly suggest Grant was discussing Collins’ side job with outside counsel and others nearly a year before he claims to have learned of the situation.
Next, Collins released a transcript of a prosecution interview with Potter, who acknowledges that Calcagno was expressing concerns about Collins’ role early on.
Watch for more on this angle later. That isn’t what this piece is about, however. It’s about a side comment by Potter in that interview, a comment that doesn’t amount to anything of import but that his constituents might find intriguing. Or at least amusing.
Under questioning by then-Deputy DA Stephanie Hulsey, Potter was discussing the difficulties Collins was having working with Peninsula interests and how he was more comfortable dealing with Salinas Valley types.
“… In order to get those wells that were needed,” Potter said, “uh, you know, for a Peninsula project, really, really was a pretty heavy political lift, because there’s no love lost between the ag guys in the valley and the citizens of my district, a very effete, light, you know, affluent community versus the hard-working we-toil-in-the-soil, don’t-tell-us-what-to-do ag community.”
What he meant by effete and light, I have no idea, but I looked up effete. Here’s the first entry that popped up.
- (of a person) affected, overrefined, and ineffectual.”effete trendies from art college”
- synonyms: affected, pretentious, precious, mannered, overrefined; More: ineffectual; informal la-di-da, “effete trendies”
- No longer capable of effective action.”the authority of an effete aristocracy began to dwindle”
- weak, enfeebled, enervated, worn out, exhausted, finished, drained, spent, powerless, ineffectual “the fabric of society is effete”
So there you have it, Potter constituents in effete Carmel Valley, light Monterey and affluent Pebble Beach. Or vice versa.
By the way, I’m not able to link to the transcripts, but if you’d like to see them, shoot me an email, calkinsroyal@gmail, and I’ll be glad to send them along.