Keep on trucking?

The city council should have known four years ago that the ordinance severely restricting taco trucks, Rasta wagons and other mobile food vendors was unimaginative, unethical and uncool. But when it comes to business in Sacramento, bigger has always been better.

Bites isn’t suggesting the council offer significant support and encouragement to small business. Lord knows that’s a bit radical for Sactown. But if City Hall could just stop kissing the asses of corporate players like Nestlé, or offering up millions in public subsidies for hokey mermaid bars, that would help.

Bites doesn’t know what’s more lame. The fact that the council thought the rules (severely limiting the hours and location of mobile vendors) were ever a good idea, or the fact that some council members are having second thoughts lately because food trucks are suddenly trendy. The development of gourmet food-truck fare in bigger cities, culminating in a new Food Network series The Great Food Truck Race, has some in City Hall rethinking the restrictions. Even The Sacramento Bee editorial board has courageously come out in support of food trucks, now that they’re fashionable.

If the ordinance gets reversed to accommodate upscale roach coaches, crêpe cars and hipster grilled cheese, then Sacramento—in its time-honored behind-the-curve way—will be doing the right thing for completely wrong reasons. Tasty, convenient classism. But classism all the same.

City council hopeful Patrick Kennedy had to be hurting after primary night last June, when opponent Jay Schenirer led him by 14 points.

But going into November’s runoff election, a new poll—performed by EMC Research and likely sponsored by Kennedy’s labor supporters—shows the two candidates are now in a statistical tie to take the 5th District.

There are some interesting breakouts. Schenirer does much better in the higher turnout Curtis Park neighborhood; Kennedy is more popular among African-Americans and Latinos. Kennedy enjoys the support of older voters, while Schenirer is more popular with the under-50 crowd (clearly SN&R’s endorsement of Kennedy at work there).

And Schenirer is hardly coasting on his primary lead. He recently dropped by the Bitescave (not many candidates brave a second visit) with information about an interesting new campaign technique, the telephone town-hall meeting. Every Tuesday night at 7 p.m., voters (and nonvoters, too, Bites supposes) can call in and join a discussion about particular issues in the district. On September 7, Schenirer will be hosting a confab particular to the Woodbine and Golf Course Terrace neighborhoods. Check for more information and to see the schedule of neighborhoods and issues. Schenirer says that he may make a regular practice of the telephone town halls if he’s lucky enough to get elected. Bites would endorse that idea, whoever wins in the 5th.

It’s back-to-school time, and the campaign for the Sacramento City Unified School District Board of Education is beginning in earnest.

Thirteen candidates are vying for three seats, and the school board races seem particularly important this year—what with the arrival of Superintendent J-Ray, the meddling of Mayor K.J. and an overall lack of transparency in the district budget.

As a parent, Bites has seen good teachers come and go, and bad ones stick around longer than they should. Then there’s the constant emphasis on test scores and the district’s lack of any policy limiting homework hours. What’s on your school board agenda? Who are you supporting and what questions should be put to the candidates? E-mail them to me.