Total losers

If you want to know why peaceful protesters get pepper-sprayed, consider the possibility that the cops just don’t like them.

“Went to City Council last night and can’t help but notice how stupid and offensive the Occupy Sacramento people are getting. They are total losers, and anyone would have to be a fool to want to be associated with that movement.”

That’s the candid assessment from Mark Tyndale, newly sworn-in president of the Sacramento Police Officers Association, on his Facebook page last week.

Tyndale says he was actually a supporter of the Occupy movement, when it was about growing inequality. But he can’t hang when some folks (who may or may not be occupying) come before the council and make spooky statements like, “It’s a good day to die.”

Then there was bona fide occupier Sean Thompson’s overwrought address to the council, when he turned his back to the dais in order to better show his contempt for the powers that be.

He’s lucky he didn’t get doused in pepper spray, as three cops moved in immediately, put on high alert by his unorthodox and unauthorized use of a podium.

The mayor waved the cops off. The council continued to look bored and alienated.

Speaking of completely wasting your time: Kevin Johnson’s strong-mayor initiative is rumored to be making a comeback.

The Sacramento Bee’s Ryan Lillis blogged that K.J.’s next power play will likely look a lot like the SMI-lite proposal floated briefly last year.

You’ll remember that SMI-heavy, which K.J. paid a lot of perfectly good money to gather signatures for, got kicked off the ballot because the court said that such a major revision of the city charter couldn’t be accomplished by mere initiative.

So Boss Johnson circulated a scaled-back version which, among other provisions, would still make the city manager the mayor’s employee, still create an additional council district, still give the mayor veto power. Still a major revision.

Which is why SMI-lite would be vulnerable to another lawsuit, if K.J. wants to spend his money on another signature gathering campaign.

The city council could save him the time and money and approve the measure themselves. They won’t.

Which is of course is the argument for strong mayor: Johnson can’t get things done because of the obstructionist council and because of the structure of the city government.

In fact, Johnson can’t get things done because he sucks at getting votes, rarely managing more than three on his big issues. Having witnessed the boss’ temper up close and personal, Bites is not surprised he can’t persuade his peers on the council. But certainly K.J.’s frustration with the job he asked for is not an argument for a strong mayor. It’s an argument for a new mayor.

The Sacramento City Unified School District has recommended several schools for closure, consolidation and reorganization.

The winners and losers are predictable enough. Boutique schools with affluent and well-organized parents, like Sutter Middle School and West Campus, will go untouched. As will the darling of the Bee editorial board, Sacramento Charter High School. Regular neighborhood schools like A.M. Winn and Freeport, and Collis P. Huntington elementaries will likely get the ax.

And for what? Closing an elementary school like Winn will save $181,000 a year. That’s less than the district spent last year on the salaries of the executive chef and other staff at the Serna Center Bistro, to make lunch for employees at district headquarters.

You’d have to close two or three schools (and they will) to save as much as the district’s half-million dollar contract with Wireless Generation, an education consulting firm that’s owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.

Schools or consultants? Who do you think the losers will be.