Chad’s Morning Brief: Lubbock City Council Meeting, Celebrate Gay Marriage or Else, and Other Top Stories
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of February 28, 2014. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am. Remember, you can listen online at KFYO.com or on your iPhone/Android with the radioPup App.
Lubbock City Council
The Lubbock City Council discussed energy, pay raises, and more last night at Lubbock City Hall. Cole Shooter with KFYO News has all the information.
At Thursday evening’s Lubbock City Council meeting, the Council approved raises for three City employees.
The Council approved raises for Lubbock City Manager James Loomis, Interim City Attorney Mitchell Satterwhite, and City Secretary Rebecca Garza.
The Council approved the pay increases retroactively, beginning from February 1st of this year.
They raised Loomis’ annual salary to $235,000, below the originally proposed $250,000. Only District Three Councilman Todd Klein voted against the increase. He was previously being paid an annual salary of $205,000.
Satterwhite’s salary has been increased by $3,597 per month during the period that he serves as interim city attorney in City Attorney Sam Medina’s absence. His current salary is $143,832.
Under the memorandum of understanding approved by the Council, when Satterwhite ceases to serve as interim city attorney, his salary will increase to $162,136 for the position which he held prior to Medina’s leave of absence.
City Secretary Becky Garza’s salary was increased to $135,000 from her previous $101,526. The increase was lower than the originally recommended $139,000. The Council approved the item 5-2, with Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson and Klein dissenting.
The Council also approved a settlement with the parents of an 18-year-old man killed in a crash with a City of Lubbock vehicle.
The $250,000 settlement was approved for the parents of Jared Samuel Trengrove, who collided with a City of Lubbock truck on September 6th at 81st Street and Indiana Avenue.
The Council also approved a resolution recommended by Robertson, which establishes a Power Plan Committee to analyze all potential sources of electrical power generation for the next 100 years, including alternative and renewable sources.
The committee would be created by City Manager James Loomis. It was approved 4-3, with District One Councilman Victor Hernandez, District Two Councilman Floyd Price, and District Six Councilwoman Latrelle Joy voting against the measure.
The Council also approved the creation of a Veterans Advisory Committee to study and make recommendations to the City Council regarding benefits, services, and assistance for Lubbock veterans. The measure passed with unanimous support.
Also approved by the Council is a resolution authorizing the publication of Notices of Intention to issue Tax and Waterworks system surplus revenue certificates of obligation and electric light and power system revenue bonds.
The Tax and Waterworks certificates of obligation will not exceed $80 million, and will include projects for airport runway construction, parks and recreation improvements, street maintenance, sign upgrades, wastewater and water system upgrades. The expected cost of all the projects is nearly $71,839,000.
The electric light and power system revenue bonds will not exceed $23 million, and will include projects for substation land acquisition, transmission loops, line reconductoring, and outage systems.
I find the pay raise for the interim City Attorney odd. Was there a need to raise the salary? We will talk about this and more on today’s show.
Celebrate, Or Else
Jonah Goldberg at National Review has an excellent piece out today about SB 1062, common sense, and the sad reality that the government can force people to go against their religious beliefs.
Future historians will likely be flummoxed by the moment we’re living in. In what amounts to less than a blink of an eye in the history of Western civilization, homosexuality has gone from a diagnosed mental disorder to something to be celebrated — or else.
Indeed, the rush to mandatory celebration is so intense, refusal is now considered tantamount to a crime. And, in some rare instances, an actual crime if the right constable or bureaucrat concludes that you have uttered “hate speech.”
Or, if you refuse to bake a gay couple a cake for their wedding. That was the horror story that sparked much of this foofaraw.
Arizona’s proposed SB 1062 would have amended the state’s 15-year-old Religious Freedom Restoration Act in a minor way so as to cover businesses. Arizona’s religious-freedom statute was modeled on a similar federal law signed by Bill Clinton after passing with large bipartisan majorities in both houses. It would have allowed small businesses to decline work that violated their consciences, unless the government could show a compelling reason why such refusal was unreasonable or unjust.
Speaking of unreasonableness, according to ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser, if Arizona allows bakers to refuse to bake cakes for gay couples, gays may have to wear “yellow stars” like the Jews of Nazi Germany. It would be Jim Crow for gays according to, well, too many people to list.
Now lest you get the wrong impression, I am no opponent of gay marriage. I would have preferred a compromise on civil unions, but that ship sailed. The country, never mind the institution of marriage, has far bigger problems than gays settling down, filing joint tax returns, and arguing about whose turn it is to do the dishes. By my lights it’s progress that gay activists and left-wingers are celebrating the institution of marriage as essential. Though I do wish they’d say that more often about heterosexual marriage, too.
But I find the idea that government can force people to violate their conscience without a compelling reason repugnant. I agree with my friend, columnist Deroy Murdock. He thinks private businesses should be allowed to serve whomever they want. Must a gay baker make a cake for the hateful idiots of the Westboro Baptist Church? Must he write “God hates fags!” in the icing?
The ridiculous invocations of Jim Crow are utterly ahistorical, by the way. Jim Crow was state-enforced, and businesses that wanted to serve blacks could be prosecuted. Let the market work and the same social forces that have made homosexuality mainstream will make refusing service to gays a horrible business decision — particularly in the wedding industry!
When August “Gussie” Busch, the CEO of Budweiser, bought the St. Louis Cardinals in 1953, he was vexed by the Brooklyn Dodgers’ success, which was due in large part to Jackie Robinson. He asked Cardinals executives how many blacks they were cultivating, and when they said “None,” he was appalled. “How can it be the great American game if blacks can’t play? Hell, we sell beer to everyone!” he exclaimed. The next year the Cardinals had a black first baseman, Tom Alston.
In 2000, Jonathan Rauch, a (gay) brilliant intellectual and champion of gay marriage, wrote a wonderful essay on “hidden law,” which he defined as “the norms, conventions, implicit bargains, and folk wisdoms that organize social expectations, regulate everyday behavior, and manage interpersonal conflicts.” Basically, hidden law is the unwritten legal and ethical code of civil society. Abortion, assisted suicide, and numerous other hot-button issues were once settled by people doing right as they saw it without seeking permission from the government.
“Hidden law is exceptionally resilient,” Rauch observed, “until it is dragged into politics and pummeled by legalistic reformers.” That crowd believes all good things must be protected by law and all bad things must be outlawed.
As society has grown more diverse (a good thing) and social trust has eroded (a bad thing), the authority of hidden law has atrophied. Once it was understood that a kid’s unlicensed lemonade stand, while technically “illegal,” was just fine. Now kids are increasingly asked, “Do you have a permit for this?”
Gay activists won the battle for hidden law a long time ago. If they recognized that, the sane response would be, “You don’t want my business because I’m gay? Go to hell,” followed by a vicious review on Yelp. The baker would pay a steep price for a dumb decision, and we’d all be spared a lot of stupid talk about yellow stars.
Other Top Stories:
These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.