Maybe it’s time for something different to ease the pain of losing, searching for, working with, and again losing city administrators.

We’re not qualified to assess why it happened or who was at fault; we’re just noting the loss to Marysville of a city manager; following the loss of the city manager for Yuba City not very long ago who replaced the city manager not very long before that.

We hear of generalities alluded to for why councils are unhappy with an administrator, but mostly it seems like they’re clashing in one way or another – personality, vision, efficacy.

I’m not taking sides; but the turnover in leadership has to hurt. And maybe that touches on the problem – is there some disagreement about whether a city manager is supposed to be a full-throttled leader? Or just an executor?

When the councils get around to searching for new administrators, we’d like to see them develop not just a list of expectations for the next new employees, but also a list of expectations for themselves about how they’ll work with and handle an administrator – that person who is usually best positioned to realistically set goals and check off accomplishments ... with a council’s backing.


Thumbs Up: Big roadway projects in urban areas are always a blessing and a curse. Everyone knows we need those projects to renew highways, but the disruption of services and easy access to businesses along the construction path can be bothersome.

Stay patient, Live Oak. Work is set to begin Monday on a $36 million Highway 99 safety and improvement project through the town.

Caltrans will upgrade the highway’s drainage systems, rehabilitate roadway to a 40-year design life; flatten the roadway cross slopes, construct continuous sidewalks, improve traffic signals at three intersections and create a pedestrian-focused downtown by enhancing parking and building access, signage, landscaping and facilitation of bicyclists and pedestrians. Whew!

Caltrans asks that motorists be alert for heavy equipment and workers and emphasized that businesses will remain open and signs will direct customers to driveways and parking areas.


Help: Are you the owner or manager of a business that is just hanging on? Prospects seem bleak?

Please don’t give up without putting a call in to the Yuba-Sutter Economic Development Corporation and/or the Yuba Sutter Chamber of Commerce.

The organizations have been working with other groups, banks and credit unions, to provide an assist to local businesses feeling the effects of the pandemic.

“The chamber is dedicating much more time to education and advocacy in the face of COVID-19,” said Marni Sanders, CEO of the chamber.

A Small Business Development Center consultant will be available a day per week starting August 4, according to Sanders. Emergency preparedness, labor laws, human resources issues and Family and Medical Leave Act issues are among the topics they can help with.


Thumbs Down: Unlike last year, so far, there hasn’t been a daily haze reminding us of nearby fires and fire season. But it’s on ... how safely we conduct ourselves in the wild areas will make a big difference.

Cal Fire’s incidents overview webpage ( reports that so far this year there have been an estimated 43,992 acres burned in 4,891 incidents, including 23 structures, and, thankfully, no fatalities.

That includes a number of Northern California incidents, including a 500-acre fire in Yuba County (the Valley Fire, fully contained earlier this month).

We need to be extra careful this fire season. There is wildland fuel aplenty; and just like everything else, the pandemic complicates things. Firefighting units need our support.

The usual fire season concerns are exacerbated this year by the pandemic. Fire crews have to worry harder about staying healthy as well as fighting fire.

“Vegetation is already at critical levels for burning conditions and the forecast is for a long and dry summer ahead with a predicted longer fire season,” said Marysville Fire Chief Ron Karlen in a recent story.

Yuba City Fire Chief Jesse Alexander noted that while the job of fighting fires is unchanged, everything else has changed. “COVID makes everything more challenging,” he said.

Let’s all be as careful as possible out there, please.


The Saturday Ugh (truly sorry about the second one):

– My son kept chewing on the electrical cords, so I had to ground him. He’s doing better, currently, and conducting himself properly.

– Why can’t you hear a pterodactyl go to the bathroom? Because the p is silent.

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