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September 22, 2020

Our View: CHEERS and JEERS

CHEERS to Cecelia and Gary Ponzini, co-founders of the Edward “Boss” Prado Foundation, and their board members and countless volunteers who help the couple and their nonprofit organization provide clothing, food and other basic needs to Morgan Hill’s less fortunate residents. Cecelia and the energetic group that runs the foundation, which oversees Cecelia’s Closet and Food Pantry, even reached outside the community this week to collect donated items for families affected by the Butte Fire in northern California.

JEERS to Morgan Hill Unified School District Superintendent Steve Betando and trustees for trying to pass a secret note during the Aug. 4 board meeting—an action that would likely get any of their 9,000-plus students scolded if caught trying the same thing in the middle of Civics class. Although the content of the note written by Betando was generic—“Anybody can call for a vote at any time”—he gave the impression he was trying to unduly influence the decision on the table, which had to do with the integration of sixth grade into the middle schools. He passed the note to Board President Bob Benevento, who then passed it along to colleagues. This was during a public meeting, and the trustees should have immediately disclosed the note’s contents upon seeing it.

CHEERS to Sobrato High’s football team for hosting its first El Toro Bowl. In the rivalry matchup’s eight previous editions, the Bulldogs played the annual game at Live Oak High School because facilities couldn’t accommodate football at Sobrato. Thanks to efforts that allowed Sobrato to host its first home games last year, El Toro Bowl is coming to north Morgan Hill. Varsity kickoff is slated for 1:45 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19. Good luck to both teams!

JEERS to the city of Morgan Hill for the poor timing of current downtown construction projects which are causing disruptions to business and holding potential visitors to the neighborhood at bay. We know the city has been planning these projects for many years, and they have to spend the funds available for these infrastructure improvements on a tight schedule or else they lose them. But they could have implemented the projects—the Fourth Street Garage, Monterey Road streetscape, Third and Fourth street reconstruction, First Street utility upgrades, etc.—in succession instead of all at once. Now the entire downtown neighborhood is a cacophonous construction zone that is difficult to navigate on foot, on bicycle or in a car.

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