Former Santa Rosa City Councilman Mike Martini today criticizes current Councilwoman Veronica Jacobi for abstaining as the council adopted spending cuts designed to reduce the gaping hole in the city’s budget. In his letter to the editor – here – Martini says the rest of us can’t abstain during times of financial distress and neither should an elected member of the City Council. You can read Brett Wilkison’s report on the city’s budget woes and Jacobi’s choice of protests by clicking here.

In the high-flown rhetoric that drives political campaigns, we usually forget that governing isn’t always uplifting and glamorous. When an elected council is staring at a budget deficit of more than $10 million, it doesn’t matter whether you were a “pro-business” candidate or a “slow-growth” candidate.  You’ve got to figure out how to make it work.

More often than candidates and interest groups will admit, the day-to-day business of local government isn’t about ideology at all. It’s about common sense, patience and making hard choices.

In the budget crisis confronting state and local government in California, they are all bad choices now, but it doesn’t matter. When you’re $10 million past broke, you either close the gap or watch the whole thing come crashing down.