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COURSEY: The governor tackles a local issue

So, our governor enjoyed a little R&R along the Russian River this week, and took some time out from his vacation to "pull some strings" in county government.

(<a href="http://bit.ly/MPKhz4">Read Chris Smith's story on his visit</a>)

It makes for a nice tale. Jerry Brown, out for a walk in Monte Rio, stops into the Rio Bridge Cafe and Flea Market and charms the owner, Jo Ann Wilson.

"He was delightful," Wilson told Smith.

No doubt. I've spoken to Brown several times over the years. And when he isn't brusque, irascible or mercurial, he really can be a delightful guy.

On Thursday, he also was meddlesome. Hearing that Wilson is having trouble getting the county to approve an expanded flea market behind her cafe, he had her call the office of Efren Carrillo, who represents the river area on the Board of Supervisors.

"I want to know why we can't have a flea market in Monte Rio," he told the supervisor's aide, Susan Upchurch.

You'd think the governor of California would be a little more circumspect. Here's a guy who is presiding over a state government teetering on the edge of a cliff, and he's sticking his nose into local zoning issues.

Upchurch and Carrillo played along, gently chiding the governor about the redevelopment funds he confiscated from local governments in his attempts to fund state government. Carrillo said he told Brown he will "do my very best" to help Wilson.

As I said, it's a nice tale. But it made me think: Wouldn't it be swell if we could pick up the phone and get the governor on the line?


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