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On a fine chief, a sharp move by Lodi city leaders, and celibacy

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Posted: Saturday, April 10, 2010 12:00 am

Police Chief David Main — a manager with heart

Lodi will miss David Main, who is retiring as police chief.

Main's management style is open, transparent, responsive. He is a very good listener. He worked his way up the ranks at Lodi's police department not with flash or swagger, but with excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

During his 28 years with the department, Main cared more about people than getting his own way. That's one mark of a progressive and sensitive manager. It was no surprise, as we reviewed our coverage of Main's career, to note that he once listed among his favorite books "Leading with the Heart," by Mike Krzyzweski.

Main was also a methodical officer who helped design the public safety building and create the department's neighborhood policing program.

Now, we are left to ponder what might have been. Given more time, we believe Main could have been one of Lodi's greatest chiefs, an innovator in tough times, a deft manager, a pro-active leader.

Main is only 51, but with the city's generous pension policy, he can now receive full retirement. He had planned to work longer, but Main made the decision to retire to tend to his wife, who is ill, and their two small children.

It is a decision that reflects a man with heart and integrity, driven more by core values than ambition.

We wish Main and his family the best during this challenging time.

A $1.2 million windfall

The city of Lodi deserves a tip of the hat from taxpayers for sharp thinking.

Getting its partners at the Northern California Power Agency to arrange the paperwork so that buying a $140 million power plant was recorded in Lodi gave the city treasury a one-time boost of $1.2 million.

If the devil is in the detail, so are the gems of good government.

Lodi Councilman Larry Hansen provides more details on this page about the city electrical utility.

But, in this space, we would commend the Lodi Council for joining 13 other public agencies to build the gas-fired generator near our White Slough Sewage Treatment plant. It takes years to plan an electrical generating plant in California. Owning a piece of this asset will pay dividends to Lodi electrical users for years.

It's a terrific investment.

Celibacy and clergy

Pedophilia among Catholic priests is being reported around the world, and that brings into question the requirement of chastity by the Catholic clergy.

It seems so obvious: Shouldn't priests and nuns be allowed to marry?

That's not a new idea. In fact, it is a widely held opinion that isn't talked about much.

In a democracy, the contrast between popular opinion and official policy would be controversial and the lack of outcry a little mysterious. But the Catholic Church is a hierarchy, not a democracy. The Catholic faithful accept that their opinion is not a central influence on Church practices. We don't question that, for there is value in humility.

But we hope the Church's leaders someday accept what many in the flock already know: To ask celibacy of mere mortals is to invite failure.

A priest or a nun who violates the vow of chastity and defiles the innocent betrays the Church's purpose, which is to lead the people to God.

The Church can survive without chastity, but not without moral authority.

We offer that opinion with humility and admiration for an ancient institution.

— The Lodi News-Sentinel

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