It comes as no surprise. And as the deadline of Oct. 7, 2003 approaches, I truly hope that soon-to-be former Governor Gray Davis isn’t surprised as well. If he shows any sense of surprise it would qualify as the utmost act of arrogance by a public official.

Many times during Gray Davis’ tenure I wondered if he knew what the average taxpayer in this great state was going through and if he even experienced any of the hardships of the increasing cost of living. Better yet, do any of the State Assembly’s lawmakers even know what hardship is? Have they ever had to choose between having gas in the tank of their car to get to work over being able to buy lunch?

I asked myself this question during the state’s recent budget crisis.

And now the first ever recall of a governor in the state of California is about to take place. My question now is quite simple. Are other elected officials watching? They’d better be.

The recall is the result of frustration by the voters. This issue has crossed party lines and has become a bipartisan endeavor. Democrats, republicans and independents alike all believe it is time for Gray Davis to either step down, or be removed. As it stands, removal through a recall election is the only way.

I’m not a big fan of recall elections. But I’m also not a big fan of California’s energy crisis. I’m not a fan overlapping state/federal regulations that cause businesses to either underpay their employees or leave the state. I’m not a fan of the company Gray Davis keeps in order to dodge the recall bullet.

It is very interesting that Bill “The Teflon Man” Clinton and Jesse “Holier Than Thou” Jackson have come to Gray’s side in light of the current climate. He could’ve picked better.

But when it comes right down to it, I’m not a fan of the arrogance that some in public office exhibit as a function of personal and party betterment, as well as the betterment of their cronies.

Not since the days of the infamous Jesse Unruh have we ever seen the state of the state undergo a change for the worse in terms of financial and moral matters. When Jesse was in the house, it was all about who did whom the biggest favors and how these favors could be repaid. Forget the little guy. It was all about who shelled out the cash to get a bill passed.

But back to the average California voter. The frustration felt by Californians in favor of the recall is something that many of you won’t understand until you leave the ivory tower of college and get out in the working world. And if you come from a high-income family, the things mentioned here are something you may never have to experience. Good for you.

You may never have to worry about the company you work for moving to another state with fewer regulations, whether or not you’ll be able to make it to work because of the price of gas. No worries about having to go for a while without power because of the rising cost of electricity and natural gas.

It’s great being a supporter of a failing gubernatorial administration that panders to the politics of only one side as long as you can afford the price tag that comes with this support. But many of us can’t. Many of us have to work for a living or just to make ends meet. It is called the real world and it waits for you.

I have nothing personal against Governor Davis. I think he’s a very amicable fellow. In fact, I consider his personality charming. He did a great job as our state comptroller and under his watch our economy was better than great. It was phenomenal. The problem is that was then and this is now.

So will other politicians learn anything from this recall election? For their sake, and the sake of their careers, I can only hope so. As stated earlier, I’m not a fan of recall elections. But state political leaders need a wake-up call and if it comes in the form of a recall, then so be it.

History is about to be made and it will provide lessons for all to follow. Let’s see if the lesson is heeded so that history won’t have to repeat itself. The lesson here is very simple: Everybody, including politicians, is expendable. But sometimes the simple things are the most difficult to digest, especially when arrogance and hubris become the norm in the minds of politicians. Let’s see what happens next.

Henry Sarria is a longtime Isla Vista resident.