Letters to the Editor, March 21 - 23

We were all ‘huddled masses’ at some point

EDITOR: I believe that those who complain about “illegal immigrants” do not have an accurate historical perspective. Most of us Americans of European ancestry don’t usually consider our own ancestry. Many immigrants misled authorities about their identity or background when they entered this country at Ellis Island or elsewhere during past waves of immigration. Yet when our immigrant ancestors came to this country to escape poverty or political turmoil in Europe they were welcomed with little scrutiny of the veracity of their claim to immigrant status. We also all should consider that much of the territory of the United States had been promised to Native American tribes by federal treaty. These treaties were broken by our government or white settlers when they occupied what, according to treaty, were Indian lands. So, unless you are of Native American or African American ancestry, in some sense most of us have some “illegal immigrant” heritage. I don’t see why what was acceptable for my German and Italian ancestors in 1885, is not OK for Mexican or Honduran immigrants who came in 2005.

Matt Metzler


Hospital land sale a red flag

EDITOR: I voted no on the Measure B parcel tax because I am concerned the hospital is not financially sound, nor working to be so. My red flag was the impromptu and seemingly improper events surrounding the attempted sale of the hospital-owned real estate, which was quickly followed by the increased parcel tax on the ballot. These may not have been as closely related as appeared but the timing is a concern and was not well communicated.

I think having a hospital locally is important for many reasons, but I think serious soul-searching needs to be done and some tough decisions need to be made regarding services, salaries and governance. I know there is a model that can work for our community without ever increasing taxpayer support.

Chris Petlock


Can’t replace SVH

EDITOR: Recent letters regarding the Sonoma Valley Hospital parcel tax miss two important considerations. First, the extent to which high-quality, accessible health care protects and enhances the value of the homes in our community. If our hospital were to close for lack of support, the negative impact on our property values would far outweigh the relatively small amount we pay for the parcel tax.

Secondly, having personally undergone very three major surgeries at Sonoma Valley Hospital during the last two years, I can attest to the excellence of the hospital staff. I was always treated with a high degree of professionalism, delivered by staff members working effectively in teams, demonstrating a high degree of mutual respect and a passion for their work.

I spent 35 years in senior corporate management and therefore am familiar with the cost, time and complexity involved in building and managing a highly skilled, motivated and effective organization. In this regard it’s doubtful that the human resources at SVH could be easily, if ever, replaced by an alternative way of delivering the scope and quality of services provided by SVH.

Bob Kraynak


Hospital should stay

on budget

EDITOR: I am opposed to the Sonoma Valley Health Care District’s board of directors’ strategy for balancing their budget.

I was in business (the financial end) for 40 years. If I failed to stay within budget repeatedly, I wouldn’t have lasted very long. If I suggested raising the shortfall by “polling the shareholders,” I would have been invited out the door even faster than that. The board should hold those employees of the district who can’t seem to stay within budget accountable, rather than holding ratepayers hostage to make up the district - all the while scaring Sonoma residents with a “dramatic reduction in services and a critical revenue shortfall” if voters don’t approve their measures. One would think that if the consequences were so real and severe, the responsible parties would have been extra careful to not exceed the budget. Instead, yet again, voters are simply asked to pony up. As “The Donald” might tweet, SHAMEFUL! That’s no way to run a business.

I also question the board’s tactic of reviving the tax issue by placing a similar measure on the ballot for the June election. Didn’t Measure B just LOSE? What does it mean to lose if you can just keep voting until you win?

Thank our lucky stars for Bill Boerum, who is clearly the only board member with any sense of how to run a business.

Ed Shoop