Letters to the Editor, Dec. 30 - Jan. 2

Farmers Market support down in the pecking order

EDITOR: I first met Rachel Hundley at the Tuesday Farmers Market when she was campaigning to be on the Sonoma City Council. When I asked why she was running, her reply was that she wanted “Mayor” on her resume. Now she is Mayor and she only had to step over Mayor Pro Tem Madolyn Agrimonti to accomplish it.

The Index-Tribune called it correctly (“Coup d’Sonoma,” Dec. 16), it was a coup and possibly a violation of the Brown Act. Let’s remember that on Sept. 13, new councilmember, Amy Harrington, held the kickoff to her campaign at Murphy’s. Who spoke that evening and endorsed her? It was Hundley and Edwards. Harrington never joined Mayor Laurie Gallian, former Mayor David Cook and Jack Wagner as they campaigned every week at the Tuesday Market. You had to go to Murphy’s to speak with Harrington.

Harrington and Edwards are now the “ad hoc” committee chosen by Mayor Hundley to decide the future of our beloved Tuesday Night Farmers Market. Keep in mind that Hundley’s food truck was rejected last year by the market managers. She should have recused herself and not participated in this situation. But now, Edwards and Harrington who do not seem to like the market, they call it a “party,” will decide its fate. Councilman Cook, a positive voice for the market, was passed over when he volunteered for the committee. Edwards thinks it wrecks the grass, Harrington thinks it’s just for tourists. The Plaza belongs to all of us, don’t let them take away a wonderful weekly community event. Should they decide to end it, they can do it with their three votes.

If you want the market to continue, please speak up now and save the Tuesday Night Farmers Market.

Call the Sonoma City Hall at 933-2216, or email Mayor Hundley at rachelhundleyesq@gmail.com. All the council members’ email addresses can be found at sonomacity.org.

Yes, it’s New Year’s, but take a moment before it’s too late to have your voice heard. Thank you, Sonoma!

Cee Cee Ponicsan


Your tax dollars at work

EDITOR: I am writing, seeking some clarification as to the actual fate of the five-figure sum I contribute to property taxes each year. Does my hefty check help to cover the annual visit of Sonoma’s street sweeper through our neighborhood? Does it ensure that all roads through Schellville will close whenever a stray cloud is spotted over the Valley? Or, am I supporting the maintenance North America’s most magnificent pothole collection? Curiously,

Patrick Finley


If you build it, the American dream will come…

EDITOR: It costs more in the Bay Area than the median income of $64,500 to get permission to build on a residential parcel.

The housing and construction industry account for almost 30 percent of the work force in the United States. Investing in U.S. infrastructure is a priority for the newly elected president. Housing is a nightmare for many.

We must house a growing population. Innovation suffers and creativity is compressed down, when people get fenced in, functional space is limited and regulators lock up development. The country urgently needs to build more homes. We need to fix our roads and bridges. Gridlock is damaging the human spirit. Humans are part of the environment, too.

A huge roadblock to achieving this goal is the licensing and permitting system. We used to be the envy of the world with modern housing and great public works that created well-paying jobs and affordable homes. This was the foundation on which we built the American dream.

Highway 101 widening has been going on for decades. It takes years to get through the maze of regulations and reviews to the point where you can start building. American highway construction projects, airports, dams and power plants usually take between nine and 19 years from initial planning to permitting and completion.

The American dream is fading. In the ‘70s almost 90 percent of the working 30-year-olds made more money than their parents did at that same age. Today, it is barely half. We are over-licensed, over-regulated and over-taxed.

The universe is expanding and we need to allow human life to expand. We must understand that people are part of the environment, too. The costs add up in human suffering and dollars when housing is denied by regulations and NYMBYism (Not In My Back Yard).

Richard Paille

Santa Rosa