Letters to the Editor, Dec. 11

Special deliveries

EDITOR: There are a lot of people and groups that deserve thanks and recognition for what they have provided during these difficult times. But there are two groups that, for me, have provided a semblance to normalcy to my life. A huge “thank you” to the people that deliver our mail, and to the people that deliver our newspapers.

Thanks you! Thank you! Thank you!

Mark Stephens


Kelly ‘negotiated’ deal with union bosses

EDITOR: On Nov. 17 the Sonoma Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees slammed through a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) on all construction work. So contrived was this last-minute item that it would have gone through without any discussion had my organization not discovered it.

A PLA essentially forces union-free construction workers to become union as a condition of employment, forces them to have wages stolen and they explicitly exclude young men and women in state approved union-free apprentice programs from working. In short, they’re bigotry wrapped in euphemisms like “local hire.” Board President John Kelly obviously didn’t want to have a public discussion about a monopolistic gift he had “negotiated” with local union bosses because that would be embarrassing, which it was. After we discovered the scheme, we forced discussion at the meeting. Incredibly Trustees Britta Johnson and Melanie Blake voted against even having it discussed! Trustee Coleman said she’d never had so much blowback on an issue. Apparently, the public doesn’t like boards codifying bigotry and waste.

Despite overwhelming testimony and data showing PLAs discriminate and raise costs, the board voted 5-0 in favor of the PLA, saddling the incoming board with something they had no hand in.

After watching in disbelief how this board operates, from hiding things from the public to not knowing What it was they were voting on judging by their improper usage of terms and ignorance of prevailing wage law, it’s no wonder voters replaced some of them.

Sadly, taxpayers and workers are left paying the price.

Eric Christen

Executive Director

Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction

School Board caught sneaking PLA past public

EDITOR: I agree with the letter from Mr. Steve Page (“School Board Trying to Evade Public Scrutiny,” Dec. 1). Why did the Sonoma Valley Unified School District trustees attempt to adopt a Project Labor Agreement in a last minute submission without public comment or fiscal analysis (“School Board Approves Union-Only Construction Policy,” Nov. 24)?

Also, why is an agreement to use only union shops not blatantly discriminatory on its face? Basically it is excluding the majority of smaller contractors - i.e. the definition of discrimination.

Why in this day and age when we should all be trying to “shop locally” are we denying contracts to local small business people?

Question – can the new school board look at this PLA and reverse it?

Terry DiCarlo


Let’s talk dispensaries

EDITOR: I am very unhappy with the current state of affairs within the Cannabis community and local government. I am a 46-year resident of Sonoma and Sonoma Valley and have been active in local government both as a commissioner and a 16-year city councilmember and mayor. I have raised four beautiful children here in Sonoma, along with my dear wife Jewel. We have participated directly in each and every cannabis focused meeting in the pursuit of providing the City of Sonoma with proper dispensaries to serve medical patients and recreational cannabis users. We are now arguing over whether there should be two dispensaries to serve the population or just one. Frankly, this disagreement is severely harshing my buzz. My tried and true method of dealing with conflict is to have a meeting to deal with the issues. It’s OK with me if folks do not want to do this. I can stay on my porch, look out onto the Fryer Creek bike and pedestrian path, and smoke my American Spirts and 2020 Cannabis. I invite direct feedback at my email, or phone at 707-938-8623, and I am a prompt responder.

Ken Brown

President of the Sonoma Valley Cannabis Enthusiasts

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