Letters to the Index-Tribune editor, Feb. 1, 2022
Eddie Engram for sheriff
EDITOR: The growing interest in our sheriff race has compelled me to humbly offer my insight, in hopes that it might provide a framework by which others can make their own assessment. As a lifelong resident of Sonoma, proud Californian, public safety professional, and progeny of a centennial Sonoma County family, I fully support Assistant Sheriff Eddie Engram in his bid for sheriff.
Within the context of the broader cultural dialogue surrounding law enforcement, the institution of policing in California faces unprecedented challenges, compounded further by a rapidly expanding body of criminal justice reform legislation. Data published by the California Public Policy Institute reflect troubling crime trends. California’s major cities reflect an averaged 17% increase in homicides in 2021, with a staggering 38% in Oakland alone. Too, property crime is on the rise with an average increase hovering in the double digits. This is not the time to redouble efforts toward failing public policy experiments.
The weighty and consequential issues confronting law enforcement demand the competency, experience, flexibility, patience, articulation and resolve of a proven leader.
Eddie is the clear choice to lead the Sheriff’s Office as its next sheriff. Eddie’s impressive professional accolades, career accomplishments, and proven leadership acumen distinguish him from other candidates and inspire great confidence in his ability to grow, shape, and change the organization in ways that best serve the people of Sonoma County. Eddie’s deep institutional knowledge coupled with his fresh perspective on today’s challenging issues make him ideally suited to affect that change.
Matthew D. Wirick
Hypocrisy at SDC
EDITOR: At the recent hearing before the Board of Supervisors concerning the Sonoma Developmental Center, the board instructed Permit Sonoma to reduce the number of housing units in the SDC proposal because of its “impact on the environment.” Then, literally in the next breath, they enthusiastically supported the proposals for extensive non-residential usage (and traffic impacts) at the site, including a “Global Climate Change Campus.”
So, if I get this right, the traffic and resource impact of housing for working people in Sonoma Valley is bad, while the environmental impact of the environmental lobby’s own pet projects is good?
The hypocrisy of the “insiders” is astounding, but not unexpected.
EDITOR: In this time of tremendous threats to democratic institutions, we Sonomans can be proud of hundreds of Valley residents for studying Sonoma Developmental Center proposals, speaking out and advocating for our rural communities, our wildlands, our wildlife corridors and for low- and very-low income housing that meets the needs of local workers. This advocacy has continued year after year after year, despite Bradley Dunn of Permit Sonoma’s insistence that the state can reject it all. This is not true. Any purchaser of the property from the state will be subject to compliance with Sonoma County permit regulations and the Specific Plan, if adopted.
I am concerned that the I-T and the PD reporters are not telling the whole story. When 1500+ people sign a petition supporting the North Sonoma Valley Municipal Advisory Council’s letter to the County, and the press says, "Dawson’s group had submitted a wish list to the BOS,” that’s dismissive. The letter contains detailed recommendations for the Specific Plan. Saying 50 speakers at the BOS meeting “seemed to prefer…” when there’s massive community resistance to the plans as proposed, is inaccurate.
Possibly reporters might consider talking to the people on the streets and not just officials and Permit Sonoma.