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Letters to the Index-Tribune editor, Feb. 4, 2022

Readers share their thoughts on Rob Bundschu’s book, John Kelly’s allegations and Nubbins the cat.|

‘Miracle’ Bundschu

EDITOR: I just finished reading Rob Bundschu’s book “Uncorking Miracles.” I am very grateful to find it. Thank you for including the article about it in a recent issue of the paper. I am a long time a student of A Course in Miracles. Many years ago, it got me through a painful divorce and has since helped me find a more peace-filled life.

Rob’s history of the Gundlach Bundschu family wine business added to my knowledge of Sonoma’s history. It was also a reminder of how unique each family is and the effect they have on who we become.

Currently we are exposed to fantasy lives where having the right clothes and right things promises to make us happy. But we all have regrets and fears. Rob’s real and painfully honest description of his past was quite brave and very moving.

Reading about his interpretations and experiences of The Course helped me deepen my understanding. The Course in Miracles teaches that only love is real and it helps us learn to accept ourselves and others. It is not an easy read. It was likely designed that way to deepen our understanding. It turns our everyday beliefs on their head. Nowadays that doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.

Maggie Bedord

Sonoma

‘John Kelly should resign’

EDITOR: Last Friday, the Sonoma Valley School District released the preliminary findings of its investigation regarding the board’s adoption of a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) in 2020, an agreement which would give favorable treatment to certain labor organizations in district construction projects. The report is deemed preliminary because the primary subject of the investigation, Trustee John Kelly, has effectively stonewalled the investigator, refusing to be interviewed or to share his electronic communications with labor officials.

Despite these obstacles, the report states clearly that Mr. Kelly unilaterally negotiated the terms of the PLA behind a veil of secrecy, without consulting any of his board colleagues or even the district’s primary business executive and authorized the expenditure of district legal funds in the conduct of those negotiations. He also instructed labor officials to use his personal e-mail rather than his district account in their exchange of the agreement drafts. The conclusion of the investigator is, “ … the entire PLA process represents a breakdown of good governance and is directly related to Trustee Kelly’s acts and omissions.”

Whatever one’s views of PLAs, they constitute a significant policy issue for government entities who adopt them and can potentially add millions of dollars to the cost of taxpayer-funded construction projects. Rather than subject this idea to rigorous analysis and public scrutiny, Mr. Kelly negotiated the agreement in secret and even tried to sneak it through on the board’s consent calendar, which is intended for routine administrative matters. Were it not for the sharp eye of an Index-Tribune reporter, this major policy decision might have passed unnoticed. Perhaps the I-T could do the taxpayers an additional favor by filing a public document request for Mr. Kelly’s secret e-mails so we as taxpayers can understand the commitments he was offering up on our behalf. We know from public reports that he has accepted thousands of dollars from the labor organizations’ campaign committees.

Now, in a laughably transparent attempt to divert attention from this scathing report detailing his own misconduct, Mr. Kelly has suddenly “remembered” an allegedly inappropriate conversation at a board event two months ago and filed an unsubstantiated Brown Act complaint.

The full report is available on the district’s website where you can read about the absurd lengths to which Mr. Kelly has gone to avoid public scrutiny of his conduct on a matter potentially involving millions of dollars in public school funds.

Our school board trustees should be allowed to focus on their primary mission—to ensure the opportunity for a quality education to all of our district students. Instead, they continue to waste their time wrestling with John Kelly-generated controversy and drama. Our kids deserve far better. John Kelly should resign.

Steve Page

Sonoma

Free Nubbins

EDITOR: I opened the Sonoma Index-Tribune this morning (Tuesday), hoping to read that Nubbins, the cat stolen by vacation rental guests, had been returned to his rightful owner. Not a word about the cat. Why can’t Mr. Farrell have his cat back? Why does the law work against the good guy? Why is this law even on the books? Why bother to “chip” an animal if the rightful owner can’t claim his pet? This is unbelievable.

I hope this is resolved soon and Nubbins can return home to his rightful owner.

Sissy Stahr

Sonoma

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