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Letters to the Editor, Oct. 26

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Tax the vacation rentals

EDITOR: Taxation is not an emotional matter, but a political one (“Endorsement: Yes on Measures T, Y and X,” Oct. 19). I deeply sympathize with all who suffered pain and loss during the catastrophic events a year past. Firefighters provide the most valuable of public services and I hold them in the highest esteem. Unfortunately, no number of fighters would have saved Santa Rosa from the devastation during that dreadful night. Fire departments are financed by taxes and so are the numerous crews of prisoners at the front lines with not much more than their hands and feet. They become experts in their field, but upon release are not employable because they are ex-convicts. Indigenous people have cared for the forests from time immemorial, and are now denied this task by laws. How would they benefit from this tax? Much territory of our hills is fenced in as estates. Their ownership requires a considerable amount of wealth. Some might be protected by “profitized” fire services as employed by companies like AIG and NationwidePrivate, a topic worth of further research. In light of the recent $1.5 trillion tax cut for the few I am tired of being a tool to fulfill this fundamental truth of capitalism: “privatize profits, socialize losses.” Instead I propose a substantial, progressive (!) tax on properties both not verifiably used commercially and not used as primary residences. Tourism, being a driver of our economy and profits, should not be overlooked as a source of revenue. Act with your heart, but vote with your head.

Gustav Hobel

El Verano

Mayor ‘incoherent and confused’

EDITOR: I am a 72-year-old woman who is a longtime resident of Sonoma. My husband and I raised our three children right here in town. We became involved as an entire neighborhood in the future developments proposed in the fields around us. I mean, everyone was involved in one way or another shaping the developments coming down the line. We had community meetings at the park or each other’s houses for strategic planning, organizing, speech writing, practices, the hiring of a land use attorney, fundraisers, guest speakers, childcare co-op, potlucks, kids carnivals, and even cleanups of our local park. I went to City Council meetings consistently for two years. So I am well versed in what it takes to be a good City Council member.

We have a mayor who is so out of touch with the needs of this town I cannot believe what I see and hear from her. She is often incoherent and confused at these meetings. I would challenge anyone seriously considering to vote for her to attend at least the first 15 minutes of a City Council meeting.

At the Index-Tribune candidates forum this month, she repeatedly emphasized what she accomplished as mayor of Daly City which was over 18 years ago! You are in Sonoma not Daly City! She would talk off topic without answering the question asked. In my mind, her stated major accomplishments were frivolous and a waste of valuable resources the City should have been spending on so many more important items. She spoke about championing 4-way stop signs on a small Eastside intersection, renaming the Council meeting room (now everyone will know where they meet!) and changing the vice mayor title as some of her most important goals. I know that one of those goals cost taxpayers at least $8700. Time to hang up the gavel!

We feel the I-T has missed the boat by not endorsing Chris Petlock. Chris Petlock has consistently challenged City staff and Council to come to grips with the financial mess that has been hidden over the years and has offered reasonable solutions to begin to repair the damage. We need younger, progressive, intelligent thinkers with new, fresh ideas to lead our small town and we believe that will be Chris Petlock, Rachel Hundley and Logan Harvey.

Perri Ellis Paniagua

Sonoma