Letters to the Editor, Oct. 30
Anonymous mailer? We’re better than this
EDITOR: I read with interest your article about the anonymous postcard sent by some “reasonable, reflective and concerned citizens” suggesting which City Council candidates we should vote for and which ones we should NOT vote for (“Anonymous Campaign Mailer Sparks Backlash,” Oct. 12). I wondered why they didn’t identify themselves and why it was postmarked from Phoenix, Arizona.
Since I’ve been following local elections, they’ve all been on the up and up – open, honest and vigorous debates of the issues facing our Valley. I was saddened to see this tactic: It takes us to a low we’ve not seen before. Who are these people anyway?
We’re better than this.
Let’s have an honest talk about housing
EDITOR: With every City Council candidate talking about housing, I’ve been expecting to see the Index-Tribune interview someone who has tried to get housing built in Sonoma. Perhaps the ringer on my phone is broken. Housing is solvable but it takes an honest conversation about which candidates have the skills to help:
Madolyn Agrimonti never impressed me as being prepared or present in any meeting I’ve been in with her. She’s not at the top of her game.
James Cribb is the only candidate with planning experience. His demonstrated apolitical leadership on the Planning Commission, and success running a local business, demonstrates a proven track record of managing challenging situations that require decisive action. Logan Harvey met with us during our effort to develop the First Street East project. I believe he will support housing projects regardless of the political pressure. I also believe he will support going up, as in three-plus story buildings, which will allow for needed denser housing.
Much needed housing has died on the vine, due to the City Council’s political weathervane approach. Rachel Hundley was impossible to work with as we tried to get direction on housing projects. She simply refused to articulate what she wanted for Sonoma.
I’ve observed Chris Petlock as the CFO of a charitable youth board, to be a highly diligent and a detailed finance professional, who easily builds consensus. The City Council would benefit immensely from having someone who understands housing finance and can bridge opposing views.
Water incumbents got well of experience
EDITOR: The Valley of the Moon Water District faces an important choice with the upcoming election for two district board members. The incumbents, Jon Foreman and Mark Heneveld have earned the right to be reelected for correctly and effectively implementing long-established law, even if it was unpopular in some quarters. Their challengers want to return to a system that does not treat all water users equally, a system that the courts have deemed illegal.
A bit of background is important. Proposition 218 was passed by the voters in 1998 and required that California water districts provide water to their customers at actual cost, plus some small allowance for overhead. In 2006, the California Supreme Court ruled that the provisions of Proposition 218 apply to local water charges (refuse and sewer too). This meant that districts, such as the Valley of the Moon Water District, cannot overcharge one group of water ratepayers in order to offset the cost for another group of water users. In early 2018 the VOMWD Board unanimously voted, including board members Foreman and Heneveld, to comply with and enact the requirements of Proposition 218 and the Supreme Court decision. This resulted in a small upward cost adjustment for subsidized rate payers and reduced the bills of others.