City Council needs new blood

EDITOR: This business with Councilmember David Cook (“Sonoma Councilmember Retracts Vow to Resign,” Nov. 13) is yet another situation that reinforces my decision to live outside the city. The pettiness and the dearth of meaningful accomplishments by the council would encourage me to run for public office, which after a very bad experience in a small southern town, I vowed I would never do again. Too many people with lots of time on their hands exercise too much influence in this little town.

I am acquainted with (councilmember-elect) Logan Harvey and think he is a very good man. I hope his election to the council will add a voice of reason. The council needs new blood and unfortunately it got a minor transfusion. I truly mourn for the city that James Cribb and Chris Petlock were not successful. By the way, I miss Ken Brown, who was one of the more courageous members of Sonoma’s government.

Bill D’Allaird

Sonoma Valley

Whose ‘bright’ idea was this?

EDITOR: Altimira Middle School is asking for funding from Measure E bond to install lights on the school track (“Altimira Neighbors Oppose 70-foot Sports Field Lights,” Nov. 27).

We voted for Measure E because it was to be used to keep students warm, safe and dry and modernize classrooms, labs and school facilities. I did not have in mind that any part of that bond would be used for stadium lighting to the tune of $300,000 to $500,000. Students would more likely benefit from modernizing aging classrooms and updated technology, and to support quality academic instruction.

Pat Milligan

Sonoma

Liked it better when U.S. was admired…

EDITOR: I am a retired U.S. Foreign Service Officer who from 1994 to 1996 had responsibility for the human rights portfolio for all of Europe in the U.S. Department of State.

During that time I wrote and/or signed off on numerous talking points for the President, First Lady, Secretary of State and other American dignitaries.

I was one of the principal authors of a U.S. Congressionally mandated report on the use of U.S.-provided arms to Turkey in their fight in the southeast. This report lead to the denial of cluster bombs to the Turkish military. I delivered papers at international meetings such as the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) human rights congress in Warsaw, Poland, including a strongly worded rebuke of the use of torture.

Our annual human rights reports – widely seen by the international community as the gold standard – were anticipated with anxiety and hope depending upon the players. What we said and did mattered. We were the leaders in the human rights field.

Now our government looks the other way in the face of extrajudicial killings – the Philippines and Saudi Arabia. Strong-armed dictators are admired; leaders trying to ward off the calamity of climate change are ridiculed; and facts have died.

I liked it better when we were admired. How about you?

Kate Schertz

Sonoma