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Letter to the Editor, Feb. 1

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A dream for Sonoma

EDITOR: On Jan. 21, the nation honored the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., his history in the civil rights movement and racial equality under the law, the fight against poverty in America, his controversial stance against the war in Vietnam and all the ethical principles his life stood for. Primary on King’s list was the need for a living minimum wage for all, at a time when approximately 20 percent of the country lived below the poverty level.

Five years ago the then-Sonoma City Council voted to have a study and discussion about a minimum wage for all that work in the city. Despite the vote for approval this was shelved and has not been done.

This letter is a reminder to the current council to honor the pledge that was made and to honor and support those who work in Sonoma and deserve to make a living wage. In conjunction with this, it is time that the council takes concrete steps to support the building of affordable housing here as a top priority as is being done in Santa Rosa, Petaluma and other cities in the county.

These basic human needs must supersede all other concerns if we are to live in a just society, in a place that honors its workforce and its vital contribution to all that live here, and to carry forward the work that Dr. King did and devoted his life to.

Will Shonbrun

Boyes Springs

On the wrong track

EDITOR: Good news: 2.6 million gallons of pressurized liquid gas stored in train cars has been shifted to Highway 37 and Highway 121, according to Valley of the Moon water district finance manager and administrator Chris Petlock.

Chris narrowly missed election to the Sonoma City Council and was probably better off, unlike the citizens of Sonoma. He wanted and would have received for the Sonoma citizens a water decrease rate and reparations for past overcharges that he could prove. He wouldn’t have allowed another long-standing water rate increase.

Chris Petlock said he felt the overriding reasons for the removal about 10 miles away from Sonoma was primarily for ecological reasons with eventual flooding – not human life! What does that mean to you and your loved ones?

Will the energy people bring back the dangerous pressurized gas to the proximity of Sonoma? Do you trust global-oil Rockefeller Rothschild?

Police Chief Orlando Rodriguez informed me he was sending out one of his peace officers every month to make sure we are not placed into unimaginable danger again. Chief Rodriguez is a man of his word and not a politician.

Joel Taylor

Sonoma

‘Horrible experience’ for commission applicant

EDITOR: I live in Sonoma. I interviewed two straight years for the volunteer position on the Planning Commission, but never even got a call back. I had a horrible experience and was treated rudely by those interviewing me. I have an extensive real estate background, with degrees in real estate development and humanities, multiple decades working for real-estate investment trusts, banks, developers, and with architects and general contractors. Interpreting the general plan/master plan is an important obligation, but understanding the code takes a hundred hours of in-depth study and careful consideration of all applications. I have no applications before the committee, I just wanted to serve my community. It is a pity that too many are opposed to natural growth. Sonoma has plenty of land to meet the housing demands. The town needs a larger tax base in order to support the hospital and other essential services. Our problems are easily fixed. Yes, compromises are essential, but I don’t see that happening with anti-growth members. It is a pity that compliant projects are held back by nuisance law suits. Do moneyed interests need to be scrutinized? Indeed they do, but if they meet the general requirements then opposition is just NIMBY.