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LET THE PUBLIC SPEAK: On the election

EDITOR: I'm generally in favor of Measure Q because it could improve representation of all areas of the city. However, there are a few potential problems with the measure and some valid criticisms by those opposed to it.

Why go from one extreme to the other? I believe a compromise solution would better suit everybody. Many cities have a combination of district and at-large representatives. In Santa Rosa, we could have four district representatives plus three at-large. The four districts would be the ones we all recognize, like them or not, delineated by the two highways.

I know many are in denial about the reality of the ways that Highways 12 and 101 divide our city, but they have been in place for decades and are not going away any time soon. Over the years, neighborhoods have formed and people have found homes based on those dividing lines. Let's accept that and move on. Don't let the politicians choose their district borders.

This idea addresses the issue of voting for some representatives every two years vs. one every four years, since at least one at-large representative would be up for election each time. It also addresses the messy issue of subdividing the city into politically manipulated districts designed to get particular people elected.

KEITH PAYEA

Santa Rosa

No to roundabouts

EDITOR: The city of Cotati relied on several funding sources to complete a pipe dream of a downtown specific plan costing taxpayers almost $1 million in planning and consultants over several years, money better spent on tangible and needed projects. Citizens told the Cotati City Council the $73 million cost was a no-go. With the abolishment of redevelopment agency funding, now true.

The Northern Gateway Project's original plan contained improvements to the existing four-lane Old Redwood Highway and, indeed, a 2005 traffic analysis (more money wasted on a consultant) called for traffic lights at two problematic intersections. With less money available, we are led to believe a “cheaper” roundabout plan is now the way to go. Two-lane free-flow of traffic with two major light-controlled intersections at either end of the roundabout area? Fire engines are supposed to freely navigate this roundabout system? The fire chief is rightly concerned. He wasn't even called on to speak at the roundabout public hearingsDon't be fooled by hype and propaganda. Cotati's Plaza Park was a roundabout once. It didn't work.

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