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Give Ravitch time

EDITOR: There is a saying: "My mind is made up, don't bother me with the facts." I think of that when I read the letters criticizing Jill Ravitch for her Close to Home column on the Andy Lopez investigation ("A need for accountability, process and patience in Andy Lopez case," Feb 15).

This tragedy has polarized our county, and our district attorney simply stated what her role in the investigation is, not what should happen or will happen. Her column expressed an honest and measured response and is one of the reasons why I appreciate Ravitch. I have always known her to personify honesty and integrity, and in her handling of this case, she is showing grace under pressure. Let her do her job.

CONNIE KELLOGG

Sebastopol

School bureaucracy

EDITOR: The Sunday edition included a Santa Rosa City Schools ad for a position of "chief assistant to the superintendent," with an advertised salary of up to $73,812. I would assume that the benefit package will add to the figure.

As a retired principal (Piner High School), I am very aware of continual community concerns regarding a perceived notion of a bloated administrative staff. This new district-level position can only help foster that notion. The job description sounds like a high-paid clerical administrator who will take over many of the duties of a very highly paid superintendent.

Will this chief administrative assistant supervise all of the other lesser administrative assistants? Is it really needed at this time in light of everything else facing the district? Do we not have assistant superintendents as well as directors who can handle these duties?

Is funding for this position coming from the general fund or from some special fund? We hear constantly that there are limited funds for educational programs as well as for staff salary increases. The question is, is this a prudent expenditure in the present economic situation facing all public agencies?

JOE SEWELL

Santa Rosa

Carrillo case

EDITOR: I am in complete support of The Press Democrat's call for transparency in the Efren Carrillo case: "We believe the public has a prevailing interest in having access to the 911 tapes, booking photos and the full police report" ("Don't hide details of Carrillo case," Editorial, Thursday).

Most important, the question of whether alcohol was, in fact, involved in Supervisor Efren Carrillo's actions on the morning of July 13 remains unanswered. Was his blood alcohol level checked? If not, why was it not checked?

Was his seclusion for substance dependency treatment arranged to remove him from public exposure and create the perception that his actions that morning were alcohol-related? The public deserves to have these questions answered, and these answers will significantly define Carrillo's actions of that morning.

PAUL PEDERSEN

Santa Rosa

Cotati spending

EDITOR: Joan Simon ("Cotati tax measure," Letters, Saturday) continues her practice of shilling for the overpaid, oversized, underperforming staff at Cotati City Hall. She also comes close to committing libel when she claims the fact sheet I am distributing about Cotati's proposed sales tax increase contains lies and distortions.

Here are those facts, taken directly from the city's website:

After Measure A, the city hired no net new police officers. The police salaries and benefits for 2013-14 are $276,000 lower than they were the year before Measure A was approved.

These are the salaries plus benefits city staff make now:

&#149 City manager: $216,164 plus a leased Toyota Prius worth $9,000 year.

&#149 Police chief: $219,535

&#149 City engineer: $174,758

&#149 Finance director: $133,556

&#149 Community development director: $144,872

&#149 Assistant city manager: $138,269

&#149 Deputy city clerk: $110,084

These facts, and many others, taken directly from the city's own presentations, can be found at www.cotatitaxgreed.com.

GREG KARRAKER

Cotati

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