Appoint Taylor

EDITOR: It appears to me that our Santa Rosa City Council members made a mistake in deciding how to fill the vacancy. The process of seeking applications and conducting interviews is unnecessary when they could have (and should have) selected the next highest vote getter from the most recent election, no matter who that person was.

Don Taylor was on the last ballot (as well as Caroline Ba?elos and Hans Dippel) . He ran an exhausting campaign, engaged the community and spent his money and his supporter's money and just missed being elected. But he was the next-highest vote getter. Our community heard from Taylor. He was vetted and scrutinized. The same argument would apply if Ba?elos or Dippel had finished as the next highest vote getting.

So now the council might instead pick someone who they want on, not necessarily someone who the voters want. This seems to be unfair and could give someone a free pass without the need to run in an election and show our community he or she would like to serve the needs of residents and visitors. The open council seat on the City Council should be filled by Don Taylor.


Santa Rosa

Driving business away

EDITOR: We have lived in Sebastopol for 40 years. Well, not actually in Sebastopol, but on the outskirts of the city. When we moved here, my husband could buy work boots and lumber in town. We took our children shopping for school clothes in town. There was one stop light. I have time to contemplate the past as I sit in traffic, getting zero miles per gallon, clear out past the Grange on Highway 12.

It seems the tin foil hat/green/sustainable crowd is making all the decisions for our town. No one who lives on the outskirts can walk/bike to shop for a week's groceries. We were never considered when someone decided to promote pedestrians and bicycles before accommodating cars.

I would suggest that a majority of customers at the new dhyana Center ("A healing retreat," Jan. 13) will drive to town. There are not enough people living within the city limits to make any business successful. And please tell me how you cannot accommodate cars when you have two busy highways going through the center of town.

Sebastopol would be better served by a town council and planning commission that put as much effort into solving the problems of getting cars through town as they do driving businesses away.


Santa Rosa

Register and license

EDITOR: Ownership of firearms is very similar to ownership of automobiles or any other object that requires a license to operate and training and knowledge of the laws written to control it. Before you can register a car in California, you must purchase liability insurance. You are taking responsibility for injuries and damage that the car may cause.

When you purchase a firearm you should register it with a state agency. License renewal should be required every five years, with a vision test and a written test. The firearm should have a visible registration tag, just like a car, with yearly renewal.

The Department of Motor Vehicles already is set up to do this.

You should have the option to buy liability insurance at adjustable rates depending on the type of firearm and the safety precautions you employ.

If you have auto insurance and you lend your car to your crazy cousin, who gets drunk and runs over a 5-year-old, what happens? The same should apply to firearms.

I don't think you can keep the real cowboys from shooting their guns, and I do not have any confidence in Congress passing anything. But maybe you could run some of this by the more progressive representatives from this state.


Santa Rosa

Debt and risk

EDITOR: My understanding is that Congress has constitutional power "to borrow money on the credit of the United States." It is hypocritical to borrow and not pay it back, and it would have consequences as the president and his advisers have said.

To oppose raising the debt ceiling is to align yourself with all the hypocritical dead-beats out there — the same people who raise money for wars, wage wars and do not pay for them. Profligate spending is what Congress does. Therefore to blame to president, or to blame the president for current debt is hypocritical.

Who owns the debt, you might ask? Actually it is us, we the people, who the government has borrowed from, so it hurts us if the government doesn't pay it back. My understanding is that this debt is mostly Treasury bills and bonds. Pensions, 401(k)s and other equivalencies are therefore at risk if it is not paid.

Would you risk your house, your livelihood, by cutting off your payments to your mortgaged home? It is about the same thing.


Santa Rosa