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.
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.
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.