<b>Jobs at stake</b>
EDITOR: It's ironic that The Press Democrat will one day decry the stratification of incomes and another rail against unions trying to maintain employee positions at courthouses all over the state ("One bill the governor should veto," Editorial, Sept. 26).
The Administrative Office of the Courts, which is pushing the governor to veto Assembly Bill 566, wrote, "These editorials did not appear by accident. They are the result of the hard work of . . . the AOC. They have done an excellent job advocating our position in opposition to AB 566." So when it comes to advocating for a group's goals, unions, which are funded by their members, are bad, but the AOC, which is funded by taxpayers, is good.
The focus of this bill is to keep as public employees those working to maintain accessibility of court proceedings. Many who work in the legal system feel that privatization creates serious concerns beyond the obvious erosion of wages, with no guaranteed savings. Courthouse employees in Sonoma County have not had a cost-of-living increase in four years — agreed to by the union — while the AOC just gave its staff a 3.5 percent raise.
Jeopardizing rights in the name of thrift, while not guaranteeing any savings, does not seem to be a good bargain.
ELLEN MINGST COOPER
<b>Politicians as usual</b>
EDITOR: Let's hope a collective rolling of the eyes occurred as readers perused Wednesday's coverage of the upcoming state Senate race ("New candidates jolt state Senate race"). Santa Rosa City Councilwoman Erin Carlstrom's comments stood out if only for their assumption that voters will believe anything you tell them.
As part of her statement announcing her intention to run for retiring state Sen. Noreen Evans' seat, Carlstrom, who is on maternity leave from her post, said: "Now, more than ever, I understand the full meaning of public service . . . . but looking at my son, that knowledge is now personal."