<b>Undermining the city</b>
EDITOR: I confess that for a week I've tried to compose a letter against Measure Q. After serving for 11 years, starting in 1957, on the Board of Public Utilities, followed by two terms on the Santa Rosa City Council, I could never stay in the 200-word limit in covering the historical facts that determined the development of our city.
Examples: Understanding the charter powers given the Board of Public Utilities and its role in the development of the city and the city manager-City Council form of government; understanding the hostile stance of the district's elected Sonoma County supervisor in 1968, when the city was twice turned down on annexing the western urban area.
Why destroy the City Charter adopted in 1922 by downgrading the council and mayor from city representatives to keepers of districts? If measure Q passes, will creating a new office for an elected mayor be next, ending the city manager-council form of government?
Too many questions, not enough words to answer, but it all point to a no vote on Measure Q.
EDITOR: I read with irony a letter by Jude Kreissman in last Saturday's paper ("Barlow's lesson"). Kreissman was writing in support of two other candidates for Sebastopol City Council. Well, Kreissman and your readers should know that I worked on the Barlow project as its architect. I spearheaded the approach and got it approved and then did the design development of the project.
I agree with her that my design was right for the site. You would think that should mean voting for me for the City Council. I understand what the city needs and how our zoning ordinance works and what our general plan says. The candidates she supports have been saying they will stop a lawfully approved project — the CVS/Chase development. One wonders how they could do that lawfully and without causing the city of Sebastopol great harm.
Is that who we want as our city leaders? Or do you want a visionary who is also experienced and produces results. I hope Sebastopol will vote for me, Kathy Austin, for City Council.
<b>Governing by ballot</b>
EDITOR: As I review the state propositions and read the pro and con ads, I am struck by the information that is left out.
For example, Proposition 30 claims that increased tax revenues will go to education. However, what is not commonly noted is that the collected monies will not go directly to education. The monies will go into the state treasury. It will be up to the Legislature to disburse the money. Certainly, some of the money will go to education. However, based on the Legislature's record, I am skeptical.
Proposition 37 is another example. This proposition was largely written by trial lawyers and is an open door to lawsuits.
These propositions are just a symptom of a much deeper problem in California. The Legislature is not doing its job. These 11 ballot propositions (one is a constitutional amendment) are all issues that should have been worked out by legislators. Instead, we have legislation by ballot, which does not always end well since many propositions contain both good and bad provisions.
When will Californians demand that their elected officials do the job they were hired to do?