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<b>For solvency</b>

EDITOR: I support Mike Bowcut and Jennifer Wiltermood in the Cotati-Rohnert Park school board race.

There are some legitimate reasons to make a change on our school board. Your Staff Writer Kerry Benefield hit the nail on the head when she reported that "Cotati-Rohnert Park is the only district in the county to be in what the state calls a negative financial status . . . Since 2009-10, the district has been under the guidance of a fiscal adviser from the Sonoma County Office of Education who must approve all budgetary decisions within the district" ("Four vie for two spots in RP-Cotati schools race," Oct. 22)

Every other school district in the county has weathered the same financial storm, yet for the past three years the two incumbents in Cotati-Rohnert Park lacked the political will or financial acumen to make the tough financial choices needed for solvency.

Bowcut and Wiltermood are committed to bringing our district out of its negative cash flow status. For that reason, I urge voters to join me in electing Mike Bowcut and Jennifer Wiltermood.

NICOLE LAHEE

Rohnert Park

<b>Congressional abuse</b>

EDITOR: So, according to columnist David Brooks, lack of obstructionism should be the criteria to elect the next president (" &‘Flexible flip-flopper' could get things done," Wednesday). Boy, and I thought "just say no" was related to drug abuse, not congressional abuse.

WILLIAM J. SELL

Petaluma

<b>For accountability</b>

EDITOR: In an editorial opposing district elections ("Measure Q is not the answer for SR," Oct. 7), The Press Democrat stated, "The advantage, supporters note, is that districts would lower the cost of running for office and improve access and accountability." These are key areas all voters need to be concerned about.

Santa Rosa has a population of more than 169,000 and is 40 square miles in size. Qualified candidates without large infusions of cash from special interest groups find it challenging, if not impossible, to run an effective citywide campaign. The result is council members making their decisions based on the desires of the special interest groups that funded their campaigns over the concerns of residents.

As a neighborhood leader, I have seen this happen repeatedly. A recent analysis of the Santa Rosa City Council gave four council members (Ernesto Olivares, Jake Ours, Scott Bartley and John Sawyer) failing grades when it came to "listening to the public."

I would much rather vote for one council member who is accountable to my district and will respond to our neighborhood's concerns than vote for seven council members with a majority beholden to special interests. This is why I support electing Santa Rosa council members by district. Vote yes on Measure Q.

DENISE HILL

Santa Rosa

<b>Putting us first</b>

EDITOR: Make no mistake, this race is not about the environment vs. the developer as many pundits would like us to believe. It's about doing the job of putting us, the 1st District, first. It's about who is from here, who will direct county funding here and who is committed to solving our problems rather than bringing partisan solutions regardless of the impact to our Valley economy.

As the mayor of Sonoma, I understand how county decisions impact our cost of living and how important it is for us to elect a county supervisor who will make the 1st District a No. 1 priority.

During my eight years in public office, I have observed both candidates interact with colleagues and how they approach regional issues. If you want a supervisor who is above all, loyal to the 1st District, vote for John Sawyer.

Not a newcomer to the area, his dedication to protect our environment and quality of life is in his DNA. He has been part of this community his entire life — attended local public schools, operated a family business and brings generations of valuable perspective about Sonoma County's past and future prosperity.

JOANNE BOULDT SANDERS

Mayor, Sonoma