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Thursday’s Letters to the Editor

Poor logic

EDITOR: In a letter Wednesday (“Time to close center”), Dick Lambert said, “It’s time to close the center down and make sure the patients receive good treatment,” referring to the Sonoma Developmental Center.

No doubt the center has had a history of problems, however closing it down will not guarantee “good treatment.” One needs only to look at the closure of state-run mental hospitals to see that we simply traded one questionable facility for another — the county jails and state prisons.

The answer is not closing down these facilities, but rather putting in staff and a board of reviewers to run them correctly. The people in this facility are some of the most drastically affected in the state, which is why the facility wasn’t closed years ago. While it may cost an average of $400,000 per year to care for each patient, we pay $50,000 per year to care for prison inmates, and, unlike them, these folks at the developmental centers have done nothing wrong.

When a system is in trouble, fixing it is often preferable to throwing it out, and this is one of those instances. Private care for these folks would be a hodge-podge of providers, many of whom have even worse records of care. Sacramento do the right thing — and fix it.

RICHARD HEAD
Santa Rosa

Naming taxes

EDITOR: After reading about the new taxes proposed by the Sonoma County supervisors, may I suggest that for the purpose of transparency they label them the “we reward ourselves and other county employees (aka public servants) compensation that is way too high so now we must raise your taxes to fund basic services” initiatives.

JOHN WITHERS
Santa Rosa

Having the right plan


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