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Ignoring the public

EDITOR: Here we are, once again, the lucky recipients of Gov. Jerry Brown’s desire to impose yet another tax that 61 percent of the people were against. An article in Sunday’s Press Democrat attributes the passage of the gas tax to Brown’s skill as a politician, which has been honed over the many years he’s been in office. In reality, the legislation was rammed through Sacramento before the representatives of the people returned to their home districts.

If it hadn’t been passed by the end of last week, our representatives would have had to face their constituents who weren’t enthusiastic about having to pay 12 cents more per gallon at the pump and an additional $48 fee each year to register their cars. This is on top of the fact that the money realized from this onerous and outrageous tax still isn’t going to be enough to cover the costs of improving the infrastructure, leaving the door open for more of the same.

Brown’s skills aside, the people we elected to represent us made it abundantly clear that it’s more important for them to fall into lockstep with the executive branch than it is to take into consideration the wants, needs and desires of those who trusted them to represent us.

JOHN R. ANDRES

Santa Rosa

The housing market

EDITOR: Columnist Pete Golis is spot on about the effects of housing prices on the unrich in Sonoma County, but he’s dead wrong about the causes and solutions (“It isn’t complicated — people need someplace to live,” Sunday). The cause isn’t low housing stock but the fact that rich people from elsewhere are outbidding teachers and local young people for existing and new homes.

If a seller is asking $400,000 for a home and a rich person from elsewhere says, “I’ll pay 450,” the unrich lose. When the rich person from elsewhere has the house repainted and sells it for $600,000, the teachers can come to the open house.

Building tons of new houses would make investors and contractors (and a few local politicians) richer, but it won’t help the barista from Starbucks rent a house, much less buy it.

Having property and sales taxes based on whether the purchase is for flipping or living in would discourage those who have no stake in the quality of life here and encourage those who live and want to stay here.

The bottom line is the rich people from elsewhere are taking the homes the unrich need, not because they need them but because $100 million is not enough.

WALT FRAZER

Graton

Not my values

EDITOR: We all have a right to our opinions. Yet I am tired of constantly hearing from one special interest group or another how the residents of cities, counties, states, etc. don’t reflect the values or ethics of their agenda. The latest is the Community Action Coalition stating that the Sonoma County’s sheriff doesn’t reflect the values and ethics of the people of Sonoma County (“Why recall of sheriff will forge ahead,” Close to Home, Sunday). I have lived my entire life in Sonoma County, and I assure you that they don’t speak for me or many others in Sonoma County.

MIKE VELASQUEZ

Windsor

Pot in the neighborhood

EDITOR: I attended the Santa Rosa zoning administrator’s meeting on Thursday about whether to convert 2049 W. Steele Lane — the T&B Sports facility — into a cannabis product manufacturer, warehouse and wholesale distribution facility.

You many know this site. It is surrounded on three sides by homes and is just a block or so from the Children’s Museum and Snoopy’s Home Ice. When visitors come to these Santa Rosa landmarks is a cannabis business what you want them to remember?

I accept that cannabis businesses are moving into Santa Rosa, and the city has adopted policies for these operations. But the location of this business at this site seems out of character with this area. Although the location is zoned as light industrial, I would have thought this business would have been better suited somewhere other than in the middle of a neighborhood. How about instead locating a business here that contributes to the nearby families?

However, the zoning administrator decided that 2049 W. Steele Lane can become a cannabis warehouse. My thought during the meeting was, just because you can put this cannabis warehouse in this location doesn’t mean you should.

JIM MANGELS

Santa Rosa

Resisting Trump

EDITOR: Russia hacked our election. How did we get here? I saw Donald Trump for what he was all along — a lying, cheating, hateful bigot. How do we get out of this horrible reality? I sign petitions, make phone calls and go to as many rallies as I can. How can this help when the GOP is changing rules to get its way?

The Republicans have no concern for the people of this country. They care about their pocketbooks and sticking it to the poor, minorities, the middle class, the sick, the old and women. Every day, it’s something new and disturbing. We must take back our government. We must not allow money to come between life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all Americans, not just the top 1 percent.

We need to stop all the executive orders and nominations until after the investigation. Everyone’s life stands in the balance of decisions made by a crazy man who wants to stop and/or gut everything that President Barack Obama did.

I’m frightened, ashamed and embarrassed by this president. If this doesn’t get fixed, I’m ready to storm the castle. Are you?

CINDY FELCIANO FOX

Petaluma