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
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.
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.