Gas tax fallout
EDITOR: Now that Gov. Jerry Brown has shoved the gas tax and vehicle license fee increases through the state Legislature, a new reality will hit local governments. Before local elected officials start to spend the new money to fix roads and bridges, which are in need of repair, how will the cost for police, fire and maintenance vehicles be affected by the increase in gas and diesel taxes?
And while gas prices are steady at around $3 a gallon, should prices rise, our local governments will have to pay more to fill up police, fire and maintenance vehicles.
Remember there were alternatives to the gas and diesel fuel taxes, such as using the $500 million the governor spends from the cap-and-trade fund for the high-speed rail system. And there has to be more money in the state budget that has risen substantially the past four years that could be directed to fixing the roads and bridges.
Republicans in the Legislature introduced an alternative, but since the Democrats don’t need them, so much for bipartisanship. But the governor did have to bribe one Republican state legislator with $500 million of improvements in his district because one Democrat refused to back the governor.
Don’t be fooled
EDITOR: Let’s not let the ads from these big-money real estate interests trick us into voting no on Measure C. Have you seen them? Huge flyers with glossy color pictures of homeless people that read: “Measure C doesn’t help the homeless.” This is disgraceful exploitation. If Measure C fails, there will be more homeless on our streets.
That’s what happens when demand outpaces supply. You raise the rate of your rental unit, knowing the existing tenants can’t pay it and have to leave. Then you charge these elevated rates to wealthier people, and your old tenants are forced to live on the street. Santa Rosa’s City Council went the righteous route to address the problem. Council members did countless hours of research, held public hearings, read endless emails and finally cast their courageous votes. Their solution is three pronged: avoid further homelessness, adopt a housing-first approach and build more housing.
What happens? Big outside money gets involved and pays people (using deceptive means) to collect signatures. Now it’s on the ballot, and the hard work of our elected officials could be undermined. Don’t let it happen. Let’s honor the process the people we elected went through and show them that their hard work wasn’t in vain.
A local ‘Mother Teresa’
EDITOR: To me, Jennielynn Holmes is a “Mother Teresa” (“A devoted, empathetic voice for the homeless,” Sunday). Her caring without judgment and nonstop work for people who are in dire need is seldom found.
Wouldn’t it be nice if more people could step up where needed? Can she stop for a moment to take care of herself before a burnout?
Looking at the picture of her smile makes me so happy for all the people she brings hope and love. Thank you. Jennielynn.
EDITOR: You dream your child will go to college and fulfill her dreams. The entire family supports that child as she grows into an intelligent young adult. She goes off to college and works hard. Finally, she is about to graduate. The entire family is coming — grandparents, aunts, friends and siblings. Grandparents are even traveling across the county to see this moment.