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Trump’s military?

EDITOR: Much have been said about President Donald Trump ordering the military to drop the mother of all bombs on ISIS in Afghanistan. Much can also be said of his verbal delivery: “Everybody knows exactly what happened. What I do is I authorize my military.”

The explosive impact of Trump’s words has yet to subside and is unreported. During the presidential debates, Hillary Clinton accused Trump of not paying any income taxes for years. To which Trump relied, “That makes me smart.” Hence, Trump took pride that he has not paid taxes. The crowd in the studio cheered.

Yet the media have yet to connect the dots: If Trump hasn’t paid any taxes, how could he consider the U.S. military “his?” For Trump to dare claim ownership, he has to pay federal income taxes, which enable the military to defend our nation.

In short, there’s no way the president can say that the military is his since he has yet to contribute.

ARMANDO GOMEZ

Santa Rosa

Rent control disaster

EDITOR: This June, voters in Santa Rosa are being asked to address Santa Rosa’s long-term failure to provide the environment for quality housing with a poorly thought out rent stabilization measure — Measure C.

This punitive measure would only drive rents higher for renters who aren’t lucky enough to be among the 30 percent of renters living in one of the 11,000 units covered under this measure. Those 11,000 units would be essentially removed from the housing stock. Look at rents in San Francisco and Oakland. This is what the future holds for Santa Rosa.

The property owners with these units would stop investing in these buildings. So your neighborhoods are going to suffer. And what about those “lucky” tenants in those units covered by rent control (and their neighbors)? They would get to live with every unruly, problem and criminal tenant who manages to get in these units. Their landlords would be helpless to remove even the worst tenants.

This measure is a disaster for the city of Santa Rosa. Let’s hope the voters are smarter than the city’s failed leaders in June and vote no on Measure C.

ANTHONY KLEPPE

Santa Rosa

Annoying robocalls

EDITOR: In just one morning recently, I received five annoying robocalls, and I’m on the “do not call” list. I have capability from my provider to block numbers from unknown sources, but I have family members in the military, and I never know when and where they will be calling from. We shouldn’t have to be barraged by unsolicited calls. Thankfully, I was informed about NomoRobo that won the Federal Trade Commission’s RoboCall Challenge to combat this irritating practice. Save yourself a little sanity and sign up.

ANISA THOMSEN

Petaluma

Paying for services

EDITOR: Friday’s letters had the usual complaints about paying for roads and water. As usual, they missed the point. The bottom line is we use both and need to pay the real costs for both.

Regardless of how much flows through the system, the cost of providing water is pretty constant. When we cut back on usage because of drought, we do so not to save money but to save water.

During a drought, the value of a gallon of water goes up. The cost of delivering 80 gallons instead of 100 remains constant. Usage is metered not to reflect some real cost per unit but to divide the cost according to usage relative to other users. Use more water than your neighbor, pay more for the service. Looking at it as “charging more money for less product” is wrong (“Cost of conserving,” Letters, Friday). It’s actually paying the real cost of having water delivered over time.

Similarly, a letter complained that we’re raising taxes “for something we’re already paying for” (“Gas tax hike”). Really? Look at the roads and tell me we’re already paying for their upkeep.

It’s time to stand up and actually pay the real costs for things that we want instead of complaining that what we’re paying should be enough when it isn’t.

EMIL BACILLA

Sebastopol

Excessive work hours

EDITOR: Saturday’s front-page article with its profile of Sonoma County’s highest-paid employees is sure to elicit some taxpayer outrage (“Deputies top list of highest paid”). Not to denigrate the vital work of our law enforcement and emergency responders, but the larger point should be about basic common sense and consistency.

The largest paycheck goes to a deputy sheriff, not the sheriff. His salary of $154,955 is supplemented by 2,311 hours of overtime for a total of $343,955. Huh? I’m no accountant, but given the numbers, the deputy is working 84.44 hours a week, 52 weeks a year. For a six-day workweek, that translates to a 13.4 hour workday. At five days a week, it’s 16-hour days. It is hard to imagine anyone functioning at the level required when you barely have time to eat and sleep.

Since he appears to be on the clock 24/7, it seems that $189,000 in overtime could pay for three more employees including benefits. How about some part-time deputies?

The subtext, though, has more to do with the issue of income disparity among those who provide vital community functions. As of March this year, the average salary for a Sonoma County teacher was $54,831. There’s the crime.

JOHN BRODEY

Santa Rosa