Democrats and taxes
EDITOR: The Democrats are having a hard time figuring out why they are losing elections all around the country. Since they haven’t figured out how to balance their checkbook, they just add new taxes (fuel) and new fees (vehicle registration). Don’t worry, eventually even Californians will get tired of it and vote for decent candidates.
EDITOR: Arthur Horner (“Pension crisis,” Letters, Tuesday) admonishes local residents about their comments about the pension crisis we are facing in our cities and county. His position is that all civil servants — firefighters, police officers, teachers and other first and second responders — have worked and earned their pensions. In light of the recent emergency, his position seems reasonable.
What he neglects to mention is the often bloated pensions that far too many are receiving. Case in point is Susan Jones, the former police chief in Healdsburg who retired in 2010 at 90 percent of her $150,000 salary with full benefits at age 53. That’s $135,000 per year. Who would continue working when they can retire at 90 percent of their salary?
We aren’t attacking Horner’s concept of “modest and reasonable” pensions, just outrageous ones.
Help local businesses
EDITOR: On Oct. 17, 1989, a magnitude 6.9 earthquake rumbled through Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco and Alameda counties, leaving a path of death and destruction. The historic main street in Santa Cruz, closest to the epicenter, lay in ruins.
On Oct. 3, the Tubbs and Nuns fires ignited amid gale-force winds, quickly burning toward Santa Rosa, Glen Ellen and Kenwood. Death and destruction followed, as well as the loss of thousands of homes and hundreds of businesses.
In November 1989, huge tents were erected on lots left empty after the cleanup in Santa Cruz. That year, I did 100 percent of my Christmas shopping in those tents. I want to encourage the residents of the four counties affected by the fires to do 100 percent of their Christmas shopping in their own communities. No online shopping, no Amazon.com, just local businesses in Sonoma, Napa, Lake and Mendocino counties. The Santa Rosa business community especially has taken a large financial hit. In addition, all four cities and counties will suffer from a major loss of tax revenue — again, especially Santa Rosa.
Let’s all forgo our growing addiction to online shopping this year and seek out local businesses in our communities. It’s one way we can help with the recovery.
Revisit ridgetop housing
EDITOR: Years ago, when the city inappropriately allowed homes to be built on Rincon Ridge, countering the approved plan for the area, the rest of us felt betrayed that the view enjoyed by the many was sacrificed for that of the few.
Accelerated construction began, and we got a shrug with an “Oh, well, too late now.” And now, in response to suggestions that the burned ridge not be rebuilt in order to comply with the original, violated plan, Mayor Chris Coursey says, “That ship has sailed,” as in, get over it (“Revival retreading dangerous path?” Oct. 29). But this is a matter of governance and policy, not a ship.