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Held hostage

EDITOR: Three months have passed since many of us lost our homes. Most of us have rallied from our initial shock and are eager to begin rebuilding our homes and our lives. However, we now face an obstacle that threatens to delay, if not derail, our recovery.

This threat is the requirement mandated by our insurers to create an inventory of every item lost in the fire before they will decide how much they will pay in compensation. In effect, our reconstruction efforts are being held hostage by insurance companies, since we cannot move forward until we know what resources we will have available to rebuild and since the inventory process could take years to complete.

Three logical observations:

— Based on the advice of our insurance agents, we paid premiums to purchase insurance designed to match our maximum coverage to our belongings’ total value.

— We lost all our belongings.

— We should be compensated at our maximum coverage level.

Therefore, I would implore all insurers to do the right thing by complying with state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones’ request to eliminate the onerous inventory requirement and reimburse at the maximum level for maximum loss.


Santa Rosa

Fees for rebuilding

EDITOR: Leadership starts from the top. The county supervisors who hire officials at the Sonoma County Permit and Resource Management Department need to re-evaluate who is in charge. We have a case where a hired official who doesn’t possess the needed critical thinking skills is advising our supervisors, who have to rely on the lack of knowledge the official possesses. The results for citizens who lost their homes is starting to play out (“County charges fees to rebuild,” Monday).

If we don’t act in a commando fashion to assist these residents, we will be repeating the same missteps that occurred in Lake County twice. It’s time for our leaders to make bold thought-out decisions quickly.

Monday’s article described a knee-jerk reaction to waive permit fees, and then a month later our officials did their homework and decided fees need to be charged. This emotional and financial misrepresentation is the last thing we need.

Let’s begin by finding a new director for PRMD.


Glen Ellen

Does every vote count?

EDITOR: You can call me a skeptic or anything you need, but do votes count, or are votes really counted as intended (“When a single vote makes all the difference,” What Others Say, Monday)?

What proof is there of the intention and actual cast of the votes? I suppose no one can vouch for any vote, but yet they counted in the back rooms and the back alleys of someone’s town in Moscow. Paper ballots were counted in some way, I suppose, but now who counts the computers for accuracy or crime? Nobody is the answer. Just some brave 400-pounder in Moscow?



Hospital debates

EDITOR: On Feb. 2, the Sonoma County Local Agency Formation Commission passed a resolution detaching the Monte Rio, Guerneville and Forestville school districts from the Palm Drive Health Care District. Under state law, the detached area is still liable for district obligations “as are outstanding on the effective date of detachment.” The detached area isn’t liable for any additional financial obligations, including new money in the form of loans or fees incurred to refinance high-rate bonds now in place for the district.

Why do we continue to speak at district meetings? As we are liable for past debt, we present ourselves as current stockholders in the assets as well as the liabilities of the district. We have a vested interest in oversight of our ongoing parcel taxes.

Under state law, the public has the right to participate in committee discussions, and directors shall not prohibit “public criticism of policy or procedures, etc.”

Certain directors have silenced us and misinterpreted public meeting rules, charging that even the most basic questions about district business mean we want to close the hospital. Whether the hospital closes has nothing to do with our criticism of the way the current board majority has conducted business.



Sky-high ego

EDITOR: Donald Trump, in a recent tweet, claimed personal credit for airline safety in 2017. That probably came as news to the tens of thousands of airline pilots, crew members, mechanics, air traffic controllers, airport personnel, aircraft designers, security and law enforcement agents, safety inspectors and others who devote their professional skills to the safety of the traveling public.

This from a person devoted to “privatizing” the air traffic control system and whose only contribution to air safety was to lead Trump Airlines into bankruptcy in record time.


Santa Rosa

Rich and poor

EDITOR: This winter, with all its semi-apocalyptic weather events, has focused attention on the need of people for shelter. And the elephant who would otherwise be in the room has grown so big that he has become homeless.

Considering some of the second dwellings being built in this area, it seems that some of us have so much excess money that our imaginations cannot invent a satisfying means of spending it. It is unreasonable that a community with such abundant resources has thousands of people living under freeway overpasses.

We can afford housing for everyone who needs it. We can afford a government that can address public needs. Helping people who need help is fun.

We don’t need tax cuts for the rich.



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