Addressing the problem
EDITOR: Bill Houghton’s reason for not voting for Eddie Engram for sheriff is precisely the reason we are voting for Engram (“Evaluating candidates,” Letters, April 26). Living in the Santa Rosa neighborhood surrounded by the highest concentration of homeless services of any neighborhood in Sonoma County, we see the reality of life for those living on our streets.
For years, many of the same people — clearly struggling with mental health or addiction challenges — have slept in the doorways of nearby businesses, under the freeway or on Caltrans property adjacent to the freeway.
The county and many local service providers have focused almost solely on the Housing First model in their approach, resulting in limited funding in areas addressing key causes of homelessness.
To deny that addiction and mental health issues should be a priority in response to this crisis is to ignore the obvious, condemn these folks to years of suffering on our streets and ensure our community is never going to significantly reduce the homeless population.
The first step to solving a problem is to acknowledge it, and Eddie Engram has done just that. He has our vote.
and DENISE HILL
Depth of experience
EDITOR: I would like to tell you why I support Amie Carter for superintendent of schools in Sonoma County. First, here are the responsibilities of the superintendent — work with 40 school districts to help them meet mandates; provide fiscal oversight to school districts; offer professional development for administrators and teachers; and offer special and alternative education for students not enrolled in their district schools.
Carter has a breadth of experience to bring to these responsibilities. She has been a teacher, a principal at both elementary and high schools, an assistant superintendent of curriculum and innovation in a school district and an assistant superintendent of a county office of education. No other candidate has this breadth and depth.
Having worked in education as a teacher, a school and district administrator and an education consultant, I fully appreciate the knowledge and experience needed for the position that Amie Carter is seeking, and that is why I support her.
Time for a change
EDITOR: Why do people love Petaluma? Because Petaluma preserved its historic downtown and embraced its rich agricultural history — a history my family was part of going back to the 1900s. The train and the river were important to Petaluma’s economic prosperity and history. That’s why I applaud the City Council for unanimously voting to restart the process to save and rebuild our historic downtown rail trestle.
The original process started 22 years ago. Unfortunately, our city has been unable to acquire ownership of the trestle because it belongs to SMART. This is where our county supervisor comes in.
Despite the fact that Supervisor David Rabbitt has served on the SMART board since 2013, he has done nothing to help our city gain ownership of the trestle.
A strong, caring leader knows and understands the importance of collaboration and reaching out to provide support. But in Rabbitt’s time as supervisor, he has pandered to the Farm Bureau and his big donors and mostly ignored the rest of his constituents.
Rabbitt has had 12 years to collaborate with the city of Petaluma, and we’re still waiting. This is one reason — among many — that so many residents of Petaluma, Cotati and Rohnert Park are enthusiastically working to elect Blake Hooper as our next supervisor.
JANICE CADER THOMPSON
All the tools
EDITOR: Ron Meza Calloway has been an outstanding superintendent for the Mark West school district for 11 years. He has led teachers, students and families through the traumas of those years. His district has demonstrated fiscal stability while providing increased support for students. His success can also be measured by the number of parents from other districts who seek to place their children in Mark West schools.
Last year, Calloway, still youthful at 60, felt it was time to move on to a second career. Announcing his decision a year in advance made for a seamless transition. When the opportunity to take his skills to a higher level as county superintendent arose, he jumped at the chance.
Ron Calloway has been an educator in Sonoma County for his entire career. He has done it all: teacher, principal, superintendent, even occasionally substituting in the classroom. He is the only candidate who has all the tools and experience to be county superintendent. He deserves your vote.
A thoughtful leader
EDITOR: As a classified employee of Santa Rosa City School for more than 20 years, I worked under 13 principals at three schools. Brad Coscarelli was balanced, fair, thoughtful and considerate. His mindset revolved around how decisions affected students. Students and their families were first and foremost.
I was the school secretary at Santa Rosa High for 15 years. I witnessed Coscarelli as an assistant principal handling discipline and working with counseling. Duties included working with department chairs and counselors setting the master class schedule — akin at times to a delicate high-wire act — uniting all parties for the greater good.
As principal, he had the weight of all plus budgets, and so much more. Never did I question his ability as a leader. He is not afraid of others’ insight. He will consider a variety of options before making a thoughtful decision. I believe Brad Coscarelli is the best candidate for Sonoma County school superintendent.
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