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Tuesday’s Letters to the Editor

Press Democrat readers comment on project labor agreements, the sheriff’s election, and more.|

PLAs and wages

EDITOR: Contrary to your Oct. 12 editorial on the proposed project labor agreement for Santa Rosa City Schools, wages are set by prevailing wage based on state-performed area surveys and not impacted by a PLA (“Don’t tip the scale on school construction work”).

With or without a PLA, any public agency is required to take the lowest responsible bidder, or the most qualified bidder, depending on how they chose to manage their project delivery. Study after study has been done, and they conclusively show that PLAs do not lower the number of bidders, nor raise costs.

Thanks to a PLA on the Santa Rosa Junior College Burbank Auditorium project, 70% of the jobs went to residents of Sonoma County. Isn’t this the real priority we should be talking about? PLAs support the community locally. PLAs prioritize local hire, they prioritize opportunity for youth, women, the historically underserved, veterans and anyone who wants to make a change in their lives through access to apprenticeships that have economic benefits on par with a four-year degree and zero college debt.

PLAs are a tool for building economic resiliency on a local level and creating equity opportunities through responsible use of public money.

CHERIE CABRAL

Secretary/treasurer, North Bay Building and Construction Trades Council

Tennenbaum’s ideals

EDITOR: I was thrilled to read Carl Tennenbaum’s Close to Home column about his ideas for how a sheriff’s office could be run accountably (“Smart reforms for police misconduct,” Oct. 10). It’s exciting to think about a candidate for Sonoma County sheriff with 32 years of experience in policing who is committed to smart reforms. He is a strong supporter of the recent state legislation and Measure P, and he welcomes public oversight through the Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach. Imagine how justice will grow in Sonoma County under this kind of leadership. I look forward to the election of a sheriff with these ideals in fall of 2022.

CINDY DICKINSON

Sebastopol

Congressional inaction

EDITOR: Compared to passing essential legislation in Congress, herding cats is easy. Do we want to join Greece, Iceland and Russia as nations that have defaulted on their debt? As Fed Chair Janet Yellen has pointed out, there are serious economic consequences. Also, don’t we want to begin fixing our infrastructure? Can we allow subways to flood and roadways to collapse? So, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer need to be given big sticks to direct their cats in a forward direction. Then how do they deal with the elephant in the room? Dynamite? If cat herding doesn’t work, will we become a second-rate country and no longer a world leader?

JON YATABE

Bodega Bay

Solar’s added value

EDITOR: Rob Koslowsky’s argument for additional fees on residential solar panel users is faulty and misleading (“Appropriate energy costs,” Letters, Oct. 9). First, all PG&E customers already pay a monthly access fee for connection to the grid, regardless of whether they use a single kilowatt of utility generated electricity.

Second, by his own numbers, Koslowsky’s assertions don’t hold water. Let’s assume for a moment his claim is correct and a residential solar system only produces power 22% of the time in Sonoma County. That means, unless a home system also includes energy storage, still relatively rare, solar users are purchasing grid power at the going rate at least 78% of the time. That’s hardly, as Koslowsky asserts, a “free ride.”

More importantly, in addition to some cost savings for the homeowner, residential solar feeds excess electricity to the grid, helps mitigate peak load problems and makes a contribution to the reduction of climate-affecting carbon dioxide emissions, all of which have societal benefits that go beyond dollars and cents.

Rather than whine about something his neighbors are getting that he isn’t, perhaps Koslowsky should do everyone a favor and consider solar panels for his own roof.

MIKE BEAVERS

Santa Rosa

Respect for the law

EDITOR: Since law enforcement is under constant review and scrutiny, I would like to see the same for public interactions with law enforcement. Respect for law starts at home. Perhaps a free dictionary included with all the free benefits could define what “stop,” “don’t run” and “show my your hands” actually mean. It’s not always police.

CANDACE BUNES

Santa Rosa

Controlled burn concern

EDITOR: Why are residents of Cazadero, specifically Magic Mountain, supposed to feel confident of a scheduled fire, having just seen an out-of-control burn in Santa Cruz County? No notification or justification given, merely fait accompli based on a Democrat article (“Seeing smoke? It’s likely a prescribed burn this week,” Monday).

The sorry state of Northern California forest management and the current state of areas that need attention (see all land areas fronting Highway 1 from Fort Ross to the Mendocino County line, specifically the large dead cypress, oak, eucalyptus and madrone trees) would be better attacked if Cal Fire is serious about preventive measures.

TIMOTHY OPSOMER

Cazadero

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