Thursday’s Letters to the Editor
An empty toolbox
EDITOR: The global economy and financial markets are just beginning to feel the impact of the corona virus outbreak. The next recession might be just around the corner.
You certainly cannot blame Donald Trump for the virus, but his short-sighted, self-serving economic policies have robbed us of the fiscal and monetary tools we need to defend the U.S. economy.
In 2008, the deficit was $459 billion, and the Federal Reserve funds rate was over 5%. Increased federal spending and drastic rate reductions got our economy back on track. Today, in a growing economy, the deficit is $1 trillion and the funds rate is below 2%, leaving much less room to maneuver.
Trump has painted the U.S. economy into a corner.
EDITOR: In your 3rd District supervisor editorial (“Coursey offers new approach, ideas for county,” Feb. 9), this paragraph concerned me: “Some mental health advocates want a sales tax or a tax on plastic to expand services. (Chris) Coursey says he will insist first on a thorough review of chronic budget issues at the county’s Behavioral Health Department. (Shirlee) Zane expresses confidence that those problems were resolved with the appointment of a new director.”
Anyone familiar with mental health in Sonoma County knows Zane was talking about the recently retired Behavioral Health division director, blaming him for all fiscal problems past and present. The retired director, who worked for this community for 18 years, developed crisis intervention training for law enforcement, designed and implemented the Mobile Support Team and the CAPE team working in all the high schools and was awarded the 2015 most outstanding behavioral health director in California.
Zane takes no responsibility for the problems, even though she approved the health department’s budget for the past 11 years with the county administrator and the health service director. Coursey is right to ask for a full review of the budget issues. Let’s vote Zane out and Coursey in — it’s time for a new approach.
EDITOR: We have spent much time, effort and money in building a much-needed alternative transportation system along the Highway 101 corridor. SMART was overwhelmingly approved by the voters of Sonoma and Marin counties. We knew full well this system would have to be subsidized. We approved a quarter-cent sales tax to do so. Now a rich and vocal special-interest minority is trying to destroy what we have built. They know that SMART cannot survive without the continuation of that vital sales tax subsidy, so they are doing all they can to defeat Measure I.
Measure I isn’t a tax increase. It simply ensures that the sales tax subsidy already in place is secured for another 30 years.
Let’s not fall for the misinformation paid for by the special interest minority. Let’s not let them destroy what we have built. Let’s not sabotage ourselves. Vote yes on Measure I.
Compost facility needed
EDITOR: As a member of 350 Sonoma and a teacher working with youth and fellow climate activists, I am concerned that a climate-friendly compost facility faces opposition in Sonoma County. We all have an interest in doing what we can to mitigate climate change. Taking carbon out of the atmosphere and sequestering it in our soil is at the heart of mitigating climate change.