Friday’s Letters to the Editor

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Never enough

EDITOR: In the early 1950s, the sales tax was 3.5 percent, gasoline was 25-30 cents a gallon, and the roads and highways were in great shape. Plus new roads were being built to make room for the expanding population.

So, with the sales tax around 9.5 percent, we are again being asked for an increase, which won’t necessarily go toward road maintenance. Why are we continually hounded for more money for all new projects and repairs? The collected taxes used to be enough to build and repair roads.

Just putting a skim coat and filling potholes is not enough. We live in northeast Santa Rosa, using Mark West, Riebli, Wallace and Brush Creek roads, which are not only potholed but are a wavy roller coaster, and in many sections are not wide enough to have a legal double-yellow line or a white line on the edge of the road.

Local government really needs to come to the realization that its money management stinks. Government needs to get its house in order. Bite the bullet, and do the right thing, and quit kicking the can down our lousy roads.

TONY LANDEN

Santa Rosa

Skate park crackdown

EDITOR: The city of Windsor announced that it will strictly enforce its skate park ordinance banning kids on scooters and prohibiting skateboarding without full protective gear. Disobedience can result in fines and park closure

Instead of being pleased that the skate park is being used by hundreds of happy, physically active children, city staff chose punishment over use management.

Triggered by a couple of instances of over-crowding, Parks and Recreation staff decided that enforcing an obsolete ordinance is the solution.

Scooters have replaced skateboards in popularity, so skate parks originally built for skateboards are filled with kids on scooters. And they do quite well serving both, in spite of what critics say. From a safety standpoint, there is no evidence that injuries have increased.

Towns across the state have solved this in a smarter way. They changed their ordinances to allow scooters and use scheduling to control use. They don’t have cops issuing tickets to little kids. They don’t shut down the park when kids need it the most.

Watch out. Kids on scooters banned from the skate park will be filling sidewalks and parking lots across Windsor this summer.

GEORGE FLORES

Windsor

Best chance for a fix

EDITOR: I am a 57-year-old lifelong resident of Sonoma County, so I have traveled on most of our roads. I believe Measure A is our best chance to raise funds for much-needed repair of our rural roads and city streets. If we continue to allow our roads to deteriorate, it will cost even more to repair them in the long run.

Measure A requires annual public audits and elected officials must come back to the voters in five years to extend the tax. I feel this holds elected officials accountable for how the money is spent. I, like most people, have concerns about being taxed more and how the money will be used. I have researched Measure A and will be voting yes because I believe it will help.

RICK BAKER

Rohnert Park

Checks and balances

EDITOR: Yes, Measure A is a general tax that could be used for anything under the sun. There is a commitment that has been expressed that this money will go to roads and public transit, nothing else. I accept that commitment.

A few checks and balances that I feel are not being acknowledged will be in place. There are any number of stakeholder groups that will be monitoring the commitment of a like amount of money from the general fund for roads and public transit that is generated from this five-year tax. The Sonoma County Transportation Authority will be the depository for these funds and will manage them with the nine cities and the county, and there will be annual audits.

This is not a pothole filling proposal but a resurfacing of the streets where needed. The time fame is five years. This means if the intent is not fulfilled, or monies are diverted to other areas that are not for roads and public transit by the county or any of the cities, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to go back to us voters in five years asking for another five years. I say yes on Measure A.

ROSS LISCUM

Santa Rosa

Misplaced priorities

EDITOR: What? Ninety-three billion dollars allocated for the military in the so-called balanced budget? Who are we as a nation? Are we a nation that values life or promotes death?

Recognize who is going to suffer — our children and their future. What will they inherit? Endless wars, disease epidemics due to lack of medical care for all, under-education due to the trashing of public education, hunger as food prices rise and food stamps are cut for those who need a boost and, sadly, the elderly sleeping on the streets because Social Security has been destroyed?

Wait a minute. We are fighting for the fetus and, at the same time, killing children already born in other countries and on the streets of U.S., and it is all justified and budgeted.

It is interesting listening to candidates who let us know how they support the military and agree with the cutting of social services. Oops, be careful. I forgot social services means socialism. A good slogan this election cycle: profits over humanity.

I ask again, are we a nation that values life or promotes death?

ELAINE B. HOLTZ

Santa Rosa

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