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Letters to the editor from Oct. 11, 2012

Published: Monday, October 15, 2012 at 5:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 4:25 p.m.


EDITOR: I appeal to Petalumans to support Measure X on the November ballot. The measure includes $500,000 for development of the David Yearsley River Heritage Center and additional funding for river trails, projects which benefit the entire community, by collecting $1 a week from each household. This will be used to leverage state and federal grants, allowing Friends of the Petaluma River to raise millions of dollars for these vital facilities.

The measure includes exemptions for seniors and non-profits. Measure X also creates an independent citizens’ oversight committee to ensure our money will be spent on designated projects. More information on Measure X and the projects it will fund can be found at www.pfor.info. Petaluma Friends of Recreation is a volunteer committee formed to promote Measure X.

Friends of the Petaluma River maintains and operates the David Yearsley River Heritage Center (DYRHC) at no cost to the city. The 4-plus acre park and historic livery stable on the McNear Peninsula have become a focal point for river activities, including River Heritage Days this weekend where Petalumans can ride historic boats, enjoy bluegrass music and more.

On Saturdays, we build boats and on Sundays make them available to the public for free. Without the DYRHD few of these activities can take place. Unfortunately, weather and termites have taken their toll on the more than 120-year-old building. Measure X funds will ensure the center’s preservation for generations to come.

You can help us with the Measure X campaign by donating, eating and walking. Donating at the website is easy and only takes a moment. Eat lunch or dinner today, Oct. 11, at Restaurante Uruapan and 20 percent of your bill will go to PFOR. Walk precincts with us and drop literature on doorsteps as an easy and effective way of getting our message out to the community. Contact me at jt@bergholdings.com or 707-799-7726.

As a taxpayer, the federal government frustrates me, California government depresses me, but at the local level, we as citizens can change things for the better in an affordable and effective way. Please vote with me for Measure X.

J.T. Wick, Petaluma


EDITOR: Measure X is a classic case of ballot box budgeting that has caused much of the financial distress our cities, counties and state now face. Without concern for the condition of our streets, the loss of public safety programs, reductions in senior services or any other government service, we are being asked to approve $12 million to fund eight privileged recreation projects.

Expressed another way, voters are being asked to irrevocably dedicate $12 million in new taxes exclusively for eight specially selected recreation projects without opportunity to weigh that expense against other necessary and competing needs our community faces. It doesn’t get more irresponsible than that.

But it gets worse. The total cost for the Measure X projects is $19 million, leaving a funding shortfall of $7 million. And while the city has tentatively set aside $5 million to augment Measure X tax revenues, there is no guarantee that money will remain available. Even if it is, there remains a $2 million funding gap. Partially completed projects are something we cannot afford.

Further, and contrary to the claims of Measure X supporters, the measure does not provide for all necessary maintenance or operating expenses. Read the measure carefully and you will find not a word about ongoing maintenance or operating needs.

The city has even acknowledged this lack of maintenance in its staff report analyzing the fiscal impacts to the city should Measure X pass. So even if the city was able to come up with the necessary funding to complete these projects, they could soon fall into disrepair and neglect because of a lack of money to maintain them.

No one disputes the value of recreation programs to our community, but Measure X is not the answer. It provides only for recreation projects specially selected by a small group of activists who have taken it upon themselves to determine which projects deserve funding and which ones don’t. Measure X doesn’t even provide the funds necessary to complete the projects or maintain them once they are built. Measure X is short-sighted. No on X.

Jack Atkin, President of the Sonoma County Taxpayers’ Association, Kenwood


EDITOR: When I first met Jason Davies, my impressions were of a man who has a great peace about him combined with energy, drive and intelligence.

Yes, that was my first impression. As I have learned more about him, my original impression has proven to be real.

He continously shows through his actions that his intent is to guide our beautiful town into a thriving, sustainable, environmentally responsible future for all our families and individuals. I am excited for our future with him having an input on the very important decisions that will need to be made during his term. I want to thank him for offering his service to our community. He has my vote and I believe in him.

Melita A Cedarholm, Petaluma


EDITOR: As a life long Democrat, I am dismayed by the negative “hit piece” the State Democratic Committee sent out accusing Mark Levine of being something other than a loyal Democrat.

I know Mark and I know what he believes in. He is a true Democrat and believes in democratic values. If he has reached across the aisle for support on his campaign for State Assembly, its as much to bolster his reputation for working with both sides of the politic spectrum as it is looking for support when his own party has turned its back on him.

Mark is a forward thinker, capable of bridging the broad gap between the parties. And unlike his opponent, Mark has lived in the district for years, he knows our needs and will work diligently to represent his constituents.

As the Press Democrat reported this week, Mark’s opponent owns a home in another district and moved to San Rafael just so he could run for Assembly in our district. Is this who we want representing us in Sacramento? I think not!

I support Mark Levine and know he is the best choice for Assembly. Please join me in supporting Mark Levine for Assembly.

Leland Fishman, Petaluma


EDITOR: I have never understood how Petaluma “Progressives” choose to identify themselves as such, so I went to the dictionary and found the following definition.


1. Favoring or advocating progress, change, improvement, or reform, as opposed to wishing to maintain things as they are, especially in political matters: a progressive mayor.

2. Making progress toward better conditions; employing or advocating more enlightened or liberal ideas, new or experimental methods, etc.: a progressive community.

3. Characterized by such progress, or by continuous improvement.

Then I looked up “regressive”:

verb (used without object)

1. to move backward; go back.

2. to revert to an earlier or less advanced state or form.


3. the act of going back; return.

4. the right to go back.

5. backward movement or course; retrogression

Now I get it. Those that have chosen the “progressive” descriptor for themselves either don’t understand the English language or are trying to trick us. Perhaps they are just linguistically dyslectic.

Moe Jacobson, Petaluma


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