Letters to the Editor

‘Pension Tax’ about honesty EDITOR: John Burns sure used a lot of ink to takedown my letter of two weeks ago.|

‘Pension Tax’ about honesty

EDITOR: John Burns sure used a lot of ink to takedown my letter of two weeks ago. But for all that ink, he missed the point.

Had Burns paid closer attention, he would have understood that I was addressing dishonesty by local elected officials. Falsely claiming to have done everything they can to harness exploding public employee pension obligations, they most certainly have not.

Burns writes that he spoke to city manager Peggy Flynn who was “mystified” at my allegations. I’ll bet she was. Burns overlooks of course that Flynn is directly hired by the city council. Any city manager wishing to keep her job knows that her foremost responsibility is to keep the city council happy. Expecting an objective critique of the city council from one whose employment is in their hands is simply naïve.

Petaluma’s council has simply abdicated any leadership role in addressing the pension crisis. They have declined to exert their influence as city leaders to bring about the pressure necessary to spur their elected Sacramento counterparts into action.

Council members and their allies routinely point to two-tiered plans and increased employee contributions as evidence of everything they have done. Selectively omitted of course is the fact that these mild changes were the result of state pension reform legislation signed by former Gov. Jerry Brown in 2013.

Widely hailed at the time as “first steps” in the effort to reign in ballooning pension obligations, those tepid 2013 measures were never followed by any subsequent steps leaving us today with pensions soaring beyond our ability to control.

So, Mr. Burns, go ahead and call my plea for intellectual honesty a “dangerous fanatical ideology” if you like. Obfuscate all you wish on behalf of your friends on the council. None of that changes the simple fact that all of them owe their seats to the endorsements and campaign contributions of public employee labor unions or fear those endorsements and contributions going to an opponent come the next reelection.

None of the council members have shown the mettle required to seriously address the pension problem. The Pension Tax measure is the result of elected officials too timid to bring about real pension reform. Be mystified if you wish, but they have clearly not done all they can do.

Dan Drummond, Executive Director

Sonoma County Taxpayers Association

Committed to PVH

EDITOR: Petaluma Valley Hospital is the fabric of our community, providing high-quality health care to all who need it, regardless of their ability to pay. As physicians, we have shared some of life’s highs and lows with you, as we focus on providing compassionate care to our neighbors.

As medical professionals, we are committed to ensuring Petaluma continues to have an exceptional acute care hospital with an emergency department to serve its residents around the clock. As such, we ask voters to support the purchase of PVH by NorCal HealthConnect in November’s election. NorCal HealthConnect is a secular affiliate of the Providence St. Joseph Health, one of the most innovative health systems in the United States.

In a time of uncertainty, when COVID-19 has strained operations and caused financial hardship at hospitals across the country, it is our intention to ensure the long-term viability and sustainability of PVH while meeting the changing needs of the community, now and for years to come.

Our hospital is a vital health provider that is recognized for providing world-class care. In 2019, PVH was applauded for its care of mothers and their babies and was named on the California Health and Human Services Agency Maternity Honor Roll. Last year, the hospital was also recognized by Healthgrades for its exceptional treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Pneumonia, Sepsis and Pulmonary Disease.

It is also a major employer in our community. This purchase agreement will provide stability for the caregivers who work tirelessly and effortlessly to treat your wounds, deliver your babies, and help your loved ones recover from illness. Caregivers and patients can be assured the transaction will not cause disruptions to our day-to-day healing work.

We look forward to deepening our role in the community and remain committed to making Petaluma a happy and healthy place to live. Please join us in approving the measure on Nov. 3.

Michael Johnson, DPM; P.J. Lally, M.D.; Rajesh Ranadive, M.D.

Petaluma Valley Hospital

Street art

EDITOR: After reading the piece on the front page of the Argus-Courier, this reader not only disagrees with the City but with the City Attorney. Seems to me every time another city does something Petaluma just jumps on the band wagon even though the idea might be incorrect.

Call it “street art.” No, it’s a political statement. City Attorney Danly should look a little to the “street art,” “mural” or what ever. “LIVES MATTER” is one thing, but as soon as a color is added whether it be Black, brown, white or whatever, then you make a racist statement.

It was an awful thing that happen to Mr. Floyd but, what about all of our police officers that have lost their lives since the death of Floyd. Guess the City and its residents, think that is OK. Well, to the writer it isn’t OK.

Just think about what has been happening in America right now. Burning, looting and murder. People have lost their lives, their business for what? This writer would like to see the City make a statement that say “ALL LIVES MATTER.” Also the writer would like to see money the City has for art or whatever be spent a little more wisely.

Butch Smith


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