The Public Voice
Letters To The Editor 5.24.12
Thursday, May 24, 2012
My Republican absentee ballot just arrived in the mail. When confronted with an intellectual challenge, you begin your search for an answer. Maybe IBM’s Watson supercomputer can help.
Well, lucky me, the Monterey County Weekly candidates endorsements (“Endorsements,” May 17-23). The state of California is in economic mess because of these candidates. The MST project on Fort Ord would have offered jobs, and increased the size of available public transit. Now the governor wants to increase the sales tax. How about making California more business friendly? Cutting back on in-home services for seniors is not going to solve California’s economic mess. At least challenger Byrl Smith is focused on job creation.
If that is all that matters to her, I would vote for her. Her husband Jerry Smith was mayor of Seaside for three terms. He definitely had an understanding of the issues. - Phybil | via Wen
So what exactly has Potter done for Monterey County? Seems like the Weekly’s reasons for endorsing him were nonexistent. Being that the Weekly is a progressive paper that tends to have more balls than most local media, the endorsement is VERY disappointing. What a copout: He’s been here for 16 years, failed, so let’s give him another four years to see if he can do it. Bottom line, if Potter was a great leader and supervisor, we would know by now.
I guess if Potter is gone, Squid’s column may become boring. Shame on you Weekly! - Jennymac | via Web
(Editor’s note: Jenny McAdams is the daughter and campaign manager of candidate Carmelita Garcia.)
What do the Greens, the Chamber of Commerce and environmentalists have in common?
They are all willing to set aside their partisan differences to get rid of a corrupt politician.
It’s disappointing that the Weekly didn’t have the courage to join them. - Ruby_Flores | via Web
WTF?! The progressive alt weekly just endorsed the candidate that is being funded by the multinational corporation bent on privatizing our drinking water… Have pigs started to fly too? - PMoore93940 | via Web
For the record, the Weekly never asked me to interview in consideration for endorsement for State Assembly District 30. Main questions for Alejo and indeed the rest of the controlling party in the Legislature that are not addressed in their endorsement: What bills have they/Alejo worked on that created private-sector jobs in California? What bills have they/Alejo worked on that improve education in the state of California? What bills have they/Alejo worked on to stabilize California’s financial situation? - Robert Bernosky | via Web
I received a robo-call from Marina City Councilwoman Nancy Amadeo, whom I consider a friend, telling me that Byrl Smith has a plan for Monterey County jobs and I should vote for her. If she does have a plan, it seems the debates should have been the place to tell us all exactly what that plan is.
From the debates and the commentary following them, there is no clear plan. And even in the area of jobs, Ms. Smith’s chosen avenue, Ms. Parker has a much clearer, more specific and hopeful idea of what those jobs should look like. Good-paying, permanent jobs with possibility of advancement.
My choice is still clear. Ms. Parker has a far better understanding of the issues at stake for the county and a far better vision of what our future needs to look like. - Richard Boynton | via Web
An incumbent politician should be held accountable on critical votes. When Jane Parker says “from the beginning” she opposed the Whispering Oaks business park proposed by Monterey Salinas Transit, the record should reflect that. But it doesn’t; she actually supported the project in the beginning. When Byrl Smith asks that Parker be held accountable, the Herald reports it as an “accusation” but doesn’t follow through with an examination of the record.
For the record, on Sept. 22, 2009, the county Board of Supervisors, on a motion by Parker, unanimously voted to go forward with the Whispering Oaks development, approving a memorandum of agreement with MST, a document written by Parker and Supervisor Dave Potter in subcommittee.
Based on that vote, MST spent more than $800,000 for permitting and grant applications. Now, MST will presumably try to get its money back from the county, and MST has lost the opportunity for federal funding.
It’s been a terrible waste of money and time, and with a petition-gathering effort by activists and a threat of referendum, it’s bad government. Why didn’t Parker speak up in the beginning? Why hasn’t this been fully reported? - Jeremy Myers | via Web
It is unfortunate most voters will probably not do their homework in researching the candidates for district one supervisor before they cast their vote.
To do so requires following the three candidates during their respective council/supervisor meetings, since there does not appear to be any video of the three candidates assembled together for candidate forums or appearing before editorial boards.
As a person who follows local government meetings over the Internet, I find Mr. Barrera to be the standout among the three candidates. He is the more thoughtful, representative voice of the voters he serves; and the only one of the three candidates who avoids grandstanding before audiences.
Mr. Barrera’s main concern is not in self-promotion, but in the promotion of the interests of his constituents.
And unlike his opponents, he is neither well connected with big money, nor does he have a large campaign war chest. Instead he is your neighbor who cares enough about his community that he gets involved to be your voice. - Robertoen | via Web
Some expert. Supervisor candidate Marc del Piero knows about water, like how to make it disappear (Aromas) and flow uphill (Tehama). In Aromas, the del Piero family needed water for a luxury gated community in San Benito County. No problem: They took it from water-starved North County, after intimidating the Aromas Water District.
Del Piero, a Republican political appointee, says he had nothing to do with the family project. Officials of the Aromas district say otherwise. They say del Piero’s influence, derived from his appointed position, not only caused the transfer of water from Monterey to San Benito County, but ultimately drove the Aromas district into bankruptcy.
With Tehama, Clint Eastwood wanted water for his mountain-top luxury golf course and housing development in Carmel Valley. His development needed the approval of Del Piero’s agency before it could pump water from the endangered Carmel River. No problem. Del Piero invited Clint to meet with the State Board’s employees, who then felt coerced into fast-tracking approval.
A man who makes water leap county boundaries and bound up mountains is a perfect supervisorial candidate for one class of people: Developers. - Margaret Robbins | Carmel
I’ve been asked whom I support in the June 5 elections.
For those in the Fourth District, the choice should be clear. Especially after the disgraceful mailer put out by Smith. Jane Parker, though not a brilliant campaigner, should get your vote.
For those in the Fifth District, I believe that Marc del Piero is the right choice. I say this because while I like Dave Potter, I think Marc will be more effective in moving us out of the water crisis. Also, Marc’s conduct as trustee at the bankruptcy court has been exemplary. He has treated people in a trying situation with compassion and respect. - Tony Seton | Monterey
For your readers and those on the Weekly editorial board who assess Bill Monning a “good but not great” progressive, here is a short review of his work.
In the mid-1970s Bill was inspired to become an attorney by his volunteer work with the United Farmworkers’ Union in Salinas. After three years with the UFW, Bill became the director of the California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) also in Salinas. During this period Bill was a co-founder of the Monterey County Pesticide Coalition, a group dedicated to environmental justice with special emphasis on the effects of pesticides on farmworkers and residents who lived adjacent to agricultural land. In the mid-80s, while our government was supporting the military dictatorship in El Salvador, Bill and a physician from Natividad Medical Center co-founded the Salvadoran Medical Relief Fund to provide medical supplies and health care for Salvadorans who were at the receiving end of our country’s foreign policy. With a group of local clergy, Bill founded Monterey County Sanctuary to provide social and legal services for Central American refugees fleeing their war torn homelands. While Bill’s wife Dana was at Harvard Medical School, Bill became the executive director of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (the recipient of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize) and in that capacity he criss-crossed the globe in an effort to end nuclear weapons.
When Bill and Dana returned to the Peninsula in 1991, Bill began teaching at both Monterey College of Law and Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS). Bill and a number of his students founded Global Majority to place his skilled international graduates in mediation positions in their countries of origin. For many summers Bill taught nonviolent conflict resolution for the United Nations in the Hague. He has also been the lead negotiator for the release of political prisoners in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. During this period he received a Fulbright to teach conflict resolution in both Peru and Chile.
In addition to Bill’s accomplishments in the Assembly which you already mentioned, he has, in his position as chair of the Assembly Health Committee, been instrumental in preparing our State to take advantage of the federal health reform legislation as it goes into effect.
We feel fortunate every day to be represented by an individual of his background, vision, initiative and integrity. - Natasha Doner and Molly Williams | Carmel Highlands
We face considerable challenges that have gone unmet for too long – double-digit unemployment, strained budgets, diminishing water supplies, high rates of crime. As supervisor, I will put my energy to tackling these issues while making sure government is accountable.
I will establish a Business Tech Center to attract high-tech and green industries that will balance the county’s economy. Providing tax and benefit packages and streamlining the review process will also work to encourage new and expanding businesses. And I will create hiring and purchasing programs that benefit the local workforce.
I stand behind our police officers and firefighters and will work to ensure adequate public safety resources. I am proud to have the support of the Monterey County Deputy Sheriff’s Association and the Central Coast Peace Officer Research Association.
And what about CalPERS, the Public Employee Retirement System? At the root of the problem is the deep recession, slow recovery and short-sighted decisions of a different economic time. What’s required are balance, thoughtful negotiation and a sustained focus on local economic revitalization.
To my critics at the Weekly: I care deeply about preserving critical habitat and open spaces at Ford Ord AND support well-planned projects that will create good jobs and improve the quality of life in our county.Byrl Smith | Seaside