Doubts about P
EDITOR: I commend the Healdsburg City Council for working diligently to address the housing challenges in our community. Unfortunately, in the rush to get what is now Measure P on the ballot, they may have promulgated a boondoggle.
The Sonoma County Economic Development Board’s report was released about a week ago. The “2018 Healdsburg City Profile and Projections Report” shows 68.1 percent of city residents make under $100,000, with the biggest proportion within that category making between $50,000 and $75,000. It seems that the “missing middle” may skew to a lower income than what Measure P targets.
Measure P is aimed toward those making between $101,000 and $134,000 (17.5 percent of the population) and the rents will be accordingly steep.
Healdsburg’s median income, according to the EDB’s report is $63,224. Does it make sense to target 17.5 percent of the population, when 68.1 percent of the people earn less?
In addition, the community is eagerly anticipating the SDAT report, which is scheduled to be released at the end of November. Unfortunately, we won’t have the information in the report to inform our voting choice before Nov. 6.
It leaves one to wonder if a more effective and targeted measure could have been written had city officials awaited the information in the two reports.
I understand how challenging housing is in Healdsburg, in the Bay Area, in fact, across California. There will be no easy fixes, because housing and rental prices have far outstripped wage increases. The economy is skewed when rents and housing purchases are out of reach of far too many ordinary people. Unfortunately, Measure P adds to that continuum, instead of alleviating it.
I also see from the ballot language on Measure P, that while the units proposed to be built are income restricted, the project properties are not be deed restricted, which may pose some challenging discussions for the city in the future.
I’m concerned about Measure P, and I, for one, have sincere doubts that it will work as predicted. Please vote.
Experience and proven performance
EDITOR:As a career public school educator (retired) and committed member of the Healdsburg community, I fully and enthusiastically support Mike Potmesil for the Healdsburg school board.
I have known Mike for years as we have both served on the board of the Healdsburg Noon Rotary club and as supporters of youth through the Public Schools Success Team (PSST).
Mike’s experience as a public school teacher and principal give him the expertise needed to immediately tackle the important and unique issues facing the Healdsburg Unified School District Board of Trustees. He will be able to hit the ground running.
Mike’s commitment to the youth in our community is evident in part by his work as foundation chair of the Healdsburg Noon Rotary Club, as a member of our Education Committee and as a Rotary Club board member. The board makes decisions regarding the granting of tens of thousands of dollars in local school-based projects and in scholarships and supporting FirstGen College Counseling.
Mike, along with his wife Debbie, has also been a committed mentor of high school youth as part of the Healdsburg High PSST mentoring program.
For these reasons I encourage all voters in the Healdsburg area to join me in choosing Mike Potmesil as a member of the Healdsburg school board. His experience and proven performance is needed.
Civil Grand Jury seeks new jurors
EDITOR: One of the many groups trying to get back up on its feet this year after the October fires is the Sonoma County Civil Grand Jury, overseen by the Sonoma County Superior Court.
With so many people impacted, we didn’t have sufficient jurors and alternates last year and we are facing the same problems this year. The Sonoma County Superior Court has taken action and has launched a mid-term (the county fiscal year June 2018 to July 2019) recruitment drive, which is a unique event in California.
Please consider donating six months of your time, a day a week, to this long-standing, governmental watchdog agency.Go to http://sonoma.courts.ca.gov/info/administration/grand-jury to sign up.
President, Sonoma County Grand Jury Association
For Gold and Meinken
EDITOR: I am supporting Leah Gold’s re-election to city council because she has a sharp mind and a good heart. Leah applies both of those attributes to the challenges facing our town. She’s a progressive pragmatist—and that’s a real boon to our city council.
Healdsburg is a place she knows well, and we residents know Leah pretty well, too. Some of us know her from the Plaza concerts she loves to attend, the gym, or the various charities and causes she supports. Others of us got to know Leah because of her previous term as council member and mayor, or from the term she is currently serving on the council. In those roles, she’s advocated for causes like establishing and protecting green spaces and finding creative solutions to Healdsburg’s affordable-housing crisis. She has also provided thoughtful leadership as the city strives to balance the needs of residents and those of the visitors who are a critical part of our economy.
I’ve been impressed by the clarity and consensus Leah brings to city council meetings. She’s enough of an insider to understand how our city and its governing institutions work. But Leah is also an idealist capable of out-of-the box insight, of asking “Maybe it’s always been done like that, but maybe we could try this?”
Leah gets my first vote for city council, and my second vote is going to Tim Meinken. Like Leah, he’s another resident who combines progressive values with a deep knowledge of local issues and a commitment to finding pragmatic solutions so our wonderful Healdsburg has a bright future.
We’re lucky to have both Leah and Tim in our town. And even luckier that they’re willing to serve on our city council as we navigate the opportunities and challenges that lie before us. I hope you’ll join me in voting for Leah and Tim for city council.
Getting past dysfunction
EDITOR: We are fortunate to have two great candidates for the two open seats on the Healdsburg City Council; Evelyn Mitchell and Leah Gold.
Evelyn, a 20-year resident, has served 10 years (five years as president) on the Sonoma County Humane Society board of directors and was instrumental in getting our animal shelter off the ground. I have been impressed by her demeanor. Her experience leading a high-profile board of directors and her professional background in finance and business management will go a long way on our council.
While I don’t agree with all of Leah’s positions on issues, I know she keeps an open mind, is astute, articulate, gets to the point and keeps the council focused. I admire her character and know she has Healdsburg’s best interests at heart. Anyone who has attended city council meetings in the past few years knows that they have had difficulty dealing with staff, reaching consensus and regularly digress on rambling tangents off the subject at hand.
Mitchell and Gold will help get our council past the recent dysfunction and back on track.
Get the flu shot
EDITOR: One hundred years ago, 1918, was the beginning of the horrible influenza epidemic that killed more than 20 million people worldwide. And this anniversary reminded me of a story one of my patients told me. This story is from Evelyn Iversen, who passed away in 2014 at 104 years old. She was quite a strong woman, and donated 23 gallons of blood (that is over 160 pints) during her lifetime.
Here is her story of the influenza epidemic, as she was eight when it started: Her family owned the Home Dairy, and delivered milk (bottles) throughout the area. When they heard someone had influenza, they would continue to deliver the milk, but not pick up the empty bottles. When they heard the person was better, they would pick up the empty bottles and sterilize them. She was proud to say no one in her family got influenza.
Now is the time to get your flu shot; at your doctor’s office, please, not at the pharmacy.
David Anderson, M.D.
Evensong at St. Paul’s
EDITOR: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Healdsburg will offer a service of Choral Evensong for All Saints to the community on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 5 p.m. With the hectic pace of our daily lives, we felt it was important to offer an opportunity to turn off the outside world and allow people to connect with their inner, more spiritual world. It won’t feel like a Sunday morning service. There is no sermon or Eucharist.
The centuries old service of Evening Prayer focuses on the Psalms and Canticles, and uses the beauty of music to help us set our lives in a quieter place of self-reflection, if only for a little while. Although Evensong is a choral office mostly sung by the choir, the congregation also participates actively in the prayers and hymns.
St. Paul’s Choir will sing the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Psalms 148 and 150 (Anglican Chant) and the anthem Pie Jesu by Korean composer Hyon Kook. St. Paul’s Youth Chorus will sing God’s Love is Alive in Us by Mark Patterson. And of course, we will sing the great hymns: For All the Saints and Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones.
We hope you will join us for this new service that is growing in popularity among millennials in Britain. St. Paul’s is only a block off the Plaza, so you can come for the service and stay for an early dinner downtown.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is at 209 Matheson Street in Healdsburg. There will be a free will offering to support St. Paul’s Homeless Ministries and Music Ministry.
Seeking PG&E responses
EDITOR: On July 11 of this year you published a letter I wrote in reaction to PG&E equipment setting my homestead on fire. Yet again their equipment failure has endangered my family and my homestead. Please publish this open letter to PG&E CEO Geisha Williams:
In the past 15 months, PG&E equipment on or adjacent to my property has failed and showered sparks on my property, endangering myself, my homes and my family. In one case, the incident did result in a fire that damaged my property. Luckily, my neighbor saw the fire and contacted the fire department in time, saving my homes. I am yet to be reimbursed for the damage.
In addition to reimbursement, I have been attempting to find someone to ensure that the equipment on or adjacent to my property is inspected and, if necessary, upgraded, to prevent the burning of my home and the risk to the lives of myself, my wife and my young children. Though PG&E staff have been polite, they have been unyielding in their stonewalling me of information, reimbursement and assurances of safety.
Unsurprisingly, today PG&E equipment began raining sparks all over my property. Luckily, I was present and this incident did not result in an additional fire. I fear, however, that my luck will run out and your equipment will, at some point, deprive myself and my family of our home and, possibly, our lives. It is quite probable that this could, in fact, lead to yet another major, PG&E-caused conflagration.
I cannot imagine a more clear example of continued and intentional negligence. Your company, with your complicity, is endangering our lives and property. One would have thought that PG&E would have, in the wake of last year’s fires, adopted a greater level of caution, reactivity (not to mention proactivity), accountability and care for human life.
I am desperately trying to find a resolution that does not involve litigation. At this point, there seems to be limited opportunity to resolve this outside of the courts. I have been unable to speak with anyone with the authority to resolve this issue. As of now, your phone labyrinth is not even registering the key presses necessary to speak to my most recent claims adjuster.
I would appreciate if one of your company’s officers would reach out to resolve this issue. Frankly, my very life may be at stake here.
EDITOR: One of the most vital aspects of running for a local elected office is the opportunity to knock on your neighbors’ doors. When door knocking, you’re on someone’s front porch, their turf, and have the opportunity to listen to what matters to them, to hear their perspective without any social media spin.
In my opinion, the best candidates venture out into the community with an open mind, ready to hear our community’s concerns, ask questions and ultimately, use that experience to make informed decisions for the long term health of Healdsburg. Evelyn Mitchell has personally knocked on over 2,000 of our neighbors’ doors.
I’ve had the opportunity to sit down with Evelyn on multiple occasions and have been impressed with her common sense approach to any topic and willingness to hear all sides before making a final decision. During this campaign she has proven to be honest, open and accessible to our community, which I believe is important for anyone running for public office. Her professional background in management consulting and accounting, along with her service for five years as president of the Humane Society confirm she’s “council-ready” with a fresh perspective.
Please join my wife Laurie and me in voting for Evelyn Mitchell for Healdsburg City Council.
David and Laurie Hegele
A vote for Meinken
EDITOR: I am writing to support Tim Meinken for City Council this year. After watching Tim attend countless City Council meetings, step up as one of the earliest and strongest proponents for the SDAT review, and witnessing his tireless focus on Residents First, I am confident he is the best choice to guide the City of Healdsburg forward.
Tim’s professionalism and drive to push for a long-term blueprint for Healdsburg’s future, incorporating real, common-sense, yet creative solutions for our most pressing problems, convinced me that he is the best candidate to lead Healdsburg in a new & successful direction.
I, like many of my friends and neighbors, live in Healdsburg because it is a wonderful, community-oriented, accepting & caring small town. I am confident Tim will be a strong voice on the City Council for the residents of Healdsburg, advocating for our families, our seniors, local workers and schools alike.
I have already voted for Tim Meinken for city council. I hope you will join me.
One way to choose
EDITOR: If you are undecided about how to vote for city council members in the upcoming election, you could ask yourself the following question: what will more hotels in Healdsburg do for you? If you think we have enough, then vote for Leah Gold and Tim Meinken.
Walt Maack, M.D.
EDITOR: We have known Rose McAllister for over 15 years and are writing to support her candidacy for Healdsburg school board.
We believe that it is important for a school board to have members with a variety of backgrounds and qualifications. As a parent of children in the Healdsburg school system, Rose’s family is directly affected by the board’s decisions, and in that capacity she will provide a voice for other families.
She is also highly qualified, based on her education, extensive travel and work experience in both the public and private sectors. Her communication skills are exceptional, with an ability to clearly share her ideas as well as to listen with an open mind to the ideas of her colleagues. And perhaps most importantly, Rose is intelligent, compassionate and collaborative. Our wonderful community will be well served to have a member of the school board of Rose McAllister’s caliber.
Lorraine and Barney Martinelli
EDITOR: Mark Rudd’s letter (Oct.18) was permeated with intriguing confusion. One particular curiosity requires comment. His phrase, “…despite what the democratic socialists say (i.e. Nazis)…” suggests he imagines there is some connection or similarity between the two political tendencies.
It would be nice if letter writers would study history first, and only then share their thoughts with others. In pre-war Germany, socialists (democratic and otherwise) were among the (too few) early opponents of Nazism. They supported tolerance of ethnic minorities and cooperation between nations, in opposition to Nazi promotion of racial hatred and national belligerence. Had more Germans joined them, the war and the Holocaust would have been prevented.
In the famous words of Pastor Martin Niemöller, “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.”
Missing the captain
EDITOR: We will miss Ray Holley in all the roles he has played at the Tribune. I would add another contribution that he has made to the enjoyment I’ve had from the Tribune over 30 years — the “Ask Captain Fitch” feature. I once wrote in to ask if a train was running through town again, because I’d heard a train whistle. Captain Fitch explained that a truck driver had installed that sound effect on his horn. Quick answers to what’s-going-on questions were fun to read.
Very best wishes for your next adventure.
Jane St. Claire
Evelym Mitchell, a worthy candidate
EDITOR: At a time of political polarization and stubborn partiality, it’s a relief to find someone on our local ballot who pledges to learn the facts first, listen to others’ opinions, and then apply sound, unbiased judgment before taking a stand. Evelyn Mitchell offers exactly that in her candidacy for the City Council. Evelyn’s “agenda” is to retain an open mind and reject pre-defined advocacies in favor of reasoned analysis—always with the best interest of our community at heart.
She proved her abilities when she saved our animal shelter from a sad demise. As board chair of the Sonoma Humane Society, Evelyn demonstrated her creativity, collegiality, and tenacity as well as her support of a worthy cause. The new shelter is a showpiece that fulfills the desires of its many early donors and retains for Healdsburg our well-deserved reputation as an animal-friendly town.
Some say that calming the rancor and division in today’s America can only begin at the local level. If that’s true, Evelyn’s example of open-minded thinking, competence, integrity, and a commitment to her community offers a hopeful sign. She would serve us well on the City Council.
In remebrance and celebration
EDITOR: Sunday Oct. 28 was another extraordinary day of heartfelt community gathering on our town Plaza. Co-produced by Corazón Healdsburg and the City of Healdsburg, our Día de los Muertos celebration brought together our whole community, in observation of an important healing tradition and in celebration of all we can be when we come together as community.
The day was made possible by the generosity of this community, and we cannot express enough the depth of our gratitude for those who volunteered, prepared and donated food, and joined in to create a memorable and beautiful day.
It is Corazón Healdsburg’s mission to unify our communities and create a quality of experience for all of our residents that includes equal access to sources of service and support and inclusion in community life. Unity and inclusion were abundant on Sunday and just as we made the call for all to be present and connected on that day, we hope that whatever impact the experience had on you and your sense of connection and unity that you bring that into your daily lives and use it to strengthen our community going forward.
Look what heart can do. Look what we can do. Let us continue to go forward as a whole community and meet the challenges and opportunities that face us, together.
Ari and Dawnelise Rosen, Founders
Leticia Romero, Executive Director
Ariel Kelley, Board Chair