Newark leaders never
get enough tax money
In Newark’s City Council minutes of May 28, 2020, the city manager said reserves are adequate to balance the 2020-2022 biennial budget, which can be re-examined in the fall to consider corrections.
Now Newark wants a nine-year utilities tax extension before the budget is reconsidered in the fall (“City Council asking voters to extend utilities tax for nine years,” July 25). The city has leaned on this temporary tax since 2010.
Surveys were recently sent to residents asking voters to prioritize needs such as 911, street maintenance and other services. No mention was made about pension fund obligations. The obvious message is vote for the tax extension or services will be cut.
Newark has been financially challenged for years. Instead of doing more with less in good years, the city sold taxpayers in 2016 on a 25-year sales tax increase to pay for a new civic center. Apparently, Newark’s taxpayers can never give this City Council enough money to balance the budget.
Alameda County leaders
must not fold on drilling
E and B Natural Resources sued Alameda County Board of Supervisors after their gas and oil permits were denied in 2018 due to significant public health and safety concerns, risks for water contamination, increased earthquake risks and potential hazards to surrounding wineries. Alameda County has prevailed at every stage of litigation. A federal judge recently ruled that E and B has no fundamental vested right to continue oil drilling in Alameda County. Nevertheless, the county is currently in settlement talks with E and B.
The supervisors should reject any settlement that would allow E and B oil and gas operations to resume. Any oil operations, even limited, would put all the previous risks back into play. The county has a full house, now is not the time to fold.
The supervisors stepped up to protect the public by denying the oil drilling permits. Now they should stay the course and continue litigation.
Pitcher misses chance
to listen and learn
Sam Coonrod is a great example of unconscious white privilege (“Coonrod chooses faith: ‘If I did kneel I’d be a hypocrite,’” July 25).
He rejects Black Lives Matter because he doesn’t like “a couple of things” he’d read about it, yet evidently never bothered to consult his many teammates on their experience, or what the movement means to them. He “only kneels before God,” as if God can’t be there on the ball field with him, guiding him. He “meant no ill will” by refusing to take part in the Giant’s show of BLM solidarity. Yet, as a public figure, ill will is exactly what he exhibited through his willful ignorance and apathy.
I count Coonrod as young and naive. If he really “meant no ill will,” perhaps he, along with the rest of us privileged white Americans, will just shut up and listen for a change, and make it our business to understand and improve, instead of judge or ignore.
This is directed to the “anti-maskers,” those individuals who feel that being asked to wear a mask in public is violating their freedom of choice. Your “rights” do not include the right to infect me or restrict my right to go about my daily business without having to breathe in the contamination coming out of your mouth and nose. Your “rights” do not include the right to recklessly associate with infected people in bars and on beaches and then pass the infection on to dozens or hundreds of other people.
You can’t enter a restaurant without shoes or a shirt. I don’t hear you complaining about that. This is no different. When you whine about your “rights,” you seem to forget that you also have “responsibilities” to society. I know you think the world is all about you, but guess what, it’s not.
There’s a better path
than defunding police
It’s time to squelch this pernicious “defund” meme.
The needed job is to build an integrated system for the delivery of public services and public safety. Determine the whole range of need, with public approval of that definition of the problem. Allocate delivery of needed services to the agencies, municipal and otherwise, with competence to do the job, while relieving the police of functions that are not in their wheelhouse. Provide adequate funding for the total system, and make sure the delivery agencies work together in a smooth fashion.
seems to rely on chaos
The election is less than 100 days away and there is plenty of misery In Donald Trump’s America. The virus is rampant, the economy is in tatters, millions are unemployed, schools are closed. No campaign fodder there, so Mr. Trump is now the “law and order” candidate.
All over America, there are massive protests and unruly demonstrations associated with the BLM movement. Overwrought, his solution is to deploy unidentified (and unwelcome) paramilitary troops to cities to confront and brutally deal with the protests, ostensibly to maintain order and “take back the streets”.
I think that the president knows that this will result in chaos wherever the troops are deployed. This should provide lots of ugly news footage for the “law and order” campaign to showcase.