Voting for Measure A
EDITOR: I will be voting yes on Measure A in Rohnert Park. I supported the original Measure E tax measure, and I will support this extension. I give my support for two simple reasons:
When Measure E came to the ballot, the country had just experienced the worst financial meltdown in our history. Even though the recession officially ended in June 2009, the economy hasn't recovered at rates one would normally see coming out of a recession. Like it or not, city revenues depend on a growing economy, expanding employment and new businesses opening up. We have not seen much of that in Rohnert Park.
To add insult to injury, the California Legislature stripped away the redevelopment monies that the city relied on the complete various projects and to backfill the general fund when people worked on those projects. An end to this blatant money grab by the state does not seem to be on our horizon.
I feel that these two reasons justify a yes vote on Measure A in the special election.
End the secrecy
EDITOR: Once again we are confronted with the anguish of another killing by law enforcement. Once again we are asking why, after all of the investigations conducted by police and district attorney, do they keep happening?
The problem is that these are secret criminal investigations, asking only if enough evidence exists to charge the officer with a crime. Ignored are our community's questions: Was the officer properly trained? Were the most effective procedures used? Did the officer follow them? Should the officer be disciplined? How can we prevent these killings from reoccurring? Why can't the investigation be conducted in a transparent manner so public can learn what happened?
These questions have only been independently examined once, when the U.S. Civil Rights Commission held a hearing here after numerous deaths by law enforcement. The commission recommended that independent civilian review boards be established that could issue subpoenas and take testimony under oath. This recommendation has been ignored by our local governments and fought by law enforcement. And the deaths have kept mounting. It is time to follow the commission's recommendation and establish civilian review boards. It is time to end the secrecy. We cannot afford to wait as more lives are taken.