Marin IJ Readers Forum June 1, 2022 – Marin Independent Journal

Carroll Top Pick for Superintendent of Schools

For 32 years I have had the unique privilege of serving my community as the Executive Director of the San Geronimo Valley Community Center. By my mid-thirties, I had already established a promising and satisfying career in the juvenile justice system and in early childhood education. With my son in preschool at the San Geronimo Valley Community Center, I had the opportunity to accept a leadership position at the Lagunitas School District campus.

Through my role at the center, I had the opportunity to partner with John Carroll, our outstanding superintendent of the Lagunitas and Bolinas-Stinson School Districts. He is a pillar of our community.

Carroll and I have worked together on grant-funded solar energy storage projects; coordinated the community response to the COVID-19 pandemic; created an action plan designating schools as fire evacuation sites; and has partnered with community health and wellness, as well as student internship programs.

Carroll, a champion of public school partnerships with the Lagunitas School District (as well as the San Geronimo Valley Community Center), is a role model for our county.

Originally from Marin County, Carroll has lived and worked in our valley for years. I know Carroll and his family as friends. I also know him through the eyes of a longtime educator and advocate for youth development. I will vote for Carroll and know he has the skills to take the helm as Marin County Schools Superintendent after Mary Jane Burke’s incredible tenure.

Carroll possesses rare gifts of poise, humor, integrity, unwavering professionalism and tireless dedication to his family and community. The hallmarks of his leadership are fairness, humility, a standard of excellence and an unwavering sense of mission. He is deeply committed to students and families.

—Dave Cort, Lagunitas

Measure A should not fund private ranches

Measure A on the June 7 ballot is a simple proposition to assess. Put aside all quarrels. I think the issue is perfectly summed up by the visual of a “Yes on A” sign promoting the financing of “public parks” displayed on private land.

As in 2012, this measure dishonestly claims to concern public parks. In reality, millions of public tax dollars will subsidize a few dozen private companies. I find this unethical and unacceptable.

Vote No on Measure A and demand that it be rewritten as an honest measure giving 100% of our taxes to fund public parks. Our parks desperately need it. Demand that Marin County stop private subsidies disguised as public parks measures. A few dozen private landowners — who I believe are already wealthy — don’t need our public tax money. Keep public funds public.

—Margo Wixsom, Inverness

Ross Mailer steps up support for Skewes-Cox

I am disappointed with the negative election mail sent by a Ross resident to everyone in town ahead of the June 7th City Council election.

Three residents, including two incumbents (Dr Elizabeth Robbins and Julie McMillan) and a new person, Nicholas Skewes-Cox, are running for two seats on Ross’ five-member city council. Most would agree that having a civil discussion of the issues rather than just nominating unopposed candidates is a good thing, but I think the sender changed the tone.

The accuracy of the sender is questionable. I find this unfair and petty. He accuses Skewes-Cox of being divisive (for putting up campaign signs) and displaying a lack of transparency – the very conduct the author exhibits. Additionally, the mail seems to imply that only older, more experienced residents should rule at Ross.

This must be the first time in recent Ross history that a resident has written such a nasty, nasty letter condemning a running candidate. For my part, I condemn this action and hope that this is not the beginning of the ugliness of national politics seeping into local politics.

I’m supporting Nicholas Skewes-Cox for Ross City Council. I believe both incumbents are worthy candidates and I will support them if re-elected. I just believe that Ross needs a new face with new ideas and a different perspective to complement the other board members. I also believe in cultivating new leadership for a new generation of Ross residents.

—Ken Petrilla, Ross

Not a good time to keep the cops on campus

I’m writing in response to Marin’s supervisors’ decision to accept a grant to put cops in schools (“Marin’s supervisors accept grant for school cops,” May 22). In my view, school resource officers condition young people to accept a “police state” by conditioning them to constant police presence as a normal condition.

—Robert Foti, Forest Knolls

The will of the people should protect women’s rights

Many people believe that the Supreme Court’s leaked draft opinion will make abortions illegal. It won’t be. The real question in court is who decides the abortion controversy, the judges or the elected officials.

The court that adopted Roe v. Wade said judges decide before deciding that a woman has the legal right to an abortion. The new draft opinion says no, judges should not make this decision because nothing in the Constitution authorizes it. The opinion goes on to say that our elected officials should make the decision because it is a proper legislative function.

The draft opinion says nothing about being for or against abortion.

I support a woman’s right to control her body during pregnancy and the government should not interfere with her decision to have an abortion. But, I also understand that there is a contrary view held by many people. I think anti-abortion groups also have a right to be heard.

I think our elected officials are in a better position to decide this controversy than judges because elected officials are accountable to their constituents through the ballot box. Judges are not responsible to the will of the people and have only to vote according to their own conscience.

Such decisions should be made by those who are sensitive to the will of the people. That’s what democracy is and that’s why I’m not worried if the Supreme Court ends up overturning Roe v. Wade. The will of the people is with a woman’s right to choose, especially here in California, and that will be heard by elected officials.

—Bruce Munro, Tiburon

Rand Paul should be credited for doing his job

Because Senator Rand Paul refused to automatically approve the $40 billion Ukraine aid package, Stewart Lindh (letter to the editor, May 23) baselessly accuses him of being a Russian asset, even quoting former senator John McCain.

We should not send borrowed money to a country without accountability or oversight. Are we ready to send combat troops there and risk a nuclear war? Paul should be commended for doing his job, without being accused of treason.

Neoconservatives like McCain are not alone. Leftists have also widely condemned the Kentucky senator.

In August 1964, a skirmish between USS Maddox and North Vietnamese forces led to the resolution of the Gulf of Tonkin. With little debate, Congress handed President Lyndon B. Johnson a blank check for the Vietnam War, with Senators Wayne Morse and Ernest Gruening casting the only dissenting votes. Both lost their re-election bids.

Just four years later, with over 500,000 American troops in South Vietnam, there was no prospect of peace. Even if Morse and Gruening were vindicated, the United States would waste a great deal of blood and treasure on more overt foreign adventures, with equally disastrous results.

—Michael Hartnett, Greenbrae

Melvin B. Baillie