Marin IJ Readers Forum September 17, 2022 – Marin Independent Journal

Larkspur’s Measure G tax should be rejected

In a recently published Marin Voice comment (“Larkspur needs Measure G for preparedness, essential services”, September 6), author Barry Phegan gave his full support for Measure G, the third tax measure sales of Larkspur in 10 years. Prior to 2013, Larkspur had no sales tax. Passing Measure G will mean a 1% sales tax forever.

Why is a wealthy small town with a thriving business community running out of funds? Apparently, this tax is used to pay for essential infrastructure and services, but there is no requirement that the revenues be spent in this way.

Some will go to pay the rising cost of retiree benefits, a statewide problem that few municipalities have solved. But fiscal irresponsibility does not stop there.

Earlier this year, county supervisors and Larkspur rushed to approve a 43-bed homeless shelter on South Eliseo Drive. Phegan is a community advisor for this project. The Homekey project uses the “housing first” approach, which has been a visible and costly failure in cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. There are no work requirements or prerequisites for residents to be treated for substance abuse or mental illness. Proponents admit that some sex offenders may live there. In two online meetings last fall, hundreds of residents expressed concern that the project would jeopardize the well-being of elderly residents and school children.

It is clear to me that the desire for state funding has taken precedence over public safety.

Projects like this are exempt from most local taxes even though they use utilities. On August 3, Larkspur officials inexplicably voted to waive some $270,000 in building permits and fees for the project.

A municipal government that neglects its infrastructure and ignores public input should not be getting more of our taxpayers’ money. I recommend a no vote on G.

—Michael Hartnett, Greenbrae

Khush deserves vote over Bragman in MMWD race

I am writing in response to Michelle Simonson’s recently published letter to the editor. She wrote about how wonderful Larry Bragman was as a person. I don’t know this gentleman, but I’m sure he’s very nice. However, he is not fit to continue to represent my district on the Marin Municipal Water District Board of Directors.

Bragman has served for too many years without meeting our growing water needs. He always espoused conservation as our way out of our drought situation rather than finding long-term solutions.

I read Ranjiv Khush’s Marin Voice commentary (“Rebuilding MMWD’s Vision to Secure Future Water Supply,” September 5). It makes sense. Khush has a multi-pronged approach to water policy and is the person I intend to support in the upcoming District 3 elections.

Continuing to support incumbents who have not found viable solutions (other than conservation) during their long tenures deserves no one’s support. We need “new blood” presenting innovative and avant-garde ideas.

—Stephen Jaffe, Greenbrae

Bragman is a good choice for the director of MMWD

Many people are unhappy with rising water bills, especially fixed costs. Rising fixed costs, unrelated to the amount of water we use, are unlikely to change regardless of who is elected to the Marin Municipal Water District Board of Directors in the November elections.

All utilities have investment and maintenance costs for their infrastructure. For MMWD, these cover the dams, pipes and equipment needed to bring clean water to our homes and businesses. MMWD also has watershed protection costs since fire ash and erosion can degrade its reservoirs, which provide 75% of the water we use. All of these costs are impacted by inflation.

Good management can make a big difference in reducing costs. For example, recent improvements to its infrastructure have added the equivalent of a new reservoir to MMWD’s supply at a lower cost than building a new dam.

When it comes to the next elections, experience counts. I have worked with Bragman for decades on multiple community issues. He is thoughtful, trustworthy and reliable. He has integrity, builds respectful relationships and understands what is good for our community. Replacing it would be a loss for MMWD and its customers.

I know and trust Bragman. He will be able to make good decisions for the health and safety of our community while keeping a close eye on the budget.

I live in Division 3 and will vote to keep Larry Bragman on the board.

—Pamela Meigs, Fairfax

Eliminating breeders is the only way to clean up Pt. Reyes

I am writing to “welcome” you to the IJ Editorial Board. The recently published editorial (“Point Reyes Waterbody Must Inspire Confidence”, September 12) illustrates that it has taken a step closer to bringing hundreds of activists and thousands of citizens into our community. outraged by Point Reyes National’s unchecked cow manure contamination for decades. Shore.

However, the council must go further. This Point Reyes plan still does not inspire confidence.

IJ reporter Will Houston does a professional job of reporting straight facts about the alarming and ongoing fecal contamination of the park from livestock. Two consecutive years of independent surface water quality testing have found concentrations of fecal bacteria in park waterways so high they pose a public health hazard. The park’s 2 million annual visitors were not notified.

It’s no wonder the National Park Service stopped testing the park’s “poopy” water a decade ago (2013). I think he stopped documenting the environmental mess because sanitation was blocked by politically powerful ranchers. It also explains why the park’s property manager, the NPS, won’t kick out tenants who have been polluting the park for decades.

The IJ Editorial Board still has more faith in the Park Service than my community. Infuriatingly, the NPS just convinced the California Coastal Commission to approve its supposedly improved water cleanup plan for the park. But it’s the same as the old plan. It lacks adequate control, enforcement sanctions and the budget to implement it.

Why on earth should taxpayers pay to monitor and clean up after cattle operations? Oh, that’s right, we already subsidize them with leases at half market value. It seems that since we are for a “penny of pee”, we are also for a “pound of poo”.

There’s only one strategy to clean up the manure-polluted Point Reyes—the latest damning Independent Water Report says so in its executive summary: get private cattle out of this national park.

—Jack Gescheidt, San Rafael

Good explanation of sports game accessories

The IJ recently published election endorsements by the Bay Area News Group’s editorial board of sports betting proposals in the November ballot that deserve high marks (“California doesn’t need more gambling , vote no on proposals 26, 27”, September 13).

TV commercials are totally misleading and confusing. The editorial board did a public service by explaining the facts.

—David Colton, Greenbrae

When needed, the United States knows how to build pipelines

In his recently published letter to the editor, Rick Johnson points out that California’s chronic water shortage could be alleviated by bringing in water from places like the upper Midwest and the Mississippi Valley that have a surplus of water. water.

A successful side project was the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline in the 1970s. At the time, we were suffering from an oil deficit here in the West. We mitigated it by building the 800-mile pipeline to transport oil from the North Slope of Alaska to refineries here in the Bay Area. The work lasted less than 10 years and successfully restored the energy balance of our part of the country.

—Potter Wickware, Mill Valley

Melvin B. Baillie