Thank you, Jennifer Coleman (Open Mic, April 6), for your well-researched and -documented article on the Santa Rosa City Council's failure to uphold the city charter guidelines for including resident input for spending their tax money for capitol improvements. The charter is ineffective if its rules aren't enforced. That would seem to make it easy for "special interests" to influence the city council and bypass citizen review of proposed expenditures. I think this could be a big case for an attorney willing to step up to the plate, and "step" on some toes of the offending parties, whose actions would be considered criminal activity in a court of law. You've done the preliminary detective work, so it should be easy enough for an attorney to take up this very important cause.
This is just another action, in addition to the missing "millions" that should have been spent on much-needed housing. Looks to me like the Santa Rosa City Council is getting away with illegal activity bordering on embezzlement. I hope that your hours of dedicated research to represent Santa Rosa citizens is recognized and honored with a lawsuit.
I am still pissed that they removed the redwood trees. The two new side streets are unnecessary. There are three parking garages within two blocks that are usually half empty. Why can't people walk anymore? This removal of beautiful old redwood trees for the sake of cars is so short-sighted. We want walkable cities that encourage pedestrians, not more streets and cars. And now they have the nerve to host Earth Day in the Square again. I encourage a boycott or protest that day. The city leaders are completely out of touch and operating in a vacuum.
The recently passed $15 minimum wage (Debriefer, April 6) will help, not harm, small businesses and Sonoma County's economic health. For over 30 years, my husband and I have owned and operated a local business, and we pay all employees a living—not minimum—wage. Paying a living wage is more than good business; it's the right thing to do, for our staff, our community and our local economy. And when the economy thrives, so does our business. We invest in our employees and they in turn contribute to the community by spending close to home. There's a sign posted in a Sebastopol store window that says it well: "The best way to occupy Wall Street is to shop Main Street." We're honored to be a B Corporation, using our business as a force for good, and to continue being voted Best Solar Retail in Sonoma County by Bohemian readers. I'm pleased to say it's our staff who make us most proud of our accomplishments.
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