Letters to the Editor
Unincorporated area tax unfairDear Editor,
Measure J is a half-cent sales tax increase in the unincorporated areas for regional park expansions, improvements and maintenance. The citizens and businesses in the cities will not have to pay this tax. The current population of Sonoma County is about 500,000. The total population of the cities is approximately 350,000. This tax increase is only in effect for the remaining 150,000 people. A majority of the park users are from the cities. This tax is unfair because only one third of the population will be paying for all of the new costs. It appears that the current regional park system is at or near the limit of what is needed for the county. We need to cover all of the basic services before expanding the parks.
Vote for Jason Carter for Board of EdDear Editor,
I have advocated for our families for over 25 years, 11 of which, as a Sonoma Valley Unified District parent. Until this November 2016 election, I had no idea what our First District Sonoma County Board of Education Trustee could or should be doing for our families. Thanks to Jason Carter, a candidate for the SCOE Board, I am beginning to understand what a person in this position can do. At a recent forum, while the incumbent focused on what she “cannot” do for us, Jason Carter focused on the possibilities of not just a SCOE Trustee, but of someone that cares about our community.
Even without being elected, Jason helped bring truancy prevention case management to the Sonoma Valley School District, simply because he cares. He volunteers for the Sonoma County Workforce Investment Board’s Youth Committee and County Probation’s Keeping Kids in School Committee, because he cares. He wants to make a difference in the lives of our families because he grew up in poverty, with obstacles such as being a high school dropout and overcoming alcoholism, which are some of the same barriers our struggling youth face today. Jason understands what it feels like to have a challenged path in front of him, but also has developed into a working professional that gives back to families he used to be. You can feel his intensity and passion when he talks about changing the lives of our youth because it is part of him, both personally and professionally.
SCOE oversees court and community schools and Jason Carter has created a community school. Jason’s job with the Violence Prevention Partnership is to work with at-risk youth and families. Jason prioritizes matters and addresses them. Jason provides solutions to issues by leveraging his network that respects his abilities. All four SCOE Trustees from Districts 2, 3, 4, and 5 support him – these are the incumbent’s peers for the past four years. All five Sonoma County Supervisors support him. All seven Santa Rosa City Council members support him. I support him… because he cares.
Parent and community organizer
Recommending Cuclis for Board of EducationDear Editor,
I served on the Sonoma County Board of Education for 20 years. For two years I had the pleasure of serving with Gina Cuclis. I was impressed by the way she hit the ground running, picking up her responsibilities quickly. She understands the California Education Code that gives this board the unique responsibility to serve students who have been in trouble, expelled from school, or placed by the courts. She focuses on ensuring SCOE provides a high quality program to meet the unique needs of these students. Cuclis is also a strong advocate for Career Technical Education, which the County Office of Education helps school districts provide.
Cuclis now has four years on the county board. I can attest that she is an exemplary board member, looking out for the students and constituents of the Sonoma, Bennett, and Rincon Valleys, and Kenwood School districts. They are well represented by Cuclis, who is diligent and passionate about students. She understands the need to strive for improvement in the role of the County Board of Education.
I endorse Gina Cuclis and recommend the voters in Sonoma Valley and east Santa Rosa continue her as your representative on the County Board of Education.
Raymond H. Peterson
Past President, Sonoma County Board of Education
Past President, California County Boards of Education