Pope deserved to be mayor

Dear Editor:

Since incorporation, the Oakley City Council has operated on a rotation system to determine who holds the important and prestigious position of mayor. Why a change this year?

I respect Carol Rios' admission that family medical issues will not allow her to devote the necessary time to be mayor this year. However, Randy Pope should not be denied his chance to move through the rotation into this position during his elected term as a councilmember as a result of this.

Yet this is what has happened with the decision to allow Kevin Romick another year as mayor and keep Rios as vice mayor this year (again) and then progress her to mayor, for a third term, in 2014. This is wrong. This is not fair. This is not what residents were led to believe would happen when they voted in any of the current council members.

I don't know Randy Pope personally, but have observed him at various community events, Ironhouse and council meetings -- more times than I have seen Rios -- who was again absent from council on Jan. 8. He has a young family and a career in law enforcement. He is personable and approachable and understands the need to honor our city's rural history while supporting diversity and growth. I'm interested to see what he will bring to Oakley as mayor. He deserves a year as our top city official to show us.


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I am simply asking the council to do the right thing here. Be true leaders. Honor the tradition of a rotation system which has been enjoyed by both Rios, Romick and undoubtedly will be by the two recently elected council members. Rios has made her decision so the position should go to the next in line -- not leave Pope out of the running for the first time in our council's history. She should also abstain from the revote as it is a conflict of interest.

I encourage other Oakley residents to attend the Jan. 22 meeting to hear more about this important issue or send a comment via the city's website at www.ci.oakley.ca.us.

Should the original unfair, political, discriminatory decision be allowed to stand, it will be proof that it's time for a direct vote for mayor to be put on future ballot.

Angela Lowrey

Oakley

Shameful rape, death in India

Dear Editor:

As an Indian American, I'm ashamed to read about the brutal gang rape of a medical student in New Delhi. Despite surgeries and treatment in Asia's best Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore, she died Dec. 29.

The publicity this case engendered illustrates Indian society's deep-rooted low esteem of women. The desire for male children, resulting in frequent abortions of female fetuses, is further evidence of the centuries-old mindset.

A rape victim is very embarrassed due to family dishonor and is, therefore, reluctant to go to the police. Even if she gathers courage to do so, she's not taken seriously by the police and is often encouraged to forget the incident.

Making matters worse, Indian police are notoriously inefficient and ineffective. The Indian legal system is overburdened and slow. It takes years before a rape case goes to trial. Consequently, a majority of rape cases go unregistered.

A complete overhaul of enforcement agencies and the judiciary -- with adequate resources and the government's strong commitment to act decisively -- is needed to bring about necessary reforms. Pressure generated by worldwide coverage in the press and active social media may finally force the government to take positive action.

Vijay P. Khasat

Antioch

Hidden cost of solar panel plan

Dear Editor:

I'm sorry to be a "Grinch," but your article on Delta Diablo Sanitation District's solar panels ("Solar panels generate big savings," Jan. 11) is another example of how government agencies are bankrupting our society with "politically correct" deals.

Yes, the panels will save the district $100,000 per year (I will take their word for it), but at a cost of $2.85 million, it will take the district 28 years to recoup their expenditure. My bet is that the panels will not last 28 years, and if they do, they will require substantial maintenance, which will up the costs.

And, yes, they got $650,000 from the California Solar Initiative, but that money came from ratepayers, so we, the public, also paid that bill.

My thanks to the Brentwood News for exposing another bad deal for taxpayers.

Hal Bray

Brentwood

Humphrey's site poses challenge

Dear Editor:

Roy Maxson's ideas about what should or will be done to replace Humphrey's (e-views, Jan. 11) was right on the money.

I would love to see a French restaurant like La Virage go in there, although I could rarely afford to go there myself.

A soup kitchen and homeless shelter is definitely going Antioch style. The more downgraded and downtrodden that area is, the better -- that seems to be the vision for it anyway.

Just about every city I can think of, including Pittsburg, has done a better job of developing their downtown.

It could be such a jewel, but is a lump of coal instead!

What Bob Oliver suggested, a card room, would probably make money. I wouldn't step foot in there, but I am sure there are plenty of others who would.

Sharyn Obrigewitsch

Antioch

Officer should enforce laws

Dear Editor:

I definitely appreciate everything our law enforcement officers do, but there are certain oversights that could prevent dangers to lives of innocent drivers.

I was astonished this morning (Monday, Jan. 14) at around 5:37 a.m., when a driver purposely ran a red light in the presence of an Antioch patrol officer -- without suffering any consequences. The patrol officer was coming off the Sommersville/Automall ramp from Highway 4.

The officer was not responding to any emergency call, and yet this officer couldn't make any effort to enforce the law? Driving certain kinds of vehicles should not preclude anyone from obeying the law, as nobody is above the law. I hope this officer will see this as a missed opportunity.

John Tanwan

Antioch

City Hall should be user-friendly

Dear Editor:

I must applaud Arne Simonsen's Jan. 11 column. I can appreciate his observations regarding having to wade through the line of people waiting to pay their water bill and his moving to the "first floor" of City Hall.

I would suggest Mayor Harper commandeer the city treasure's office on the first floor -- if he is really interested in doing the people's work -- after retiring from his police lieutenant position with the city of Tracy. Should Mayor Harper move to the first floor, I would suggest some of the other city management follow suit.

The city cashier's office on the first floor of the City Hall is one of the few places within Antioch where the city can interface with its citizens, other than the police.

The city crime rate is up, the citizens need to feel the city administration is on their side, and that can't happen if all the people who run the city are working in "secured" areas of City Hall.

Bruce Long

Antioch

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