Vote for Bob Taylor for mayor

Dear Editor:

As a resident who cares very much about improving the quality of life in Brentwood, I have been to many City Council Meetings since 2003. At these meetings, Mayor Bob Taylor always presided over the meetings with professionalism, humor, and much grace. He was always kind and encouraging to speakers.

I have seen firsthand how well he listened to residents' concerns regarding public safety and anything else that might threaten the quality of life in Brentwood. In response, he would always vote to support their concerns. He was always accessible and encouraging. His actions showed he believes in doing what is best for Brentwood.

One example of how Mayor Taylor has supported residents concerns was on April 8, 2008, when he (along with Stonebarger, Becnel, and Richey) voted to pass an Ordinance amending the Brentwood Municipal Code by adding a new Rental Property Inspection program. This program today provides for a periodic and proactive inspection of rental properties throughout the City and requires rental owners to purchase a business license. Thanks to Mayor Taylor and the other City Council Members, the City has the tools to ensure properties are properly maintained, thus also maintaining the value of our homes by preventing blight.

Another example of how Mayor Taylor has supported residents' concerns was recently at the July 14 City Council Meeting. Mayor Taylor (along with Stonebarger and Bryant) voted "no" on a resolution to change Semi-Public land use to Very High Density Residential land use and an ordinance approving a Rezone to allow for a 120-apartment unit. The land next to this proposed land rezone was already zoned Very High Density for apartment buildings. Some residents believe too many apartment buildings in one area would create an "urbanized apartment alley" not the desired charming Brentwood neighborhood. Thanks to Mayor Taylor's deciding vote, there will not be an "apartment alley" in that area of Brentwood.

The above is also an example of how Mayor Taylor would vote for a business if it is good for Brentwood, and would vote against it if it is not good for Brentwood. He is not beholden to the business interests. Because of this, his campaign is not as well funded as it could be.

These and many other examples of how Mayor Taylor has supported the concerns of residents can be found at the City of Brentwood's website under "Current Agenda and Past Meeting Info." Please base your votes on Mayor Taylor's strong voting record of supporting residents' concerns and his many years of hard work toward improving the quality of life in Brentwood. Mayor Taylor has shown by his actions that he cares about Brentwood.

Please join me in re-electing Mayor Bob Taylor for mayor on Nov 6.

Linda Nakaji

A resident of Brentwood

Ruehlig for City Council

Dear Editor:

Please join us in voting for Walter Ruehlig for Antioch City Councilman on Nov. 6.

We worked with Walter on the committee to bring the July 4 celebration back to Antioch. We have found Walter to be a man of integrity and good will who can bring together a diverse group of citizens to work together amicably toward a common goal. Walter is a board member of the Antioch Unified School District. During his tenure, the district overcame a budget deficit and expanded the district to include the Dozier-Libby Medical High School and helped advance the concept of career-based learning academies in our high schools. Also, Academic Performance Index scores have improved consistently during his tenure.

Google Walter's name on the Internet to learn more about his accomplishments in education, music appreciation and his efforts for worldwide peace. We are truly fortunate to have a man of Walter's caliber running for a seat on the Antioch City Council.

Wayne and Carole Harrison

Antioch

Vote Burkholder for Ironhouse

Dear Editor:

Since 1999, Ironhouse Sanitary District rates have gone up every year. Rates have jumped from $249 to a whopping $618 -- a 250-percent increase! You currently have a board more focused on protecting its monthly stipend and benefits than finding ways to prevent rate increases. This is unacceptable and needs to immediately stop!

If elected, one of my first actions will be to call on an audit to review director stipends and further define what should and should not be claimed. I believe some directors need to refund ratepayers for prior stipends claimed -- my opinion is this is close to $40,000 as meetings such as Oakley City Council were claimed when Ironhouse was not on the agenda, check signings, and lunch meetings of all things resulted in $170 stipend. Also absent from many claims were dates of such "meetings" but they were still paid. Stipend reform is badly needed.

I will also call on the current Board to further eliminate benefits for new directors. There should not be full-time benefits for attending a few meetings each month. Its excessive and unneeded. Current directors are on a tier where they can claim up to $1,588 in benefits alone. Greater reform is needed to benefit the ratepayers.

I believe under new leadership, the Board can find ways to ensure rates are reduced while at the very worst, frozen until the economy picks up to help ratepayers who are struggling. How I know this, by limiting the operating budget, which has jumped from $7 million in 2010 to $12.25 million for 2013. Ironhouse is not working to be good stewards of the ratepayers money, they are continuing with business as usual, which is to continue to spend instead of tightening its belts! For example, there is an irresponsible $17 million reserve that should have prevented the most recent $26 increase. Instead of furloughs, layoffs and other means of reducing the burden to ratepayers, rates were increased for staff morale and pay raises.

In a couple of days, you will step into the ballot box and cast votes for the best candidate you feel resonate with your belief. If you are a ratepayer happy with your rate increasing every year since 1999, excessive benefits and stipends, then vote for the incumbents who have already failed you. If you want change and someone who will fight on your behalf, I would be honored to receive your vote. Give me a chance to reduce your tax burden each year and let's bring some fiscal responsibility to the Ironhouse Sanitary District. Feel free to find out more about me by visiting www.mikeburkholder.com

Mike Burkholder

Oakley

Disappointed in shop's closing

Dear Editor:

As a decade-long donor and customer of the Hospice of the East Bay Thrift Shoppe in Antioch, I was very disappointed to read that it is closing. I have a great respect for the community service that hospice provides to families that are dealing with the critical illnesses of loved ones, and they were always the first place I went to give donations.

I thought it was wonderful they could also provide a place where disadvantaged folks (and everyone else) were able to find reasonably priced secondhand goods, and I've never set foot in the store without there being multiple customers. It's laughable for general manager Patricia Wright to claim they were unable to find a new location in Antioch. It displays the sort of mendacity I might expect from a crooked politician rather than a representative of a charitable organization. Perhaps there are people who need the "upscale vintage boutiques" she imagines most of her stores to be, but at this time I'm betting more folks just need a regular old thrift store.

Barry Mitchell

Antioch

Hudson deserves our support

Dear Editor:

Suisun City Vice Mayor Mike Hudson topped the primary elections for Assembly member, District 11. That's quite a feat considering that he was behind four to one in fundraising compared to his opponent.

Today's voters are no longer easily fooled by expensive, big colorful signs with the candidate's photo and dozens of glitzy campaign fliers.

For many years, we've been "represented" by assembly members who never really timely brought our greatest concerns to Sacramento. Note the elimination of redevelopment agencies that our current representatives voted for, to the detriment of all our Solano County cities. Note the dumping of state prisoners into our local prisons.

We need a stronger representative in the capitol -- that's Hudson who has the passion and dedication for real, effective public service. Being a successful business owner, Hudson knows how unnecessary regulations hamper economic growth. He has supported our agenda of a balanced budget without layoffs and no increase in taxes or fees.

Hudson listens to everyone. He devotes extra time meeting with constituents, shows interest in their needs and acts timely to resolve problems. Hudson is against gridlock, totally pro-business and is a big supporter of public education and public safety.

This coming November elections, it's an easy choice. Vote for Hudson for State Assembly, District 11

Pete Sanchez, mayor

Jane Day, city council member

Suisun City

Support Ricky Gill

Dear Editor:

As a business owner in East County, I have had the opportunity to meet and speak with Ricky Gill on several occasions about issues that are critically important to East County residents. He understands that it is the private sector that creates jobs and growth -- not the government. What becomes obvious when talking with Gill is his intelligence and grasp of the issues that are facing our county, state and country.

Gill is clearly the right choice to represent the East County and would be a welcome relief over the benign leadership currently being exercised by "status quo" representative Jerry McNerney, who is the poster boy for the administration's multiple failures.

For our future, I strongly urge you to vote for Ricky Gill and his fresh ideas.

David Roche

Brentwood

Letters policy

Let your East County neighbors know what you think about issues of the day by writing a letter to the editor.

Send letters to Editor, The News, 1700 Cavallo Road, Antioch, CA 94509, or email them to bnews@bayareanewsgroup.com or fax them to Judith Prieve at 925-706-2305.

Letters should be signed. Both letters and email should include the daytime phone number and address of the writer. The information will not be printed but rather used for verification purposes.

We reserve the right to edit or not publish letters deemed potentially libelous, that are ads for local businesses or are otherwise unsuitable for a family newspaper.

Also, we are looking for guest commentaries, especially on local issues. Please send your guest commentaries to jprieve@bayareanewsgroup.com or bnews@bayareanewsgroup.com. If you have any questions, call 925-779-7178.