Appointment better for city

The best person to serve on the Richmond City Council would have been Gary Bell because he was elected. But, unfortunately, he cannot.

There are four reasons to appoint someone in his place and not hold another election:

  • Richmond has had severe financial problems in the past. To spend $100,000 to $200,000 for an election is tantamount to saying one or two city of Richmond workers can be dismissed. We don't have the money.

  • The rules provide for a free and timesaving process: appointment. That should be the favored way to go. The rules never contemplated another election as the preferred way.

  • The last election called up corporate money on a scale unheard of and this would do the same. It's one thing to say let's have an election because it's fair. It's another to have an election and have it bought.

  • Fairness would additionally be served by adding Eduardo Martinez to the council as a representative of a growing Latino community.

    Steven Birnbaum

    Richmond

    Work visas for immigrants?

    I was thinking about the immigration situation and an idea came to me.

    What if each state were able to issue work visas? They would allow a potential immigrant the right to work in that state for, say, five years. After that, there would be a track to citizenship.

    It would allow us here in California, and each other state, the right to decide how many and what kind of immigrants we want, without interference from the prejudices and agendas of people in other states.

    I think it would work.

    Steve Dufour

    Walnut Creek

    Banishment, not debate

    Another leftist attempt to silence other views was made recently in a letter by Stephen Whitney, calling for the banishment of Mallard Fillmore from the Times comic page, "if you must publish it at all."

    However, he has no problem with Doonesbury, a hard-left strip on the same page.

    Once again, it's for the children: They must be protected from what Whitney terms "propaganda" under the guise of humor. Whitney cites as offensive the views that the "mainstream media" and the sacred New York Times are biased in favor of President Barack Obama. They are. Well more than 90 percent of media people admit voting the liberal ticket; many surveys have shown the pervasive liberal slant.

    Whitney is not concerned that leftist teachers dominate the school system and have been brainwashing children of all ages for many decades. Yet he wants to banish a cartoon presenting the conservative side.

    This is the classic communist response to opposing views: Don't debate them, silence them.

    Dave Greer

    Albany

    Bureaucratic misbehavior

    The Jan. 20 attempt by CalPERS to rebut Dan Borenstein's column exposing efforts to evade pension-abuse legislation shows us this keeper of California's enormous employee pension fund functioning as a special-interest group.

    Laws are written so they can be reliably enforced. That means any citizen who reads a statute can rely upon its plain language. Only when there is an inherent conflict can resort be made to "legislative history."

    To avoid the fact and appearance of secret deals, legislative history must be from public documents -- committee hearings and reports and recorded speeches. CalPERS provides no supporting statutory language, shows no ambiguity and provides no public history.

    Instead, it claims "conversations with officials in the Legislature and the administration." "Conversations" not embodied in a statute or its history are meaningless. If CalPERS had a "wink and a promise," it was up to it to see that the promise was in the statutory language and the wink was recorded.

    Borenstein has again provided us with intelligent and accurate analysis of bureaucratic misbehavior.

    Jack F. Fallin

    Walnut Creek

    Citizens exercised their gun rights

    Nancy Lanza and her son Adam were law-abiding citizens who exercised their rights, while bonding in family outings to target ranges.

    James Hausken

    Kensington