Measures M and E are good for Pinole

I'm not fond of sending money to the state because it's usually wasted on projects such as high-speed rail, while funding for education and social services is cut.

However, I'm happy to pay taxes and support bond measures when they benefit my city.

I will vote yes on Measure M, the renewal of the Pinole Utility Users Tax, and Measure E, a school-facilities bond measure, because Pinole will benefit from both.

Measure M would renew a local tax that's been in existence since 1991, except for one year when it was repealed (1997). Voters reinstated it in 1998.

The utility users tax accounts for nearly 20 percent of Pinole's budget and funds police, fire and public works, as well as other services. All are crucial to the city. Every cent of this tax comes back to Pinole; nothing goes to the state or county.

Collins and Shannon elementary schools would be demolished and rebuilt if Measure E passes. We need safe, modern schools. Again, Pinole benefits.

Let's spend our money wisely. Vote yes on Measure M and Measure E.

Jeff Rubin

Pinole

De Vera dedicated to serving Hercules

When I choose my leaders, I want people such as Myrna de Vera, a dedicated Hercules City Councilwoman. She advocates for things I care about.

At the June 26 council meeting, de Vera asked the council to wait on approval of a sale to SummerHill Homes. No appraisal of the parcel, commonly known as Victoria Crescent, had been done. The developer was not present. The purchase and sale agreement was incomplete.

Common sense dictated a need for more information before locking into an agreement. I think it is outrageous that four members of our council voted to go ahead with this potentially misguided development.

I stand with de Vera, a true leader who genuinely cares about our community. She has advocated for more transparency in city government.

She supports drafting a sunshine policy for our city that will result in greater transparency and open decision-making.

Herculeans are lucky to have a councilwoman such as deVera.

Sarah Creeley

Hercules

Ryan to likely dominate a Romney presidency

Mitt Romney made his first appointment by choosing Paul Ryan as his running mate.

George W. Bush chose Dick Cheney as his running mate. It turned out this was a case of a weak president being guided moment by moment by a stronger vice president. The major decisions, and many of the minor ones, were spoon fed to Bush by Cheney.

Romney has no core values and is not a visionary leader. Today, he is what he believes will win the most votes. Never mind what he was yesterday.

Romney has a driving need to be president. With this shallow core, he is teaming up with a strong, political and religious ideologue vice president, in the image of Cheney. Ryan will spoon feed Romney the party line and, due to his lack of strength, Romney will follow it.

Paul L. Anderson

Pleasanton

Time to reciprocate to our firefighters

In response to your editorial of Aug. 10, regarding the fire districts' parcel tax, I am compelled to disagree with you. You stated, "It's political blackmail." You are wrong.

How can anyone ever think to not support our firefighters? Without questioning our needs, they always are here for us now -- qualified, prepared professionals who we can depend on for any and every emergency.

Yes, you should inform your readers about the issues, but get the facts correct. Our firefighters voluntarily agreed to reduce their incomes by 10 percent, even before a $75 per year for seven years was determined to be charged to the property owners.

That's all? $75? Do the math. That is $6.25 per month, and in seven years, it's $525. (Hold that thought and remember it.)

Now look at every firefighter. Currently their base pay is $5,380 per month, and 10 percent of that is $538. In one year, it becomes $6,456 and in seven years, it equals $45,192.

Compare: Property owner $524 in seven years. Firefighters $538 every month.

It's time to reciprocate. Vote yes for the firefighters.

Florence Franet

Walnut Creek