Incumbents need to be replaced

At the June 12 Hercules City Council meeting, 12 residents pleaded with the five-member council to delay their vote to approve the sale of Parcel C to a developer intending to build high-density apartments.

Councilwoman Myrna de Vera voted to investigate further; the others voted to go ahead with the plan. For at least three of the council members, the decision to sell had apparently been made before the meeting, so it was pointless for concerned residents to voice their opinions.

It seems the new council is following the same strategy as the "pre-recall council" -- rubber-stamping whatever the city manager wants. De Vera promotes transparent, open, democratic government.

Parcel C is zoned commercial. Retail brings tax revenue; apartments bring renters needing city services.

In November, voters should replace the incumbents with representatives who can solve our financial problems without accepting what's easy and expedient.

Billy Beane achieved his vision for the Oakland A's by creating a winning team. Hercules voters need to do the same to achieve ours.

Judy Swager

Hercules

Offering questions for the candidates

Why would one vote for a person who made his wealth by destroying companies (jobs) and then putting his wealth in offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes in the United States? Sounds un-American to me. Mitt Romney feels he must hide his tax returns from us, except the one he filled out when he knew he was running for president.

Why would one vote for a person who believes (Ayn Rand) there shouldn't be any regulations on companies? Does Paul Ryan remember what caused the 2008 crash? He believes one should only care about oneself -- forget "it takes a village."

How can they say they are for democracy and then approve of laws that make it harder for our citizens to vote?

Christine Caldwell

Richmond

Council member offers apology

The Times' Sept. 23 Eye on the East Bay piece, "Free speech for everyone?" exposed an action I am ashamed of and deeply regret.

I would like to express my apology to Kent Von Aspern, with HDR Engineering, to the city of Pinole, the Pinole-Hercules Waste Water Subcommittee, the city of Hercules and my supporters for my actions regarding Von Aspern.

I admit the incident was an act of poor judgment on my part. I reacted inappropriately to a citizen's posted comment by contacting a Pinole official on two occasions.

Even though I did not tell the official to silence the citizen, and the official did not direct HDR to do the same (there is no evidence HDR forced Von Aspern to stop blogging), my actions have caused the perception of a concerted effort to stifle a citizen's free-speech rights.

I take responsibility for my mistake. I humbly apologize to those I may have inadvertently hurt.

Myrna de Vera

Hercules De Vera is a member of the Hercules City Council.

Ross Mirkarimi simply doesn't measure up

Suspended San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi just doesn't get it.

One of the key elements for anyone in public service, let alone law enforcement, must be character. Mirkarimi has shown he doesn't measure up.

If he can't control his temper and physically batters his wife, how will he treat his subordinates, arrestees, parolees or prisoners? Mirkarimi confessed, but still feels he can hold one of the highest law enforcement positions in the state?

We can't ask citizens to abide by the law if those in or seeking public office don't respect it. It's appalling he doesn't see this, and further incomprehensible when the office involved is in law enforcement.

James P. Tuthill

Lafayette Tuthill is an attorney.

Military not given proper voting help

Our military personnel and their families away from home are not given proper voting assistance. Two-thirds of all military personnel vote by absentee ballot.

The Department of Defense is accused of violating the act that requires it to provide proper on-base voter assistance offices. More than half of the intended facilities have not been installed. Absentee ballots are not always sent.

It is not unreasonable to expect better access and a timely delivery for those who are serving our country and ready to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Irene Lynch

San Ramon