Letters for September 29 

Readers sound off on Che Guevara, the death penalty, Macbeth, and double standards.

Page 6 of 7

Vote for Measure N

An important ballot measure will be facing Albany voters in the November election.  Measure N changes Albany's Charter to allow for an appointed city attorney rather than an elected Attorney.The measure was unanimously supported by the Alameda County Democratic Party, Albany's City Council and Charter Committee, and Albany's long-time incumbent city attorney, Robert Zweben. Why? Because the measure is simply good government:  it ensures that Albany will have the best legal representation by widening the applicant pool and strengthening the selection process.Albany's current city attorney will soon be retiring. He has been elected for nine terms and has had only three opponents. It's time for this outmoded process to change.Albany's small pool of qualified municipal attorneys limits choices.  For this reason, ALL California cities with populations less than 58,000 appoint their attorney.  Only 2 percent of cities elect their attorneys, all very large metropolitan areas.  Of these, Albany is the smallest with 16,000 residents.Further, selecting and appointing a City Attorney is a more rigorous process than electing one.  To run for office in Albany, an individual only needs to be a resident licensed to practice law.  In contrast, an appointed attorney or legal firm, must pass a thorough screening process involving interviews, references, and municipal experience.If Measure N passes, Albany will be able to select a well-qualified firm or individual from the entire Bay Area, presumably one who has the appropriate expertise for the increasingly complex field of municipal law.Albany needs to join the rest of California and voters should say YES on N.  It's simply good government for a small city.

Jerri Holan, Member Yes On N Committee, Albany Charter Committee, Albany

Vote for Brown

There's a bit of nostalgia in a desire to see Jerry Brown return to a place of prominence in the state government. So many Californians look back fondly on the days when Brown fascinated and infuriated us with his quirky habits, frenquent philosophizing, and uncanny ability to shake up politics as usual.

But nostalgia alone is not why California needs him to be the next governor. He is by far the best, smartest, and most experienced person for California's top spot.

Brown has no "moonbeam" view of how to fight California's many problems now that he'e been the mayor of Oakland. In that capacity Brown was brought face to face with a city in turmoil. As governor Brown would excel with managing California's abundant resources.

His record of defending the environment, supporting needed regulation on industry, and supporting civil rights would serve him well. Here's supporting Jerry Brown in the race for governor.

Ron Lowe, Nevada City, CA   

Don't Separate West Oakland

Just to correct the typo / oversight that the Trib made in its otherwise concise overview of the proposal made by Bryan Grunwald and reported on yesterday in Chris Metinko's article, "Architect proposes building new A's stadium above highway," the official name of our organization is West Oakland Commerce Association (WOCA), not West Oakland Association.

Given the number of different neighborhood organizations that would be adjacent to or most affected by such a new ballpark, it's easy to guess why your reporter would assume that a West Oakland Association ought to exist, and maybe that's something we should all consider, as there will be a Mayoral Forum on the 29th of this month at the Senior Center in West Oakland cosponsored by all of those endorsing further study of the park — plus several other groups to whom Mr. Grunwald has yet to present.

Meanwhile, the A's want local government to deliver them the site.

That means the host city will have to pay for land acquisition, relocation, toxic remediation, and infrastructure / circulation upgrades. That's more than $150M for Victory Court or any site San Jose may offer. Yet the site identified by Mr. Grunwald is only $30M!

Why? The air rights are free, plus Oakland doesn't lose the tax revenue and jobs from the acquisition of private sites because, simply enough, no one today works or pays taxes on those air-rights.

Currently, the freeway site generates noise and has air quality impacts with resulting health risks, creating a de facto moat that acts to further separate West Oakland folks from contributing to the vivacity of their own downtown.

Steve Lowe

VP, West Oakland Commerce Association


I Want an Apology

In May of this year I received a ticket in Oakland. It happened like this: I pulled up at a meter that had a bag on it. No sooner had I done this than a meter person pulled in behind me, strode to the meter, ripped the bag off, tapped the meter twice and went behind my car and began writing a ticket.

I asked if she was writing a ticket, and she told me that I needed to determine whether the meter was working. (The meter didn't work, by the way). I was given no such opportunity. I left, thinking it best, because she seemed so angry. Several weeks later I got a notice in the mail for an expired meter violation.

I contested the ticket by mail and received a form letter that the ticket was properly issued and meters have certain hours and times and I should have paid attention. I protested yet again, writing a much longer and detailed version of the above, and enclosing the $50 fine. Yesterday, I got a notice for a DMV hold and that I now owe $100, because everything I sent was not received by the Oakland Parking police. I don't accept that this ticket was issued "properly." I think the city of Oakland owes me an apology and a cancellation of the DMV hold.

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