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July 2, 2022

Letters to the Editor, April 20

Real leadership in the South County

To the Editor,

In a recent letter to the editor, Jennifer Molho mischaracterizes how the repair of the bridge on Casserly Road was funded. At the May 5, 2016 meeting of the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission, there was a proposal submitted that would have delayed the construction of the new Casserly Road Bridge at Smith Road to the spring of 2019. The delay would have been because of the cost exceeding $1.2 million and the funding request would not have been guaranteed.

Supervisor Greg Caput advocated that the county expedite the project to the summer of 2017, at a much lower cost and two years sooner by utilizing local funds.

Here are the facts: Thanks to Supervisor Caput and the Santa Cruz County Department of Public Works, the Casserly Road Bridge Project was completed at $800,000 less than the original proposal and it was completed two years earlier. Supervisor Caput organized and held two neighborhood meetings at the Casserly Hall to get public input concerning the bridge repairs. Each of the meetings had people who gave input and made requests concerning the project. In addition, the county and Supervisor Caput’s office contacted local schools to coordinate traffic during the construction. Supervisor Caput advocated for fixing the Casserly Bridge and he made us a part of the process.

Thank you, Supervisor Caput.

Nancy Reader



Administrative experience needed for next county supervisor

To the Editor,

Ms. Jennifer Molho’s Letter to the Editor, “Need new leadership for South County” (Pajaronian, April 10) whereupon she shed insight to County Supervisor Greg Caput taking credit for repairs to a bridge on Casserly Road while a member of the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission when in fact he was the lone vote against the project, made me wonder why he hasn’t taken credit for some things he actually did.

Take for example that as a County Supervisor he voted to replace retiring County Administrative Officer Susan Mauriello with former Watsonville City Manager Carlos Palacios. Palacios is being compensated an annual salary of over $266,000 plus additional pension benefits. It seems obvious, well to me, that Caput disregarded the 2010-2011 Grand Jury Report, “The Power and Privilege of Transparency” whereupon they found that under Palacios’ management, the City of Watsonville: “Had not been conducting its business in a professional way; one that is transparent in all its dealings, and one that gives all relevant information needed by elected officials to be able to make informed decisions.” Wasn’t Caput a city council member when this occurred? And as the result of Palacios keeping some council members in the blind, upon his departure, wasn’t our city left on the brink of bankruptcy? Yet this didn’t deter Caput to vote for Palacios with the duties of the county’s top administrative position? Why?

And what about Caput’s campaign promise that he would limit his County Supervisor’s seat to two terms? Soon after getting elected on May 18, 2012 he wrote a letter to the Board of Supervisors requesting “Term Limits for Members of The Board of Supervisors.” In it he writes that his proposal “Is meant to bring in fresh faces and new blood to leadership.”

I agree, today we need a fresh face and new blood. But a fresh face and new blood are not the needed qualifications but rather administrative experience and the needed comprehension to bring Watsonville to a fair level of play with our North County neighbors. Councilmember Dr. Bilicich is who I believe has those qualifications.   

Emilio Martinez       



Stop naming public places after people

To the Editor,

Steve Trujillo wrote a Letter to the Editor to the Santa Cruz Sentinel making a pitch to name the Civic Plaza Building after Joaquin Avila to honor the lawyer who filed papers against the City of Watsonville to change their elections from “at large” to district and won. Avila was a paid attorney for MALDEF (Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund), not “pro bono,” and probably did quite well.

Watsonville was divided into districts which created little fiefdoms, some of which banded together to create a self-serving bloc instead of working for the community. This bloc formed a majority vote of the City Council and passed a law whereby they passed the mayor’s position back and forth among themselves to the city’s detriment. That has since changed.

Joaquin Avila never lived in Watsonville. This is a replay of the push to name the City Plaza after Dolores Huerta, who never lived here either. The move to name the City Plaza after Dolores Huerta was soundly defeated by a majority of the city’s residents who opposed it.

The City Council did manage to get a section of Highway 129 named after Oscar Rios, and it turns out that was not a good idea.

Let us stop naming public places after people who represent favored segments of the population that polarize the community. The Civic Plaza Building is for everyone, and we should call it the Civic Plaza Building. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Amelia Koenig



The cost of corporatism

To the Editor,

It is time to rein in the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2000, the court stole the presidency from Al Gore and handed it to George W. Bush by halting the recount in Florida. Five conservative judges ruled, illegally, that if they did not stop the count, it would do “irreparable harm” to “W” (Thom Hartmann, “Unequal Protection,” Page 158).

Shortly after 9/11 occurred, Bush ordered troops into Afghanistan (to hunt down Bin Laden?). He lied us into war with Iraq, illegally, in 2003 and we have been at war ever since, the longest period of war in our history.

The court has questionably allowed that corporations are people, eligible for human rights protections of the Bill of Rights. This makes it possible for foreigners to form corporations here and have virtually unlimited voice in our elections. Corporate money has pretty much bought our government, turning our democracy into a fascist corporate oligarchy.

Much of the U.S. manufacturing base has been off-shored, not including the manufacture of materiels of war which has remained a robust domestic industry. Apparently, the supply of war materiels is greater than demand as weapons of war are being supplied to local law enforcement. Are cops at war with the American people? They are killing people at the rate of plus or minus 1,000 per year in this country, whereas in other reasonably stable nations, cop killings range from 0 to 15 or less.

Virtually anybody can purchase a gun that was designed for one purpose only: to kill as many humans as possible in the shortest time; the automatic rifle, A.R.15, etc., resulting in the plethora of mass shootings here. Such weapons should never have been allowed in the hands of civilians … or cops.

Thomas Stumbaugh



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