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November 29, 2022

Letters to the Editor, May 25

Phillips is an effective elected official

To the Editor,

John Phillips, county supervisor, has exactly the qualities needed in elected officials: experience, knowledge, common sense and honesty. John has been working hard for the last four years on the critical issues facing District 2 and the entire county — transportation and roads, water, housing, job creation, and mental health and youth services. His successful creation of the Rancho Cielo program for at-risk youth shows that John doesn’t just identify problems, he works to solve them.

John’s opponent has none of this experience or track record. And her endorsement and promotion by highly partisan forces is concerning. Maintaining the non-partisan tradition of local government is critical so we can all work together to meet our local challenges. Phillips and I are in different parties, but I support him because I know he focuses on issues and solutions and not party labels.

As a former member of the Salinas City Council, I understand what makes an effective elected official, and John Phillips is effective. He is fair, focused on problem-solving and works with people of all perspectives to get things done. His non-partisan approach is the right approach. The choice is clear — vote for John Phillips for District 2 supervisor.

Phyllis Meurer



He’s at it again

To the Editor,

Why am I not surprised by Jimmy Dutra’s latest political campaign flyer? Dutra’s stereotyping of the values of all Democratic voters and the values of all Republican voters reveals his lack of knowledge and understanding of the voters in our bipartisan 4th District County Supervisorial election. 

The S.C. Sentinel Editorial correctly noted Dutra’s “emotional antics,” grandstanding and rude conduct at the candidate’s forum in Watsonville. Give the voters of the 4th District credit — they’re pretty smart. I wonder if Anna Caballero and Jimmy Panetta approved the use of their photos on this current piece of political trash?

Rhea DeHart



Agreement would take away local control of rail line

To the Editor,

Greg Becker couldn’t have said it better (Pajaronian, April 27). Why is the RTC negotiating with Progressive Rail at all? For the few Watsonville businesses which would like to see freight service solely on their few miles of track, does this small amount of freight actually bring any significant financial benefit to the community of Watsonville, or only to the businesses that the whole county will be subsidizing?

The Regional Transportation Commissioners will say that they have a mandate to provide rail service on the corridor they purchased, but Big Trees, a “tourist train,” is still operating on the northern tracks — doesn’t this count? As for commuters, Progressive says if there is ever a request for passenger service they only offer freight and would have to subcontract for that in the future; the proposed contract makes clear that freight (on our single track) will have priority.  Progressive proposes to subcontract a different tourist train — the Suntan Special. How does a tourist train improve our transportation network in the county? 

Any agreement with Progressive Rail gives away local control to a rail line we haven’t even yet decided how to manage. Why are we rushing into a contract with so many unanswered questions? Tell the RTC to vote no on the Progressive Rail contract on June 14. Email [email protected]

Ira Davis



District 2 needs an experienced supervisor

To the Editor,                                                                              

As a voter I try to stay informed. I look for experience and a track record. In the campaign for North Monterey County supervisor, John Phillips stands out. He has experience serving the public for decades, as a District Attorney, a judge, a guiding force in creating Rancho Cielo and for years as our District 2 County Supervisor.

John consistently donates his time and energy to improving our community. He learns quickly and acts decisively, showing extraordinary leadership in getting support and money necessary for projects in North County. His record for getting things done in North County is impressive.

John chairs the Transportation Agency of Monterey County, Capital Improvement Committee, Economic Opportunity Committee, Fort Ord Reuse Authority, and Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District, Economic Opportunity Committee (EOC) and the Pajaro River Watershed Flood Prevention Authority and many more.

In public meetings, Ms. Regina Gage has shown little understanding of North County needs and is also heavily funded by groups and entities more representative of Peninsula interests than North County’s. Finally, Regina has never served in an elected local leadership position and lacks the significant experience required to be a county supervisor.

At this critical time, District 2 needs an experienced supervisor to fight for North County’s needs. Vote for experience, vote for John Phillips.

Diana Salazar Tynan



Rail trail is about social justice, too

To the Editor,

Low-income, hardworking residents of Santa Cruz County deserve a better quality of life. Delays to the rail trail project disproportionately impact people who can’t afford to live close to their jobs. The folks advocating to remove the tracks in Santa Cruz don’t have to drive from the Pajaro Valley and back every day, I assure you!

The rail trail runs within a mile of half the population of Santa Cruz County, and likely more than half the jobs too. Breaking ground this year, which the rail trail is slated to do, could bring significant relief to people with shorter commutes by getting them out of their cars and off of streets. Leaving the option for light rail would be transformative for the folks who are stuck on Highway 1 every day. 

Let’s do the rail trail, for the good of everyone!

Dan Dion

Santa Cruz


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