Election letters to the editor, Nov. 2


Re-elect Leslie De Rose

To the Editor,

Leslie De Rose is an exceptional school board trustee, currently serving as the school board president. Leslie is conscientious, thoughtful, courageous, and focused on students. She puts in the hours of study necessary to make truly informed decisions on all issues before the board. Leslie recognizes that teacher and staff satisfaction go hand in hand with her focus on student success. As such, she has always been wise about resource allocation and budget issues, i.e. more than 90 percent of the district’s funds go to teachers and other staff, while just 3.7 percent of the funding goes into administration. 

Leslie consistently seeks ways to keep the district moving forward in a student-focused manner, saving $5.8 million in energy costs, focusing on innovation, bringing in 21st Century Schools and forming the Pajaro Valley Education Foundation.

If you want our students to continue making great gains, re-elect Leslie.

Mary Anne Mays

Retired PVUSD Superintendent

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Caput is dedicated to South County

To the Editor,

It has come to my attention that I must clarify my candidate endorsements. I am not endorsing, and have never endorsed, Jimmy Dutra for Fourth District County Supervisor, despite the fact that my name appears on his mailers. To my knowledge I have never indicated my support to him, and I regret any misunderstandings.

My husband Donald (Norm) Hagen and I are proud to endorse our current supervisor, Greg Caput. Greg has done an outstanding job representing the Pajaro Valley’s interests against the north S.C. County majority. It takes someone extremely dedicated to South County interests and with excellent attendance to keep our needs in the forefront of the supervisors’ agendas.

Greg’s interests are in serving his constituents, not in building a record to go on to higher office. I believe Jimmy needs to stop joining every committee and board available, taking credit for much of the work done by others while showing spotty attendance, then quitting once he has served as chairperson and can add the title to his résumé for his future political aspirations. 

I am sorry to sound negative, but I have been asked by several people to explain my position.

Lois M. Hagen   

Watsonville

•••

Leslie De Rose, a proven leader

To the Editor,

Perhaps lost in the national election noise is the important of our local elections. Of huge importance is the elected leaders of our school districts.

Please join me in voting for Leslie De Rose, to continue her important work as chair of the PVUSD Board. She has hired new leadership, worked on a system-wide system to prepare students for college and lead the rebuilding of failing buildings. I have seen her in action and on the sidelines, always placing students’ needs first. She is a proven leader and is excited to continue in her current role.  

Leslie De Rose is a huge asset to our district. As an educator, and a former district parent, she has my vote!

Teresa Thomae

Aptos

•••

Can’t wait for election season to be over

To the Editor,

I will be so glad when these pesty mid-term elections are finally over. Too many mud-slingers running for public office and looking for “a little glory.” Anyway, peace and love to all of Watsonville, and, to Beatle Ringo Starr, because Ringo is always so mellow.

Mike Bobeda

Watsonville

•••

Parker is a staunch supporter of her community

To the Editor,

We regret that our local campaigns have degenerated into personal attacks and falsehoods, especially against City Council candidate Ari Parker. We are better than that, and we know of no one who approves of the hate campaigns going on at the federal level. 

We have known Ari Parker since she was in high school, a star pupil in Norm’s Shakespeare class. Ari has always been an outstanding citizen, activist and staunch supporter of her community. The accusations that she can’t be an effective city councilperson and also have a job and take care of her mother are ridiculous. Dr. Nancy Bilicich has done an exceptional job as District 7 councilperson, with a very demanding job as director of Watsonville/Aptos/Santa Cruz Adult Education, while taking care of both her parents. Bay and Pajaro Villages, including Ari and her mom, would be supporting Dr. Bilicich still if she hadn’t termed out. Ari is the perfect person to succeed her. Local political positions were meant to be filled with “citizen-legislators.”

Ari has taught in the PVUSD for more than 30 years. She was selected Santa Cruz County Elementary Science Teacher of the Year, Outstanding Arts Teacher of the Year, a KSBW “Crystal Apple Award” teacher, and has received recognition with numerous mayoral awards. She serves as the Pajaro Valley Women’s Commissioner, a City of Watsonville Parks Commissioner, Vice-Chair of Watsonville’s Public Safety Measure G Oversight Committee, and Vice-President of the Independence Square Board. She is an excellent caregiver for her mom, who is still vibrant, active and involved. Ari has something many of us in Bay and Pajaro Village no longer have: energy! She will be a wonderful addition to the Watsonville City Council, and deserves our support.

Donald (Norm) Hagen

Lois M. Hagen

Watsonville

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Caput is committed to county’s future

To the Editor,

Greg Caput understands what we need for multimodal transportation in today’s day and age. We need more options to get to and from work given our current traffic congestion. Greg has committed to the long-range plans that our county needs to succeed into the future, and he has been an advocate for local roads. In addition, he has had the foresight to be a steadfast advocate for the rail trail plan. It is this leadership of Greg Caput that the South County needs to take them into the future.

Greg is the only candidate to articulate a clear plan for the rail line and rail corridor, passenger rail service serving the entire county, and he has my full support.

Barry Scott

State Program Director, The NEED Project

•••

The way bond measures work

To the Editor,

Let’s say bond measure H passes. What I have learned, the County Treasurer’s, affordable housing contractor Mid Peninsula Housing will broker our residential, commercial, and industrial tax measure dollars to a banking investor. Wall Street investors will buy and earn up to 12 percent interest equaling, $134 million over 35 years. Senior homeowners will not earn 12 percent. The total package, $140,000 million bond plus $134 million bond interest equals approximately $274,000 million to build 1,041 apartments.

Like it or not, it’s just the way bond measures work. Mid Peninsula, the county’s real estate developer website provides a list of the 12 affordable housing complexes they have developed in Santa Cruz County, only one in Santa Cruz. We have all known UCSC’s 2,000-acre campus is a big part of the solution to the city’s housing crisis. When will they build 1,000 apartments?

Lynn Dunn

Santa Cruz

•••

Big money behind Measure H

To the Editor,

I am shocked to discover that the Yes on Measure H campaign is raking in such large donations from developers outside Santa Cruz County, and spending tens of thousands on consultants and expensive glossy mailings that also are not local. PG&E alone donated $50,000. Local developers have also made large contributions. With a recent contribution total of over $300,000, paying people thousands of dollars to attend public meetings and forums, one really needs to question motives and who would truly benefit by the passage of Measure H?

Measure H violates state law (AB 195) by not stating on the ballot the duration of the bond debt.  Measure H is vague and poorly-written, leaving voters with “best estimates” but no disclosure of how long this new tax will last, how much the county and four cities will skim off the top in expensive administrative fees and exactly how the $140 million bond money would be spent. There are no exemptions for seniors, disabled or fixed incomes. The debt burden would cost every single property owner in the county nearly a quarter billion dollars and every single property owner would be taxed until 2055. Who will really profit?

The big money behind Measure H is Monterey Bay Economic Partnerships, a private nonprofit organized by developers and bankers. This is the same organization that is currently shoving through massive changes in County Zoning Codes for developer concessions in the proposed Near-Term Enhanced Density Bonus Program. There will be a public hearing on Nov. 20 before the Board of Supervisors regarding this. 

Take a look at the money behind Measure H, and ask who wants to buy your vote (votescount.com/Home/CampaignReporting.aspx). Don’t you think seniors struggling to pay property taxes and stay in their homes also deserve compassion? Please vote no on Measure H.

Becky Steinbruner

Aptos

•••

Caput walks the walk

To the Editor,

Greg does the right thing. When he got into office he requested a salary reduction, but he was voted down by other supervisors. Now, he currently donates substantial amounts every year to local school sports and charities to help women, the homeless and others. Greg also donates his time. For instance, he helped out a small, local farmer during harvest a few days; it’s just what he does naturally.

Greg has been working on many projects while in office, the Pajaro River received what was a long overdue (flood prevention) cleaning during Greg’s term and he is still continuing to get things done. In addition, Greg has collected over $1 million in funding for the East Lake (152) bridge at College Road/Holohan project and is planned to come online in the next year. Lastly in terms of roads, Murphy Crossing Road is on the agenda for next summer to be repaved in both counties. There are also numerous plans to improve other local roads already in the works.

Let’s not forget, Casserly Road bridge? Done in about a quarter of the time at less than half the cost. Greg had pre-meetings with the local residents.

There is a plethora I could mention about Greg Caput. I know for a fact he spent a night in a local homeless shelter to experience the real deal. I’ll keep this short, Greg Caput is an outstanding individual who treats everyone with respect including those who might not deserve it. He has compassion for everyone, not just a select few. Greg will sail the boat and stay on course, good weather or bad.

The opponent can talk, I’ll give him that, but Greg Caput literally walks the walk. Tortoise and the hare story? Which one is Caput?

Anthony Banovac

Watsonville

•••

Yahiro is dedicated to students and parents

To the Editor,

Twenty-eight years ago, when Willie Yahiro ran for the trusteeship of the PVUSD, he had to campaign in Aptos, Corralitos, La Selva Beach, Pajaro Dunes, Freedom, Green Valley, Amesti, Salsipuedes, Las Lomas, Pajaro and Watsonville. Of seven candidates, three were to be elected-at-large. Willie was the second highest vote-getter. Now, the elections are district-wide, as it is for the city of Watsonville. He is the longest serving trustee in the PVUSD. H. A. Hyde served 40 years in the old Watsonville Joint Union High School District.

During his tenure and the aftermath of the Loma Prieta earthquake and the building of the Centennial Building of Watsonville High School with the Henry J. Mello Center for the Performing Arts, the accomplishments as a trustee included the addition of a theater/gymnasium at Aptos High School, building of PV High School and Ann Soldo Elementary School, the remodeling of Radcliff School, and too many to include in this short letter.

Willie knows more of the PVUSD than perhaps anyone — more than superintendents, business managers, administrators, bus drivers, school secretaries, custodians, classified employees and teachers. As a former teacher and respected coach, Willie was a member of the PV Federation of Teachers.

Most important is his dedication to the students and their parents. He successfully fought against the secession of the Aptos district. He encouraged greater participation by parents in their children’s education. As a graduate of Watsonville High, Cabrillo College and Fresno State, he knows the importance of a higher education, but he’s also a strong advocate for vocational education as well.

For these and many more reasons, Willie Yahiro should be elected trustee for Area 4. I hope you will vote for him.

Mas Hashimoto

Watsonville

•••

Caput’s goal is to fund public safety

To the Editor,

Greg Caput makes sure that public safety is fully equipped. He has made it his goal to provide funding to Sheriff’s and firefighters. Every person counts in these organizations and we must support Greg when he says that we need these organizations fully staffed.

Now more than ever we are faced with increasingly difficult times, we need to have public safety there and ready. Greg, you are doing the right thing, and it’s the smart thing to do. It’s guys like you that know what we need and prepare us for it. Greg Caput for Supervisor.

Dave Hermosillo

Watsonville

•••

Caput serves our veterans

To the Editor,

For years, veterans were ignored by the County Board of Supervisors. Greg Caput made it a priority to end that and to focus on funding for the veterans affairs office and to make sure there was always someone there. He was able to increase veterans services in Watsonville to four days a week. Greg acknowledges those who served our country and he sees those who gave everything to serve us all.

A leader knows his surroundings and attends to everyone around him; he looks at the big picture and finds the answers that work. Greg is that man! He has the experience and qualifications, he sees the big picture, and he finds the answers that work. Greg speaks for us when he says that we need to take care of our veterans, and that we appreciate and love our veterans!

As a World War II veteran, I hope all of the veterans in the county will vote Greg Caput for County Supervisor.

Al Hopson

Watsonville

•••

I’m with Greg Caput, because character matters

To the Editor,

Many of you honored me with your votes earlier this year in my primary campaign for the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, and I am forever grateful for your support and confidence.

The concerns that motivated us in June remain critically important, as we now decide which of the two remaining candidates can be trusted to represent our community as our supervisor for the next four years. 

The choice is crystal clear. What we’ve built — the issues on which we ran in June — need and deserve Greg Caput as our champion at the county.

As a member of the Watsonville City Council, I know that Greg Caput has the character to fight for what is right for us — even when no one is looking. 

In Greg Caput, we have a candidate who won’t sell public policy to the highest bidder and who will put you, and not the special interests, first.   

In Greg Caput, we have a candidate who cares deeply and sincerely about the challenges of housing, employment, transportation, education and health. 

In Greg Caput, we have a candidate who always treats everyone with the utmost fairness and respect. 

Please join me in enthusiastically supporting and voting for Greg Caput for reelection to the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors. It’s all about people, not politics!

Felipe Hernandez

Watsonville City Councilmember

•••

See the entire Measure H ‘big forest’

To the Editor,

Since Ancient Greece, seeing “the entire big forest” — and not being misled into just focusing upon a few smaller trees standing in front — is a true logical maxim for accurate dialogues and dialectics — whenever informed citizens-voters must reason-decide how to most wisely-justly vote.

Today, the “big forest” is over-population causing global over-demands beyond our resources for housing, water, sewage services, energy, employment, etc.

Unjust, “Measure H” illogically, stupidly inflicts still more demands upon all of our depleting Santa Cruz County resources.

Measure H ignores reality. Those pushing this “homeless housing” should first offer free rooms in their own homes; forming-funding non-profits to do so.

Fund “H” only by local sales tax increases, so these homeless, when they are buying sales taxable products, will contribute something themselves towards their own housing! No on H.

Col. Terry Maxwell

Santa Cruz County

•••

Greg Caput is a public servant of action

To the Editor,

I wish to share my thoughts about the current contest for District 4 Supervisor, especially with the voters who previously supported first-round contenders Felipe Hernandez, Nancy Bilicich and Leticia Mendoza. These three former candidates earned our admiration through issue-based and dignified primary election campaigns, and they should be congratulated.

Now we must decide which of the two remaining candidates can be trusted to represent us as our supervisor for the next four years.

For me, the choice is crystal clear. We need and deserve Greg Caput as our champion at the county.

Greg Caput is a devoted public servant whose love for our community is so strong and unselfish that he has donated more than $130,000 of his personal salary back to us — through a broad range of local causes, from after-school athletic programs to homelessness and hunger projects, and a dozen other worthy charities in the Pajaro Valley.

Greg Caput has the character to fight for what is right — even when no one is looking.

In Greg Caput, we have a candidate who won’t sell public policy to the highest bidder and who will put you, and not the special interests, first.

In Greg Caput, we have a candidate who cares deeply and sincerely about the challenges of housing, infrastructure, transportation, employment, education and health.

In Greg Caput, we have a candidate who always treats everyone with the utmost fairness and respect.

In Greg Caput, we are blessed with a dedicated public servant of action, not mere words, and of substance, not mere style. Greg thrives on hard work not on the limelight of public office.

Please join me in enthusiastically supporting Greg Caput for re-election to the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors.

Peter Radin Jr.

Watsonville

•••

Greg Caput: Honest, dedicated

To the Editor,

When I think community — I think “Greg Caput.” He has deep roots here in the Pajaro Valley. Greg cares about seniors, families and veterans. Everywhere you look you’ll find Greg Caput participating, advocating and listening.

When I think honesty and integrity — I think “Greg Caput.” He’s one of the most dedicated public servants we have here in Santa Cruz County. Greg respects everyone — doesn’t belittle people or their problems. He works hard, and doesn’t have to have a “big voice” or grandstand and take credit. He’s truly someone who puts his money where his mouth is.

I hope you will join me in voting for Supervisor Greg Caput.

Rhea DeHart

Watsonville

•••

Dutra’s campaign flyers are misleading

To the Editor,

Voters of the Fourth Supervisorial District are besieged by offensive campaign leaflets from candidate Jimmy Dutra. Through his slick and misleading flyers, Dutra suddenly adopts the identity of Jimmy “Tavarez” Dutra and volunteers that his “raza” is “Mexicano.”

This is an insulting and appalling attempt at cultural misappropriation. Desperately grasping for votes, Dutra becomes a “born-again” Latino to pretend that he is worthy of our trust.

Dutra’s business interests cast true light on his disregard for our Latino community, particularly those who toil in the fields. Official court records reveal that Dutra currently owns or controls all of Dutra Farms, and also approximately 50 percent of Premiere Raspberries, LLC. Agricultural Labor Relations Board and court dockets are riddled with cases in which Dutra Farms was ultimately found liable for violating workers’ rights. And, with the whole nation focused on the #MeToo movement, Dutra Farms was the backdrop for perhaps the most shocking sexual harassment and abuse scandal ever to plague local agribusiness. Last but not least, Premiere Raspberries’ stubborn defiance of the ALRB, the UFW and individual workers is chronicled in headlines splashed across the front pages of local newspapers over just the past few weeks.

Voters must reject Dutra’s cynical political antics and brazen hypocrisy. The answer is to re-elect Supervisor Greg Caput, who exemplifies our values and merits our support and respect.

Andres Chavez

Watsonville

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