Thursday, October 18, 2012
Health of Esalen
Might be important to note that the 75 percent increase in health benefits is made possible by the fact that prior to that, the health benefits were maintained at the low level they were through the illegal enforcement of a 32 hour work week designed specifically to prevent Esalen from being required to provide health insurance (“One half-century at Esalen Institute,” Oct. 4-10).
On top of that there is no mention of any potential bonuses being paid annually to the CEO, and how that might add to the final pay, that on top of subsidized travel expenses, and other perks not available to but a few Esalen employees. The salary for the CEO is still disproportionate to the level of competency being expected of, and demonstrated by, the last several CEOs, so why would there be any need to continue increasing the CEO salary in relation to bottom-level employees? I am not sure this is professional investigative reporting; this looks more like a continuation of the in-house, sugar-coated damage control that has been permeating various media in a response to the image issues that have come to light over the last year. - Bigsurleo | via Web
The first sentence of your endorsement of Jason Campbell is that he “brings a fresh voice to the too-often-lockstep (city) council.” (“With less than a month to go and absentee ballots hitting local mailboxes this week, here are the Weekly’s endorsements for the 2012 election,” Oct. 11-17). Then in the second paragraph you endorse Ian Oglesby. To remain consistent, changing both city councilmembers would create a better Seaside City Council. The status quo would remain if Ian Oglesby continues as a Seaside City Councilmember (along with Steve Bloomer).
I am strong supporter of David Pacheco for Seaside City Council. Besides saving recreational activities for city residents, he also wants to encourage more businesses to open up in Seaside. More importantly, he believes that Seaside residents should voice their concerns in council meetings before other agenda items are discussed. I have sat in Seaside City Council meetings and had to wait two hours before the public could speak at the microphone. David Pacheco is a focused and passionate person for what is needed for the City of Seaside.
(David Pacheco was my supervisor in the Seaside Recreation Department. I was a youth activity supervisor, coach and sports coordinator from November 2002 to November 2011 for the City of Seaside Recreation Department.) - Allan Boehne | via Web
WaterPlus could not disagree more with your P.G. mayoral endorsement. If progress is what you seek, you have made precisely the wrong choice. Carmelita Garcia is a true and courageous community leader; Bill Kampe is more of the same of what we have now – a total absence of informed and visionary leadership on critical issues. - Ron Weitzman | via Web
(Editor’s note: Ron Weitzman is founder of WaterPlus, a ratepayer group advocating for the public ownership of a desalination plant.)
Del Piero Is no Rino
I’m disturbed that Democrats would think to vote and publicly support Republican Marc Del Piero in 2012. His 20-year service on the Monterey County Republican Central Committee, the creation of the local Tea Party under his watch, and his previous stint as a county supervisor demonstrate he does not share our values regarding land use, the environment, health care, community services, budget and finance, or other aspects of governing.
The fact that progressives are supporting Del Piero puts to lie that they are concerned about more than their own perceived slights, hurt feelings, fantasy criminal activities by Dave Potter and not the greater good of Monterey County. The abandonment of common sense by these self-appointed “leaders” misleads other Democrats to believe Del Piero actually supports a no-growth, environmentally sound and progressive agenda when his record on these issues is completely different.
Do not be fooled. Marc Del Piero is a Republican whose Tea Party ideals will be put into action the moment he is elected. To expect anything different confounds reality.
I am for the Democrat! - Shawn K. Bagley | via Web
(Editor’s note: Mr. Bagley is an elected member of the Democratic National Committee for 2012-2016.)
I’ve been involved in politics for over 25 years in the region. In those years I worked with a lot of different people on a great many diverse issues. I’ve had a chance to see (and be) the best and the worst. I don’t have a dog in the 5th District supervisorial fight, but I have consistently seen the worst with one candidate. I’m breaking a cardinal rule of politics when I write this letter, but this is an unusual circumstance.
While our families share long history in the Pajaro Valley, my experience with Marc Del Piero came during his time at Pajaro Sunny Mesa Community Services District recently. While the description of his position there was most times “district counsel” or just “attorney,” it was clear to any reasonable person that he was the de facto manager of the agency. His website, http://marcdelpiero.com, correctly indicates a role far from that of counsel. It was not a beneficent dictatorship.
Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency was sued by Pajaro Sunny Mesa. I was, and still am, a director of that agency. Beyond the legal campaign were attacks on the PVWMA, its staff and directors that were the meanest imaginable. I’m not politically squeamish, but the tactics employed were well below any standard we normally accept in representative government. And that’s pretty low. Many in the region can attest that these same tactics were also used in the failed PSMCSD Desalination Proposal that cost district ratepayers a huge amount of money without any return.
A coup transpired, the lawsuit was settled and Marc Del Piero is gone from Pajaro Sunny Mesa. He did not leave a legacy of honesty, transparency, collaboration or accomplishment in his many years there. Think about that. He had every opportunity to get together with people and build something great, yet he took a different road. Many of his supporters may be betting that his darker influence will be moderated in the bigger pond of the Board of Supervisors, but nobody can say that he does not have great potential.
Look past this campaign to the behavior of the person you may elect. I think the people of the 5th District will be better off without Del Piero. The folks in Pajaro Sunny Mesa Community Services District certainly are. - Dennis Osmer | Watsonville
Squid, now who could possible want to cozy up with the Pebble Beach crowd right now? (“Squid Fry: Fees for Tots,” Oct. 4-10). Maybe it is someone running for election in that county district hoping for a sizable donation from the Pebble Beach crowd. Maybe that person is currently the chairman of the Board of Supervisors. Maybe that person also saw the Pebble Beach Co.’s appeal was originally on the agenda for early October, and has the ability to pull it off of the agenda and get it rescheduled to that convenient Election Day date. Hmm, me thinks this is possibly another one of those backroom deals we keep hearing about. - LydiaB | via Web
Measures and Props
I believe from your comments on Prop. 40 in your Election Endorsements that you intended to favor the fair and independent Citizens Redistricting Commission and the maps that they drew. The referendum question asks if you want to retain the new law, which means the maps drawn by the Commission. You said no. The way it was written was intentionally tricky and confusing.
The League of Women Voters strongly urges a YES vote on this referendum, as does the AARP California, California Chamber of Commerce, California Common Cause, National Federation of Independent Business-California, and others. Both the California Democratic Party and the California Republican Party have endorsed a YES vote on Prop. 40.
Prop. 11 on the November 2008 ballot established an independent Citizens Redistricting Commission for California, and it was the League of Women Voters’ highest priority for that election. In 2010 the voters expanded the duties of the commission to include redistricting of California’s congressional districts and rejected a proposition that would have eliminated the commission altogether.
The opponents of the Citizens Redistricting Commission circulated a referendum petition in an attempt to get voters to reject the Senate maps, and they succeeded in qualifying Prop. 40 for the ballot. They also challenged in court the Congressional and state Senate districts drawn by the commission. In 2011 these challenges were denied by the Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Federal Court. As a result of the state Supreme Court rulings affirming the districts and the commission’s process, the opponents have abandoned their campaign for Prop. 40.
Because of state law governing the initiative and referendum process, Prop. 40 remains on the ballot. If it fails because people vote no, the Senate districts will have to be redrawn. I urge you to reverse your recommendation as quickly as possible and make sure this information is featured on your website and in the next print issue. - Beverly Bean | via Web
(Editor’s note: Ms. Bean is president of the League of Women Voters of the Monterey Peninsula. She is right; we meant yes.)
It is extremely sad to see the restricted focus of the Pacific Grove Unified School District’s Measure A. The measure (along with previous measures) has a focus that ignores helping children with severe disabilities in PGUSD. Currently, the previous measures bring in $23 million annually to the school district (much more than many other districts).
As defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the term “child with a severe disability” means a child “with hearing impairments (including deafness), speech or language impairments, visual impairments (including blindness), serious emotional disturbance, orthopedic impairments, autism, traumatic brain injury, mental retardation, other health impairments, or specific learning disabilities; and who… needs special education and related services.”
PGUSD has very small number of these children and states that it does not have sufficient funds to address their needs. These children are typically referred to either the Monterey County Office of Education or the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District. Both of these institutions do an excellent job with supporting these children. Also, both of these institutions have very small budgets (MPUSD is approximately $16.4 million).
Yet both MCOE and MPUSD try their best to provide services for these children. Other school districts work with MCOE to provide classrooms and resources. These school districts are the Salinas Unified School District, the Carmel Unified School District and the Seaside Unified School District.
Measure A is to provide funds with very specific requirements that the district follows when allocating the funds. Measure A and the previous measures do not allow for the funds to be spent on these children. In addition to these strict requirements, no resources of the PGUSD can be made available to other institutions, like MCOE.
The focus of other school districts is on the all students. Perhaps the PGUSD, with its Measure A, should think different, and focus more on all of its students. The district makes it a point to send students with severe disabilities to other districts, while it continues its focus for more money. - Robert Cabral | via Web