letters to the editor

Vote No on Measure T

Regarding this publication’s story on Measure T, please don’t be fooled by empty promises by Boulder Creek Recreation and Park District.

School parcel taxes can have a senior exemption, but state law makes no such provision for parcel taxes in general. BCRPD is governed by the Recreation and Park District Law which says “special taxes shall be applied uniformly to all taxpayers or all real property within the district, except that unimproved property may be taxed at a lower rate than improved property.”  That doesn’t sound like any senior exemption or contiguous parcel exemption is authorized.

School bond measures require oversight committees, but in general there is no such provision for other measures. Those committees are appointed by school boards and have no authority to hire professionals so they aren’t truly independent. Measure T’s ballot question claims “independent oversight”, but the measure text doesn’t provide for any. BCRPD may hire an auditor and may select a committee, but Measure T won’t do that. In fact, BCRPD hasn’t had an audit in five years. They can’t even find it.

What’s in the measure text but missing from the ballot question is the 3% annual increase.  Measure T was so poorly drafted that if it passes, no one will be able to say people knew they were voting for the increase. The county counsel doesn’t understand because their impartial analysis simply says, “A Yes vote on Measure T is a vote to authorize a parcel tax of $36 annually for 30 years.”

Bruce Holloway, Boulder Creek

Vote for Smolley

I am writing to encourage Press Banner readers to vote for Mark Smolley for San Lorenzo Valley Water District Director in the upcoming election. Mark was appointed to the Board in 2020 after serving on the Environmental and Engineering Committee for two years. He has made enormous contributions to the District in that time. Of particular note is his managerial and negotiations skills, which have been critical to the District’s efforts to recover from the CZU fire.  The rebuilding process involves complex construction projects that require conformance to various regulatory requirements and funding assistance. Collaboration and negotiation with County agencies, other local water districts and State and Federal agencies is essential, and Mark has been a key leader representing SLVWD in these negotiations.

Mark’s extensive experience as a Licensed Professional Geologist and Construction Manager in the environmental industry provides him with the skills and credibility to serve in this role. For example, he has negotiated precedent-setting clean-up requirements for a former steel-manufacturing site and construction agreements for numerous water projects, including a recycled water pipeline for a power plant in San Jose. These complex projects required high-level negotiation skills, and demonstrated Mark’s commitment to environmental protection. Bruce McPherson has endorsed Mark in recognition of Mark’s experience and skills and his handling of communications and negotiations with County staff.

We are fortunate that Mark has agreed to continue his outstanding leadership on the SLVWD Board. Please join me supporting his candidacy.

Jim Mosher, Felton

Thank you, Smolley

The SLVWD Board has benefited from the dedication and generosity of its current members. I would like to express my gratitude to Director Mark Smolley for his willingness to continue in his position. His 20 years of experience managing the construction of water utilities are evident at every meeting. Please join me in letting him know that ratepayers appreciate his service to this community.

Cynthia Dzendzel, Felton

Commentaries and letters to the editor reflect the opinions of the authors. We welcome letters to the editor and commentaries on all topics of local interest. Email your submissions to [email protected]. Letters must include the writer’s name and hometown (for publication) and phone number (for verification). Submissions may be edited, and will be published as space permits. Letters are limited to 250 words, commentaries to 500 words.

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