letters to the editor

Kicking the Locals When They are Down 

After reading “Work on Mural Starts as Target Opening Date Approaches,” I am highly disturbed by a series of decisions that Pratt Development made, which have real impacts on those of us who live in the San Lorenzo Valley. 

Kevin Pratt, owner of the Mill Valley-based company, repeatedly stresses his “market-driven” logic. He believes that “mom-and-pop operators” may not be ideal business. In fact, America is built by small businesses. If Pratt Development’s decision to evict seven businesses was truly about “a lot of late payments” as Kevin Pratt claimed, then why were those who never missed payment also were evicted? Relocating a business incurs dramatic costs. This action burdens businesses when interest rates are high and balance sheets reflect the impact of the pandemic. What assistance have local officials offered these small business owners? 

I am familiar with upscale shops in Santana Row that Pratt promoted to the small business owners. I am glad that there is a place like Santana Row just 35 miles away. In fact, this proximity to city life while being able to enjoy the earthiness of a small town is what attracted me to this community.

It is a reality that we live in a capitalistic world. At the same time, we as citizens need to consider what capitalism means. Even Adam Smith believed that there is a limit to wealth expansion and revenue accumulation whereby capital holders are responsible to the “little guys.” With millions in assets, Pratt Development seems to have been making unreasonable business demands, shifting the cost to our community.  

I am also disappointed with Pratt’s decision in hiring a mural artist from Mill Valley. This nod to the cultural heritage of the Ohlone people would have been more authentic had he included the tribe in creating this Ohlone hummingbird symbol, or at least the use of a local artist. Another missed opportunity to work with the local community. 

If Pratt Development wants to benefit from SLV’s prosperity, they need to be serious about caring for it. In Pratt’s praise for Target to be “up the game,” you and I, the community members should really ponder on whose game is being upped when our friends and neighbors are forced out from this area. And, will this become the trend in our beloved community if our leaders and residents take no actions? Change is inevitable, but it does not have to be at the expense of the local members who have contributed to our way of life. 

Hsin-I Cheng, Felton 

Have you met Randy Krusee? 

Siltanen Park had been neglected too long. In my opinion other City parks were receiving the benefit of the limited tax dollars devoted to keeping up our parks. And then along came Randy! He is single-handedly restoring life to Siltanen Park. I walk through the park daily and Randy is quietly and diligently working and making incredible progress. He has been deep watering the dying trees and the grass in the BBQ area. Hooray, green grass and trees coming back to life! It has been wonderful to see families using the area again. If you’re in Siltanen Park make sure to say Hello and Thank You to Randy! 

Cindy Stone, Scotts Valley

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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