Sheriff Scott Jones
“Sacramento’s sheriff might be deaf to the public, but supervisors heard this message loud and clear” (Marcos Breton, Oct. 31): I watched the same proceedings as The Bee and saw it much differently. I saw a sheriff who came to the board prepared to compromise and move things toward reasonable and effective oversight. I saw Supervisor Serna pout and dismiss the proceedings as kabuki theater. Then I had to endure the real kabuki theater that played out with the majority of the public speakers having no grasp of the facts and simply parroting anti-sheriff rhetoric. It appears that Serna and this loud minority want to go beyond oversight and be able to run the sheriff's department. If you value your sheriff’s department, do your own research on the McIntyre shooting and the inspector general controversy and show up on Dec. 4 to speak your mind to the board. Don’t let a small minority and a board member with political motives take us down the wrong path.
Don Jones, Fair Oaks
Fire the CEO
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“This farce isn't funny. Subpoena the sheriff if justice matters” (Marcos Breton, Oct. 29): This column suggests that the majority of the Board of Supervisors should take another step to address a sheriff who acts more like an overlord than an accountable elected official: Fire the county's chief executive officer, Navdeep Gill, for showing allegiance to the sheriff, rather than to the board to which he reports.
Robert A. Dell'Agostino, Sacramento
Lots of oversight
Opinion writers Marcos Breton and Erika D. Smith believe Sheriff Scott Jones needs more “oversight.” The sheriff has plenty of oversight. It starts with the people who keep electing Jones and who support him now. If he does a poor job, the people will remove him at the ballot box. The next level includes the California attorney general, who can prosecute him if he violates any laws. Federally, he can be investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney if he violates federal law. What more do you want? Just because the sheriff operates in a way contrary to the opinion of an unelected civilian overseer does not make him wrong, arrogant or evil. I support Sheriff Jones and will continue to do so.
Love and hope
“This Sacramento synagogue, firebombed 19 years ago, offers vision of hope after violence” (sacbee.com, Oct. 29): Astounding! The attendance of some 1,200 people of every faith, color and culture in our community at the memorial service was truly amazing. The love and support were palpable, and filled the overflowing sanctuary and social hall. We were moved and inspired by speakers from many facets of our life here: clergy of all faith traditions, our congresswoman, police chief, mayor, council members. I came away feeling less alone, less afraid, supported in grief, and more hopeful.
Bonnie Penix, Sacramento
“Trump escalates anti-media rhetoric after wave of violence” (sacbee.com, Oct. 29): The media has strongly pointed out the relationship between speech and violence as a result of Trump's incendiary speech and the mailed pipe bombs. I hope as they have rediscovered this relationship, they will also focus on the relationship between hard core video games and violence, as well as pornography and sexual assault.
“Pittsburgh synagogue massacre leaves 11 dead, 6 wounded” (sacbee.com, Oct.27): After every mass murder, authorities attempt to explain its cause but provide no ideas to prevent its recurrence. Conversely, elected officials with the power of laws sit paralyzed by their worship of political power and claim inanely that the 2nd Amendment prevents sensible laws to control access to weapons. Now Donald Trump seeks armed security wherever people gather and even wider availability of guns. There is no logic or evidence supporting his recommendations.
“Measure U can’t get what you want, but if you vote ‘yes’ this time, you get what you need” (sacbee.com, Oct. 28): Measure U permanently increases the sales tax and, in return, promises lots of community goodies. However, as Marcos Breton notes, most revenue will be needed to plug big holes in the city budget caused by unsustainable labor contracts. Over-committing funds and then threatening draconian cuts is blackmail, not a responsible public budgeting. Council members must show the political will to adopt realistic measures to contain costs before asking for higher taxes. Until then, I will vote no and accept some short-term pain. Sacramento’s leaders are not ready for Measure U.
Ellen Powell, Sacramento
“Proposition 12 is the humane thing to do” (sacbee.com, Oct. 3): The proliferation of salmonella has been tied to poor animal welfare practices on the filthy, overcrowded industrial farms where chickens are raised. Proposition 12 could alleviate this problem. It would prohibit the use of cages for housing egg-laying chickens and mandate that each bird must have at least one square foot of living space. Together we can help create a safer and healthier society for our families, our children and ourselves.
Erin Hauge, Sacramento
“West’s rivers are hot enough to cook salmon to death. Will this court ruling keep them cool?” (sacbee.com, Oct. 23): Dale Kaiser’s article on hot rivers points out significant challenges facing farmers and fish. It’s time for a change in our approach to dams and improved cooperation among all parties. Despite what some organizations have historically claimed, dams providing public use benefits like irrigation and flood protection can co-exist with fish if sited, designed and operated properly. Dams should be part of the solution to climate change.
“Is the real problem the test, not California students?” (sacbee.com, Oct. 25): The reason so many students are failing is that we base state education policy on many false premises. Among the biggest is that educating a person should largely be fun, require very little of the individual and be free. Generally, successful districts are pressured by college educated parents to provide a better service. They also pressure their own students to maintain successful study habits. Local funding hurts blighted districts and teachers there are generally pressured to pass students so parents don't complain that failing grades are the school's fault. Education leaders play other bureacratic games to keep everybody happy.
Greg Hill, Sacramento
"California desperately needs a tax system for the new economy" (sacbee.com, Oct. 17): Dan Schnur and Steve Westly are right to call for revisions to California's tax system. The’re also right to propose solid ideas about lowering sales tax rates and applying those more broadly to services and online sales, and cutting tax loopholes. Their proposal to reduce the dependence on income taxes and broaden the base of people that pay those taxes, however, is unfortunately regressive and fortunately unnecessary. Instead, the state could apply tax rates to several years of income to smooth out peaks and valleys for high-income individuals, and it could apply lower tax rates to young people just starting out.
Tim Tutt, Davis