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Letters to the Editor: Council budget priorities challenged; Election hinges on 2016's no-show voters

Letters to the Editor: Council budget priorities challenged; Election hinges on 2016's no-show voters

Council budget priorities challenged

Last Tuesday, the mayor and her “City Council Club” passed a two-year city budget created by the city manager in two weeks, with no input from Santa Marians.

Over 300 pages protected the well-paid police that are guaranteed a 6% raise each year, and cut money from youth services. The city manager said, “Tonight Council will discuss and approve this budget. To save money we need to shed city services and charge more for our services.”

This means less quality of life for us that will cost more. If you wanted to comment on the budget you had to wait three hours on Zoom to speak three minutes. The other option was to join hundreds of protesters outside the Council chamber, asking for the library and pool to open sooner and some police dollars to be redirected to youth services.

Only Councilwoman Gloria Soto fought for us, demanding citizen input before budget passage. But, the Mayor got her budget, while all but Soto acquiesced. It’s time to clean the decks at City Hall and replace the authoritarians with new voices, vision and complete transparency. There is an election in November. Let’s vote them out.

Gale McNeeley

Santa Maria

Election hinges on 2016's no-show voters

It's a safe bet that every single person who lived along the coast of Japan during the tsunami in 2011 noticed there was lots of water in the neighborhood that didn't belong there.

Similarly, there's no way to miss the damage done by Trump to our Democracy, one example among many being his attacks on our responsible free press. With his personality disorder, daily lies, terrible appointments to important positions, and heartless handling of immigration, his failures could not be more obvious even to those who watch only Fox News.

Nevertheless, the recent average among several polls showed Biden only ahead by about seven points. In a civilized, humane society he should have been ahead by 30 or 40 points, given Trump's many obvious failures, personally and politically.

When about 40% of voters still approve of him despite everything, we see our generation is not made of the same stuff as Tom Brokaw's Greatest Generation, who fought to preserve the values expressed on the Statue of Liberty.

That not too far from half of us persist in supporting this immoral, unethical man who's desecrated a formerly revered Office of the Presidency of the United States tells us we are no longer the proud Democracy that the world has looked up to as the finest example of rule by the people.

The survival of the Democracy he's tried to destroy with his cries of "fake news," and in other ways, depends on the existence of a residue of intelligent, humane, and politically aware voters who did not show up in 2016, who will bestir themselves in November and cast their votes against this by far the worst President in history.

Jack Miles

Santa Maria


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