I am writing in response to a Letter to the Editor last week from a writer in Dublin who criticized me for supporting Proposition 8, the November ballot measure defining marriage in our state to be between a man and a woman. I want to make it very clear that I do not believe that anyone in our community should be discriminated against based upon his or her sexual orientation. I respect the right each of us has to live our lives as we choose.
Like many other Californians, my position on Proposition 8 is simply based upon my belief that the term "marriage" defines the commitment between a man and a woman, and "civil union" more appropriately defines the legal recognition of a same sex couple's relationship. Under California State law the rights and privileges are essentially the same. I do not believe this to be discriminatory and Proposition 8 will not take away any of these protections. As the people of California vote on this matter in November, I hope that tolerance and respect will be shown to those on both sides of this ballot measure.
I have found in my public service that individuals almost always have differences of opinion about certain issues. No elected official represents the identical values of a voter. The way we get things accomplished, though, is by finding the things we do agree on. In Danville this includes fiscal responsibility; preserving open space and protecting our Urban Limit Line; creating solutions to traffic; helping youth and seniors; keeping our town safe; and ensuring that our decisions maintain our small town feel and exceptional quality of life. I look forward to continuing to work with our entire community toward these goals.
Candace Andersen, Mayor, Town of Danville
Wilson has class and integrity
I want to describe an insight I had that reveals a lot about the character of Abram Wilson.
I recently attended a meeting of the Danville Town Council. I'm involved with a group that is interacting with the town on a project and it was up for discussion that evening. When I arrived, I was pleased to see that San Ramon Mayor Abram Wilson was also at the meeting. I've known Mayor Wilson for several years and I find him to be a fine person and an excellent public servant.
He was there to participate in a joint presentation to librarians from the Town of Danville and the city of San Ramon proclaiming Sep. 22-Oct. 27 as CityRead 2008. Presentations and proclamations of this sort are usually scheduled for the beginning of the meeting out of consideration for the recipients.
Mayor Wilson and Mayor Andersen performed a very nice ceremony, and Wilson easily could have left the meeting at this point. Please consider that he is a grievously busy man - he is not only mayor of San Ramon but is also running an arduous race for the State Assembly. No one would have taken any notice or felt umbrage if he had left. But he didn't. He stayed for the entire meeting. By doing this, he showed great consideration and respect for both the town council and members of the audience.
This action can be summed up in two words: class and integrity. Abram, you have my enthusiastic vote for State Assembly.
Steve Mick, Alamo
Alamo concerns are incomplete
Thank you for continuing to cover the issue of incorporation, which is important to Alamo citizens. A thoughtfully expressed concern to LAFCO commissioners that the Comprehensive Fiscal Analysis (CFA) of Alamo incorporation is incomplete, is itself incomplete on two counts.
Several Alamo citizens claim that the expenses of city manager, city attorney, and law enforcement are budgeted too low and would generate a yearly shortfall of $402,535 for the new town. Yet they ignore the budgeted yearly 10 percent contingency line item, specifically included to compensate for any low projections (beyond the yearly surplus required by law), of $714,300 in Year 2, growing to $980,747 in Year 10, that would more than cover their assumed shortfall each year.
Then, they extend their concern about low projections for these three cost items to costs of all services provided by the new town.
But most budgeted service costs (including law enforcement) are audited costs the county now incurs in providing services to Alamo, certified by the county as accurate, and adjusted each year for inflation. These service costs are what they are, whether services are provided by town or county - except that costs of services provided by the town would not grow with the burden rate of the county's $1.7 billion unfunded liability for employee benefits.
I urge all Alamo citizens to continue to read and consider the CFA as fully as possible. It is available at www.contracostalafco.org, along with answers to questions from Alamo citizens by the staff and consultants of the Local Agency Formation Commission.
Smitty Schmidt, Alamo