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Letters to the Editor: 05/15/2017

Letters to the Editor

Measure C fear mongering

Dear Editor,

The Rent Stabilization Measure C on the June ballot is a fair measure passed unanimously by our City Council. Santa Rosa’s rents are among the highest in the country. Our children and grandchildren could not afford to live nearby. Yet those who are opposing the measure are aggressively creating imagined fears that mask the truths (don’t we have enough of that at the national level?)

Fear: owners will stop investing in these properties (realtors and a few landlords would have us think that rents are frozen); Truth: the measure provides for a fair three percent yearly increase in rents.

Fear: those who need lower rents are unruly and criminal; Truth: individuals who need reasonable rents are our neighbors, our community members who work in service industries, teachers, nurses, seniors and students (800 SRJC students are homeless).

Fear: landlords would be helpless to evict these ne’er do wells. Truth: the measure provides for due process in eviction. Isn’t this the right of every American?

Let’s hope that the voters are as wise as our City Council and vote yes on Measure C on June 6.

Linda Lambert

Yes on Measure C, hope for the homeless

Dear Editor,

Will Rent Control, Measure C, in Santa Rosa help the homeless? Speaking on behalf of our local grassroots group, Homeless Action!, let me count the ways.

One: It will keep people from becoming homeless. Every week we talk to someone who is in danger of losing their housing due to a rent increase or eviction. Our neighbors and family members become homeless for no other reason than rent increases.

Two: It will keep some rents within reach of people who are currently homeless. Current market-rate rents are nearly impossible. Even so, homeless people scrimp and save. And, some find housing. Without rent control, this thin hope disappears.

Three: It will ease the pervasive fear that no individual homeless person can find an apartment in Santa Rosa. Anxiety and the lack of hope are terrible side effects of homelessness. They contribute to the death of 30 homeless people every year in Sonoma County.

Four: Rent control tells homeless people and other poor people that they are valued residents of Santa Rosa.

Tell homeless people and housed people (tell everyone) that housing and stability for homeless people are important to all of us.

Vote YES on Measure C.

Adrienne Laub, Homeless Action!

New OVA Board “owns” pickleball expense

Dear Editor,

Much has been said and written by the new OVA board majority and their supporters lately regarding Oakmonters who have a fixed income and upon whom OVA annual dues increases may present a hardship in the coming years.

Offering no data whatsoever, these new leaders divide the community into “haves” and “have-nots.” Hardly supporting their campaign motto of “We are all Oakmont.” Well here’s datum: dues have gone up about $30 since I moved here 14 years ago – an average of $2.14 [per year]!

One Guest Editor of the KP opined in support of the board majority without any statistical support, that any dues increase is going to hit hard those who have “lived here 20–30 years and have already contributed mightily to our treasury…” But the writer forgot to mention those residents by definition used the community facilities for a much longer time. And their home’s value has increased by multiples. Additionally, Oakmont has added about 140 additional new residences, each having new monthly dues payers – usually two per home – who further support our common facilities, thus lightening the dues load for all including those long-term members. That same Guest Editor stated that Oakmont “is faced with over $2 million in deferred maintenance expenses.” This is simply not factual and exposes a lack of understanding of the painstaking asset reserve process that Oakmont goes through annually. But in creating this “scare” he did aid the new board members election, as they wished to again sow seeds of division within the community through fear regarding Oakmont’s finances.

The current board majority’s irrational fixation with costs came to a head when they canceled the pickleball contract mid-construction, citing concerns for costs, thus countermanding three successive previous boards. They literally did this with only hours of experience as Board directors. Now Oakmont will have eventually spent approximately $100K for new courts that will not be built. Whatever the new board majority says going forward, they now own that unconscionable foolishness.

While there are many other concerns regarding the board’s majority, we should perhaps concentrate on one particular error they make as it is foundational: the OVA board is not a governmental body with any responsibility for the economic welfare of individual residents. You will not find that responsibility in any form or fashion in our bylaws, articles of incorporation or state law or statute. Rather the directors are fiduciaries of a corporation responsible for only Oakmont’s common facilities and accountable for providing recreational facilities for Oakmont members. We importune them to properly perform their role as fiduciaries of Oakmont within its bylaws and articles of incorporation. No more, no less.

Bob Giddings

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