Closed-minded move in commission vote 

In response to your story (“Board clashes over planning board selection,” July 18), I think it is the height of hypocrisy for so-called “progressives” to block the re-appointment of Michael Antonini to the Planning Commission strictly on ideological grounds.

I thought San Francisco was a city that prided itself on diversity. Shouldn’t that concept apply to having a diversity of opinion on The City’s boards and commissions as well?

Antonini has served with integrity and distinction during his time on the Planning Commission. He brings a point of view to the commission that represents a legitimate number of residents in San Francisco. Serving on a city board or commission should be based on whether the candidate is honest and competent enough to do the job, not on an ideological litmus test. Antonini meets that threshold, and denying him re-appointment based solely on ideology would be a hypocritical travesty.

E.F. Sullivan
San Francisco

Don’t hurt schools for rail

Suppose a cousin of mine approaches me for a loan for his kid’s college tuition. As we are talking, I cannot help but notice the brand-new Ferrari he has.

“Oh, that,” he explains, “I bought it for a zero down payment with zero interest for five years. Besides, now that I have a great ride, I will get a great job by showing people how smart I am!”

Now let’s pencil in Gov. Jerry  Brown instead of my cousin, UC and CSU funding instead of the kid’s tuition, high-speed rail instead of the Ferrari, and the November “temporary” tax hike measure instead of the loan.
As a father of two, of course I want to fully fund education. But money is fungible. For the state Legislature to borrow money for high-speed rail, while asking for a tax hike for education, has essentially the same effect as to borrow money for education while asking for a tax hike to complete high-speed rail. Obviously, as any hostage taker will tell you, it is far more effective to hold a gun to the head of a crying kid.

Of course, this is not an apt analogy: Ferraris are actually fast, reasonably priced (by the free market) for their design and performance, and a product of private enterprise and ingenuity instead of bureaucratic fiat. No pun intended.

George Yang
Candidate for State Assembly
Menlo Park

Solar project aid families

City Hall says that they are concerned about keeping middle-income families in San Francisco, but their policies belie this. The solar rebate program is another example of this. Go Solar SF is a small program that benefits middle-income small-property owners, the people The City professes they want to keep here. The maximum benefit is only $2,000 per installation. Over the 20 years that the system should operate — this is a subsidy of $8 per month. The $5 million that originally funded this program is less than 0.1 percent of the total annual budget for The City.

That is not 1 percent but one-hundredth of 1 percent. Yet City Hall is cutting this by 60 percent for fiscal year 2012-13.

High-income residents are fine, and The City has lots of programs for low-income residents, but what does The City do to help middle-income residents. Middle-income families care about affordable home ownership opportunities and good schools.

Where are the policies to back up the rhetoric?

David Fix
San Francisco

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