Letters from our Readers: Public employees need to start giving back 

It is only right that San Francisco public employees like me give something back now. For two decades, we have been getting regular pay increases every two years. Now that many are jobless, we can either give back or we can start interclassification union-led battles that will leave the lowest-paid workers on the losing end. It can be smooth or it can be ugly. I say we choose to give back in mutual solidarity to maintain as many city services as possible.

Peter Vaernet, R.N., San Francisco

LGBT center in OK shape

Recent media coverage contained significant misrepresentations of the financial condition of the San Francisco LGBT Community Center. We are not in foreclosure or bleeding cash. We are not asking The City for a $1 million bailout.

For the last 24 months, the center has implemented strategic financial initiatives including: cutting costs; maximizing revenue through innovative commercial use of our building; increasing our fundraising capacity and renegotiating the terms of our mortgage. These successful efforts allowed us to raise over $1.8 million annually to fund our services.

As a result of our mortgage restructuring we stand to save $200,000 over five years — but to complete the deal we need to set up a $157,500 reserve account. The help we are asking from The City is a loan of $157,500 to establish this reserve account — a loan which we will repay in full and with interest. The funds will be restricted for this purpose only.

Debbie Chaw & James Williamson, Co-Chairs, LGBT Community Center, San Francisco

Project violates city plan

The Redwood City council seems to believe they have a legal mandate to complete a full analysis of the Cargill Salt Ponds proposal, including an environmental impact report, as they would other development applications. They are dead wrong.

The California Environmental Quality Act does not require an environmental review for a project that directly violates the city’s existing general plan and the goals set forth by the Bay Conservation and Development Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency to improve sustainability of the Bay.

Cargill is asking Redwood City to amend the general plan and rezone their property. The Redwood City council has shown they not only believe that Cargill is entitled to develop the site, but they are comfortable with building a new city on the Bay.

This proposal is not like “any other application.” That is why concerned citizens all across the Bay Area are insisting that Redwood City reinstate its general plan update for the salt ponds before considering any development proposals.

Daniel Ponti, Redwood City

Too much absenteeism

Can you imagine the calamity that would erupt at Muni’s offices if the paymaster stepped forward on pay day and said, “I’m sorry, the payroll is not ready because it was necessary for me to tend to personal matters in Timbuktu. Pay day will be next week”?

William J. Coburn, San Francisco

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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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