Wells Fargo should be helping homeowners 

Next week, Wells Fargo is holding its shareholder meeting here in the Bay Area — and I will be there to represent the 99 percent. Wells Fargo makes billions in profits every year, but pays a single-digit tax rate and receives more than $21 billion in tax subsidies. You’d think with all that money to throw around, Wells Fargo would help out California homeowners and communities. Instead, it continues to hike interest rates and monthly mortgage payments, pushing more and more families like mine to the brink of foreclosure.

With thousands of homeowners underwater after the burst of the housing bubble, and banks such as Wells Fargo making record profits, it’s no wonder that people across the country are pushing back against these huge corporations and Wall Street banks. While families are struggling to stay in their homes and keep food on the table, corporate CEOs and board members are making exorbitant salaries by laying off workers, outsourcing jobs and foreclosing on American families.

After receiving billions in bailout money, it’s time for Wells Fargo to take significant steps to help out homeowners across the country. By resetting mortgage principals to their fair market value (instead of the over-inflated values from the days of the housing bubble), Wells can ensure that my family, and millions of families like mine, can stay in our homes.

Vivian Richardson, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, San Francisco

Meter changes bad for S.F.

The photo caption on your parking meter story (“New Parking Policies Better Deal,” April 19) says that factoring in demand in setting parking meter charges “has helped push down rates.”

Yet, the content of the article itself provides only one data point for this, at the Marina garage on Lombard Street.

Shouldn’t there be more evidence before the claim can even be made, let alone justified?

Demand-based charging, more parking meters and Sunday parking meters are just the latest form of regressive taxation on San Franciscans and visitors.

When will the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency instead start to fix its long-broken compensation and staffing policies at Muni in working towards addressing its never-ending budget woes?

Hank Cadra, San Francisco

Cargill conflict of interest

Once again, Redwood City Councilwoman Rosanne Foust seems to have trouble figuring out which master she serves. She confuses her paid job with the San Mateo County Economic Development Association, an advocacy group that has publicly endorsed the DMB/Cargill Saltworks project, with her responsibility as an elected official in the city where project approval is still pending.

In August 2010, the Fair Political Practices Commission found Foust in violation of state laws on conflicts of interest over her dual role as a paid advocate with SAMCEDA and as a public official. The law “prohibits public officials from making ... or in any way attempting to use her official position to influence a governmental decision.”

Foust’s most recent conflict-of- interest violation took place at the latest City Council meeting, where her unethical appeal to her fellow council members to take an action on Saltworks included a solid endorsement of Cargill.

The FPPC cautioned Foust to use their warning “as a guide” in future conduct. How can Redwood City residents trust any elected official who flouts state law?

Marsha Cohen, Redwood City

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