In the News

Letters to the Editor

As You See It: Views on Santa Cruz's Measure P

Santa Cruz Sentinel, 10/24/12

Peace of mind

The Sentinel brought up a question on Measure P that we might not trust our politicians. Do politicians and maybe the staff at the Sentinel worry the citizens won't tax themselves anymore on their say so? Do they worry their collective power is being questioned? Do they worry the citizens' political desire may differ from their own views? Could it be they feel they know better than us what's good for us? Politicians need to understand we all need a voice when dealing with taxes that have a huge effect on us. Political promises really don't give anyone peace of mind and I want to make sure I have a say on this water issue.

Steve Welch, Santa Cruz

Look elsewhere

I have not made a personal decision on the desal project proposal, but will likely support it. However, in the editorial Oct. 21, after presenting several cogent points, the editorial careens off track with "...[Measure] P essentially is a statement saying voters should not trust their elected leaders to live up to their word."

I do not -- that's the point. Apparently, some other voters share that belief. This problem did not originate in Santa Cruz, though it exists all around us. Look at Washington, D.C., and Sacramento as a start.

Paul Weaver, Santa Cruz

Who decides?

First the Sentinel editors opposed our right to know whether we're eating food containing genetically jiggered E. coli bacteria and Bt toxin inside every cell. Now they oppose Santa Cruzans' right to ensure that they'll get to vote on desal -- which, among many other problems, would have my friends on the Westside drinking tapwater highly concentrated with desalinated water.

We should have the right to decide what we take into our bodies. Prop. 37 supports that right directly by requiring that genetically engineered food products be labeled -- if 37 passes, we can decide whether to eat GMOs. Measure P supports that right indirectly by guaranteeing that just four people on the next City Council cannot determine whether we drink desalinated water.

Voters, the Sentinel editors want all decisions to be made by the political power structure. Nonsense -- stand up for your rights: vote yes on both 37 and P.

Jude Todd, Santa Cruz

Yes on Measure P

So the Sentinel feels Measure P is redundant. If P passes, then the council doesn't have to hold their vote, or are you all worried that P has more teeth in it? The Sentinel also thinks we have conserved enough. Does that mean every toilet in the system is now of the highest efficiency, that every shower head is 1 gpm, that every urinal is waterless, that every lawn is artificial and that nobody is wasting water waiting for it to heat up at the fixture. News to me. Yes on P.

Jan Bentley, Santa Cruz

Seize the chance

Your editorial makes two arguments against Measure P. The first is the cost of putting the measure on the ballot, but that money has already been spent. A vote against the measure can have no effect on that. The objection is irrelevant.

Second, you allege that the pro-Measure P forces don't trust the City Council. How can there be trust or distrust when nobody knows who will be on the council when the issue is ripe? No council can bind a subsequent council. Trust is not the issue anyway. The council members who voted to build a convention center in Lighthouse Field or who voted for destruction of the Coast Hotel were (probably) trustworthy -- they were just out of sync with the people. There was no issue of distrust.

Let's use the opportunity to reaffirm the principle of voter supremacy.

Reed Searle, Santa Cruz

Yes on Measure P

The recent editorial on Measure P omitted important points which leave an incorrect impression. The Santa Cruz City Council was asked to put a measure on the ballot, but declined. Only after Measure P was initiated did the council deign to allow the citizens to vote on this important decision. If Measure P does not pass, the council could administratively eliminate our right to vote. At greater than $123,000,000, the desalination project is the largest expenditure in the history of Santa Cruz. This project will have far-reaching impacts of higher water costs to service the debt, increased reliance on fossil fuels and potential negative impacts on the ocean environment. This is not an issue of trusting politicians, but rather of whether we have a healthy democracy where the critical decision making is rightfully vested in the people. Vote YES on Measure P!

Fred Yukic, Santa Cruz

© 2008-2013 scwd2 Desalination Program, All rights reserved.