EDITOR: Social conservatives argued that former President Barack Obama’s policy on transgender students would allow potential sexual predators access to bathrooms, creating an unsafe environment for children (“Trump rescinds protections,” Thursday).
OK, so Obama had people dressed as women using the women’s restroom and people dressed like men using the men’s restroom. Some dressed the opposite of their birth gender. What we now end up with is people dressed as men forced to use the women’s restroom and people dressed like woman forced to use the men’s restroom.
Now, aside from the large number of male predators dressing as women and female predators dressing as men being caught and arrested, how is it actually safer for everyone to have people dressed like men in female restrooms and people dressed like women in men’s restrooms?
Who checks birth certificates at the door, or is this an honor system?
EDITOR: Jack Atkin and Rebecca Jones say that funding of county pensions cuts into workers’ take-home pay (“Why county employees should support pension reform,” Close to Home, Sunday). They propose to offer more net pay by eroding the defined-benefit plan into a hybrid defined-benefit/defined-contribution plan. I work for the city of Santa Rosa, but I recognize that such proposals will chip away at defined-benefit retirement plans of all government employees.
My response to Atkin and Jones is: Keep your spendthrift fingers out of the defined-benefit plans. More practical reforms are afoot elsewhere.
For instance, my pension plan requires that I have a smaller multiplier (2 percent instead of 3 percent) than anyone hired six months before me. I must earn the salary used to calculate my pension for at least five years instead of one year as required of my predecessors.
Nonetheless, the stress of dealing with inflation when one has a predictable monthly benefit is much less than having both an unpredictable income and unpredictable expenses. I know that I’m better off contributing more today to my CalPERS retirement plan so that it will be there for me tomorrow. Living within your means while employed is easier than when you no longer work. Think about it.
Year of the Tourists?
EDITOR: So the Board of Supervisors has declared 2017 the “Year of the Senior” (“A friendlier place to age,” Tuesday). I am well into my dotage, but I would prefer a “Year of the Residents” in which planning and accommodations for Sonoma County residents would be a priority.
All residents means children, adults, retirees, workers, families, singles, wildlife, farm animals, farmers, town dwellers. So far it seems to me that tourists have been the priority for the supervisors. More event centers, restaurants and upscale malls, more hotels — all resulting in low-paying jobs and higher housing costs.
It’s either a whirlpool or a tornado, but it’s a disaster either way economics-wise. A “Year of the Hoi Polloi” might be a nice touch for 2018.
Spending pot taxes
EDITOR: I’m writing to express my concern over how Measure A, if passed, would allow politicians to spend tax dollars with virtually no accountability to taxpayers. The argument in favor of Measure A presents it as a way to make the legal cannabis industry pay for the negative impact the illegal cannabis industry has on public costs for public safety, criminal prosecution, public health and environmental issues. However, there is nothing in its language that specifically allocates the tax money to be collected to these very specific concerns.
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