Letters: Apologies, explanations and a response to fence article

No one’s essential. I never wrote that or said it. When I came
as close to leaving here feet first at Habings last year as anyone,
the town ran fine without me. When you can’t go to the bathroom and
taking a shower hurts, you learn how essential people that love you
are.
Dear Editor

No one’s essential. I never wrote that or said it. When I came as close to leaving here feet first at Habings last year as anyone, the town ran fine without me. When you can’t go to the bathroom and taking a shower hurts, you learn how essential people that love you are. That’s all that matters.

I wrote to the city that I’ve worked on political campaigns. Campaigns of opponents of two elected officials that may decide whether the fence that’s kept us safe since my accident goes or stays. I said since they could decide if people live or die painfully that it’s essential everyone’s rights are protected. The e-mail was sent to the investigating officer and some elected and appointed city officials so its understandable how The Dispatch didn’t see the whole statement I wrote. It’s part of a confidential investigation no one sent to could have legally given you. Similarly, I am not allowed to know the identity of the person that filed the complaint.

Most of my fence was approved in writing 20 years ago. It’s much lower than what the city authorized. My home’s on a private road not owned nor maintained by the city. It borders city land where I improved the fence. My fence is like the fence the city owns on its property next to mine. It was stated the city fence is allowed though mine is not, but I’ve just learned the Gilroy Fence Ordinance says both fences may currently only be in a commercial or industrial zone. The city property next to mine is neither. Your story correctly listed its public facility zoning. I tried to match my fence to the city fence.

I was never told not to send any e-mail. I posted a reward for the arrest of the person who tried to kill me in my sleep. I increased it when I heard the same person was arrested for selling hard narcotic drugs to Gilroy kids. I asked the city to grant me leeway so I could use my money for the reward instead of fees the city must now pay itself for its fence if is to remain as it should. Both fences are not visible from any street.

I represent Assemblymember Anna Caballero at Santa Clara County Democratic Central Committee. Councilman (Craig) Gartman questioned me about the same thing a couple months ago. I took a leave of absence until I could walk again. Gartman and city hall have a letter on State Legislature letterhead verifying I am the representative. I met with Assemblymember Caballero Friday. She is a kind friend of two decades that was very thoughtful to my family when things were touch and go last year. When I asked her to, Anna helped with a lease for a second CALSTAR rescue helicopter at Salinas Airport when she was mayor. The same helicopter that got me to brain surgery in an hour and saved my life.

Lastly, if I may clear up something that used to show up in Dispatch stories with my name in them years ago and that has reemerged. Whenever the $8,000 that I lost a lawsuit to Gilroy Unified School District is mentioned it’s followed by I cheated the district. I wrote a letter that was in this paper saying 25 years ago I made a mistake and I apologized. The bus company I owned 26 years ago was prevented from providing service to GUSD back then for reasons beyond my control. Before I could pay back what I owed, we went out of business and it took me years to earn the money in my 20s and 30s to pay back what I owed. The last decade I formed and for three years chaired the Gilroy Unified School District Environmental Oversight Committee, then I served for two years on the Christopher High School Design Committee trying to repay my debt with more than just the money. So I apologize again for what happened 25 years ago. I apologize to my friends but more especially I apologize to those that don’t like my brand of environmentalism and social liberalism. I made a mistake, I was wrong, and I love this city and the people that live here. I’ll do my best for as many of them as I can for as long as I have left.

Chris Cote, Gilroy

Editor’s note: In a June 2 letter to city staff and officials, Chris Cote wrote, “In light of my past political activities, it is essential for my continued safety that this matter be reviewed.” In a 2007 letter, Anna Caballero stated that she planned to appoint Cote as a delegate, but earlier this month, a representative for Caballero said that Cote was not a representative. Reporter Chris Bone contacted Cote for a June 16 article, titled “Barbed fence splits city, Cote,” but Cote refused to speak with The Dispatch.

A lot of hardworking professionals looking forward to changes at SCVWD

Dear Editor

You have every right to question how our very precious taxpayer dollars are spent, especially during these challenging times, and good reason to take the time to write such an angry editorial.

It is acknowledged that the Water District has been through some very rough waters these last several years, which coupled with the poor economy, has caused scrutiny, negativity and a well-deserved microscope on the district’s activities and decisions.

Here’s the good news: You may know that the new CEO, Beau Goldie, a Morgan Hill resident, was appointed by the Board of Directors with a 7-0 unanimous vote after reviewing 59 applicants, and a very wise decision was made. What you may not know is the support, enthusiasm and respect for this appointment is unprecedented, with all due respect to our previous leaders. Goldie, a home-grown and unique individual whose ascent through district ranks started 25 years ago, is extremely hard-working, knowledgeable, fiscally responsible, a swift decision maker and a friendly leader who will get things done. He is most deserving of this position, daunting as it may seem at this time. Since this decision by the board, comments can be heard in the hallways such as, “I’ll work my butt off for Beau,” “He pushes people to excellence,” “Whatever he needs me to do, I’ll drop what I’m doing and make it happen,” “He’ll roll up his sleeves and work in the creeks with us,” and how about this one – “This appointment is an answer to prayer.”

It has been painful to read the scathing and negative commentary written about our elected board and the water district in recent months. Beau has been officially on the job just five days as of the date of this writing. Let’s give him a chance. We’ll leave the decisions to the board members you’ve elected to decide which projects are most important to work on. In the meantime, rest assured that you will have an adequate supply of clean and safe water to drink, and we hope you are enjoying the new trails we are working on to enhance your communities and promote better quality of life.

And when the floods come, don’t fear: the water district is still here. Our people are trained and prepared, on the ready, and will be out there in the rain to help keep you safe.

So not to worry, South County, Beau’s got your back, and we’ve got his. You deserve your money’s worth and this very talented and diverse workforce is energized, dedicated and more purpose-driven than ever. So with everyone’s support, we’ll get ‘Hey Noah’ to turn this Titanic around.

And no, this was not written by any high paid attorney, and not even on district time, because we’ve got plenty of other work to do behind the scenes.

Sue Turner, Morgan Hill, 28-year SCVWD employee and one of the many faithful “People behind your water”

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