Letters: Why does it take a suit for basic open government law to matter?

Regarding the issue of whether or not our joint power
authorities like Santa Clara County’s Valley Transportation
Authority and San Benito County’s Council of Governments, etc., in
California must comply with the requirement in our law to conduct
the people’s business openly, in public.
Dear Editor,

Regarding the issue of whether or not our joint power authorities like Santa Clara County’s Valley Transportation Authority and San Benito County’s Council of Governments, etc., in California must comply with the requirement in our law to conduct the people’s business openly, in public. It is the opinion of our Attorney General’s Office that VTA, COG, etc., all joint power authorities, “must” comply with our law. No exceptions, even though their Board members are appointed, not elected. In the taxpayers’ current litigation with COG, county counsel has agreed that they will correct their ways and comply with the Brown Act.

Since the taxpayers served their lawsuit, VTA-COG have started conducting their joint, and previously secret meetings, in public (alternating between Gilroy and Hollister).

Question is: Why does it take a lawsuit by the taxpayers to get the joint power authorities to obey basic government law?

Joseph P. Thompson, Gilroy

Why a mosque at Ground Zero is truly appropriate in our country

Dear Editor,

I want the proposed mosque built on Ground Zero because I believe in an America that protects those who are the victims of hate and prejudice. I believe in an America that says you have the right to worship whatever God you believe in, wherever you want to worship. And I believe in an America that says to the world that we are a loving and generous people and if a bunch of murderers steal your religion from you and use it as their excuse to kill 3,000 souls, then I want to help you get your religion back. And I want to put it at the spot where it was stolen from you.

Around five dozen Muslims died at the World Trade Center on 9/11. Hundreds of members of their families still grieve and suffer. The 19 killers did not care what religion anyone belonged to when they took those lives.

George Washington (inaugurated around the corner from Ground Zero) wanted to make a statement about this his very first year in office, and wrote this to American Jews:

“The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy – a policy worthy of imitation. …

“It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens …

“May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants – while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.”

Mary J. Silva, Gilroy

No place of worship or any other buildings around the Twin Towers

Dear Editor,

There should be no place of worship or any other buildings put around the area of the fallen Twin Towers.

It is sacred ground, pieces from the buildings and the planes,from this horrible event, were strewn all over that area, several blocks away, from the actual event. It is my understanding that the Burlington Building, itself, was hit by falling debris. That location is a burial ground.

If an endangered salamander was found there or even a single bone of a Native American, ALL building would STOP. Many of the remains have yet to be found, from that horrid event. NOTHING SHOULD BE BUILT THERE … NOTHING!

Jacqui Holladay, Gilroy

Ode to defend one ‘Liberal Lisa’

Dear Editor,

When I read the letters on the Dispatch’s Editorial Page

There seems a lot of anger, and a venting of personal rage

Attacking Lisa Pampuch, for the columns she writes

For she has a true Christian Opinion, of the American Muslim’s plight

They oppose a new Mosque, in New York’s downtown plan

Which falls right into Osama Bin Laden’s master plan

His terrorist plots and bombings, of which are brutal assignations

Are there to destroy the peace between us and the Arab Nations

Freedom of religion is there in the First Amendment to the Constitution

If you have any doubts, there’s the answer and the solution

So lighten up Fernando Sanchez, give Lisa a little space

Her columns are a ray of light, in a very darkened place

Tom Engebretson, Gilroy

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