Letters: ‘Timid’ the wrong connotation for Dom Payne, GUSD board candidate

I respect the Editorial Board’s position on who they would like
to see on the Gilroy Unified School District Board, but feel it
necessary to respond to the editorial based on your word choice in
describing my bid for one of the seats.
Dear Editor,

I respect the Editorial Board’s position on who they would like to see on the Gilroy Unified School District Board, but feel it necessary to respond to the editorial based on your word choice in describing my bid for one of the seats. My decision to run was based on years of thinking about the ways in which I could be of service in my community, and a participant in my government.

As an teacher and parent, our school district’s policies and governance is one of the areas that has been of great interest to me. My thinking, priorities and values, have been fundamentally shaped by my education, therefore, serving on the school board appealed to me when I was asked to run.

The lessons I’ve learned about the nature of politics since campaigning have been many, but the first was that politicos expect you to have money. I had none. I believe in a participation in government because you want to be of service, and you believe that your ideas and effort can be effective. For me, that is what’s important, not the amount of cash you have to spend.

I have walked neighborhoods, talking to people about who I am, and how I want to serve, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. True, I don’t have the signs, nor social connections of the incumbents. True, I’m not interested in mud-slinging, and character assassination. But also true, is that I have a very unique background, and a perspective as a teacher and parent with children in the school district that I believe is an asset. I bring a much more “diverse” type of diversity than the current board is offering, coupled with the ability and skill set for the position, despite not having the money to trumpet this from our local hilltops.

All of which is to say that the word “timid,” the word used and defined as “lacking in courage and self-confidence,” is insulting not just to me, but to all of our citizens.

Everyone shares the same rights to government participation, no matter their economic condition. I feel confidant that my ideas and values both matter, and can be effective, and I somehow gathered enough “courage” to run for office. I try to present a campaign based on ideas of substance, without resorting to grandstanding and vague promises.

Has that seemed “timid”? Perhaps a better word might have been underfunded. I’ll continue to talk to constituents about the issues, and do my best to make this “timid” campaign worthy of the word “timely.”

Dom Payne, Gilroy

Cherry Orchard Ranch developer trying to ‘bully and intimidate’ city

Dear Editor,

Sometimes it seems that too many powerful financial interests feel entitled to do whatever they want regardless of the consequences, the law or the public interest.

Now, we have our own example right here in Gilroy.

The proposed Cherry Orchard affordable senior housing project (as your lead article of Oct.15 points out) runs afoul of our general and zoning plans as well as our residential growth control ordinance.

In addition, the project builds on prime agricultural land, will result in inadequate emergency response times and stresses our capital funding of future infrastructure.

None of this seems to concern the developer CW Development.

In fact, they are claiming the right to build under state law regardless of existing city policies and plans and apparently are threatening to sue the city if frustrated. Even if their argument had merit this would be a highly unusual and combative approach but the truth is that CW Development is wrong. There is no state law that requires cities to contradict their plans and policies to approve any affordable housing project anywhere.

I suspect that CW Development knows this and is simply trying to bully and intimidate the council into approval. I hope our Council, for the good of Gilroy, has the clarity of vision and strength of character to call their bluff.

David Collier, Gilroy

Racism? Hardly, Mi Pueblo can sport a ‘hideous color scheme’

Dear Editor,

I find the flap over the Mi Pueblo building colors most entertaining.

First, we have a letter from some hypocrite out of Woodside playing the race card (when their very premise – how dare anyone criticize a Mexican business – was the only racist statement). Then we have the clowns at the Planning Commission sticking their noses where it doesn’t belong (onto private property). And our illustrious mayor had to chime in with his infinite … wisdom.

This hideous color theme is the sole decision of the owner of the building (i.e., the property owner). If somewhere he agreed to keep a color theme consistent to that shopping center, then he needs to paint over it. If his lease to Mi Pueblo permits them to paint it any way they want, then they have the right to create an eyesore.

This reminds me of the graffiti – oh, excuse me, the mural – that used to disgrace Hornlein Court in the 1990s. That turned out to be on city property, and we the people had it painted over. Those of us who found it ugly were accused by the usual hypocrite contingent of racism, bigotry, and the rest of the nasties (yawn).

All that’s missing is a comparison to Hitler; maybe they just don’t know how to spell that name and their puppeteer professor is on sabbatical.

Bottom line: The property owner has the right to paint it any way he wants, just like we who look at it have the right to say it looks disgusting, probably resembling what they sell inside Mi Pueblo.

(Makes me wonder, do the employees’ costumes match, or at least come with red plastic noses?)

Alan Viarengo, Gilroy

Candidate Dion Bracco does not support Police Activities League

Dear Editor,

I would like to thank the Dispatch Editorial Board for its endorsement of my candidacy for City Council.

I would, however, like to set the record straight about a position attributed to me in your article. I have never stated that I support a Police Activities League, as it would cost the city a great deal of money in overtime to support it. We had a PAL program in Gilroy in the 1990s. I served on the Board of Directors when Officer Lara was overseeing the program. The time Officer Lara dedicated to the PAL program was strictly voluntary. When he retired, there was no one to take his place.

The PAL program was disbanded and the cash and assets of PAL were turned over to the Gang Task Force, which was newly formed.

I am currently involved with the Gang Task Force as a board member, representing the City Council. I fully support the Gang Task Force and its efforts to curtail the drug and gang problems in our community. We are currently working on making it a stronger and more effective force in our city.

Dion Bracco, Gilroy

Nominations sought for honoring those who are the ‘Spice of Life’

Dear Editor,

The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce extends an open invitation to the community to submit nominations for the 2010 Spice of Life awards.

These awards have been presented to individuals and businesses since 1966, and has provided an opportunity to acknowledge the accomplishments and contributions that make our community so great.

Categories are:

– Man and Woman of the Year;

– Small and Large Business of the Year;

– Firman B. Voorhies Volunteer of the Year;

– and Educator of the Year.

Application forms are available at the Chamber office, 7471 Monterey St., and at www.gilroy.org, by phone at 842-6437, or e-mail request to [email protected] The deadline for nominations is Friday, Oct. 29.

Recipients of the 2010 Spice of Life Awards will be honored at our Annual Spice of Life Dinner scheduled for Friday, Feb. 12, 2011, at the San Juan Oaks Golf Club.

Each honoree will be presented with proclamations and recognitions from our elected officials. The gala event draws over 300 people and is always a fitting tribute to those who give and do so much. Please consider sending in your nominations today.

Susan Valenta, president/CEO, Gilroy Chamber of Commerce

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