3 letters: Dion Bracco’s alarming request; Zany toll road proposal; “Mothball” new care home for vets?

Councilman’s home alarm inquiry into mayoral competitor much more than just troubling

Dear Editor,
I find it very troubling that City Councilman Dion Bracco engaged in an attempt to besmirch the reputation of his competitor, Councilman Woodward for the upcoming mayoral race by launching a public records request on Woodward’s residence.
What is more troubling is that Bracco seems to be evading questions about how he came upon this alleged information. The fact that Christi Bracco, the Councilman’s wife clearly would have had access to that information is very suspicious.
At the April 17, 2011 council meeting to discuss the alarm program, Bracco initially tried to recuse himself because his wife had access to alarm data. As it turns out, according to Gilroy Police Chief Denise Turner, Christi Bracco set up the alarm program. Woodward stated in a Dispatch article that the number of people having access to that information could be counted on one hand. I think he is being very generous.
As the Bracco’s did in their pursuit of justice in the case of former Councilman Craig Gartman, I believe that a thorough investigation of this politically motivated hack job is justified. If it is found that Councilman Bracco did in fact collude with a city employee in this conspiratorial witch hunt against Woodward, they should be prosecuted for that act and for exposing the city to a liability lawsuit by Woodward, who is an attorney by the way.
It makes me wonder if Bracco is as bright as he thinks or if he has a serious issue with telling the truth. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

Mark A. Zappa, Gilroy

Zany toll road proposal for Highway 152 needs coverage – after all, it’s highway robbery

Dear Editor,
Santa Clara County’s Valley Transportation Authority and San Benito County’s Council of Governments have a “Mobility Partnership,” with no consent from the voters in either SCC or SBC.
The “Partnership” is pushing for its “new plan” to replace Highway 152 with a toll road build in conjunction with the Bullet Train. No voter ever voted for a “Director” to VTA or COG, yet they are a stand-alone government acting with all the powers of government from taxation, condemnation and appropriations. Local elected leaders give me the middle finger salute when I ask them about it.
They operate motor carriers of passengers for hire in direct competition with the private sector, and use 99 percent funding by the taxpayers (using legal accounting to make the calculation – they themselves use Enron-style “off book” accounting to make their false financial reports to the public).
Nobody is covering this story, and it cries out for press coverage.

Joe Thompson, Gilroy

Gov. Brown’s plan to mothball a 150-room residential care home for veterans frosts his wings

Dear Editor,
So, what do you do with a brand spanking new $88 million dollar, 150-room, veterans residential care facility you can’t afford to open?
Although 98 percent complete, the Redding veterans’ home probably won’t open until around January 2014, if then.  Gov. Brown says there’s no money to hire the required staff and operate the facility.
Even by government standards of inefficiency and ineptitude, this screw-up rises to a new level of incompetence and lunacy.  Heads ought to roll for making a decision to construct such a facility without guaranteeing funds were going to be available to actually use it.
The governor’s solution is to put the home in “mothball” status until the state can afford to officially open it. This includes paying a cadre of folks to babysit the facility even though no one’s going to be using it for quite some time.     
For the 2012-2013 fiscal year, according to my sources, California taxpayers get to pay a tidy little sum of $1.4 million to implement Brown’s “mothball” plan for the Redding home. That’s roughly $140,000 a month! What an absolute waste! Nothing like pouring good money down the proverbial rat hole and getting absolutely nothing in return. It’s an insult to every taxpayer in the state. And voters ought not tolerate it.
If the state can’t open the Redding Veterans Home on schedule for its intended purpose of serving California’s veterans community, then it needs to find another good use for it … at least in the short term. 
Frankly, it seems unconscionable to me to have such a beautiful housing facility sit idle and empty when so many of our brothers and sisters find themselves without shelter from the elements during these hard times. Perhaps a partnership between state and local philanthropic groups could be formed to make something good out of an otherwise very distressing situation.       
Dare I say, it’s the right thing to do.

Colonel Pete Stiglich, USAF, Retired, Cottonwood, CA


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