I just wanted to let you know that I was moved by reading David Lima’s article “Is Gilroy’s ‘small town’ doomed?” in the July 31 Dispatch—so much so that I just wrote a letter via the city’s website to the council members, and thought I would let you know. I appreciated Mr. Lima’s information and insight and thank you all that it inspired me to take action and write to my council members. That letter follows:
Dear Council members,
I am writing to ask that you do NOT approve the amendment request for the North Gilroy Neighborhood District. As you know, if you approve the request, and the amendment is then approved by the Local Agency Formation Commission, Gilroy will then be allowed to annex the 720 acres at the north end of our beautiful and quaint city to build some 4,000 new residences. I feel that increase in housing will take away from the beautiful small town feel I have grown to know and love.
My husband and I moved to Gilroy from San Jose 15 years ago. San Jose had become too crowded and busy. I LOVE that since we moved to Gilroy, I can get across town in eight minutes with very little traffic, except maybe on a Friday night of a three-day weekend, when traffic tends to bunch up at the 10th street overpass of Highway 101.
I also love the amount of open space where I can actually feel the seasons by what I see growing in the fields, and I have come to have a greater appreciation for the farmers and the workers of their land that work so hard for the benefit of so many people. I am already sorry to see the field areas from Thomas Road to Third street being turned into residential neighborhoods, that will take away much of our open spaces that beautify our city.
Our schools will become crowded and our streets will constantly be filled with more cars and pedestrians. The quaint and awesome quietness of our city will be filled with the noises of a large city, and the stresses that accompany it.
Please do not allow Gilroy to become just another section of what has increasingly becoming one large metropolis from Morgan Hill to San Francisco and beyond. Protect the small town character of our city . . . it is so worth saving!
“Can’t fight city hall” was unfortunately the mantra Monday night, where the council chamber was filled with concerned residents about their future water bills that will almost double after five years.
An hour discussion regarding a substantial increase in water and wastewater (sewer) rates to begin next month was a controversial item on the Aug. 17 City Council agenda. Dion Bracco was the sole council member voting to not impose the water rate hike after listening to 15 speakers state multiple reasons to not implement the increase. Councilwoman Cat Tucker was not present, but voted with Bracco at the July 1 City Council meeting.
Council members listened for an hour while the public asked for an extension to get the additional 5,000 signatures needed to automatically NOT adopt the proposed rates. Many thought the notification letters mailed with the water bill should have been printed in Spanish, with Hispanics making up over 50 percent of Gilroy’s population. Others asked for a lower percentage of the exorbitant increase and not have it continue until 2019.
The saddest part of this process is the reason why so many will never address our elected officials in the future. Citizens will shrug their shoulders and claim, “Why bother? They (councilmembers) already have their minds made up and will do what they want, anyway.”
Also, I am not sure why or how Susan Mister can have so much say in trying to stop the water rate increase in the city of Gilroy, since she is not a resident of the city. Her letter to the editor last week implied that she was a resident of the city of Gilroy, when in fact she is not. That seems somewhat disingenuous to me.
IT WAS ABOUT ILLEGAL FIREWORKS
I see that libertarian Alan Viarengo in his letter of Aug. 14 (responding to my column of July 24) gives me two options: 1) “LEAVE” Gilroy, or 2) “Love the fireworks.” Viarengo conveniently disregards that I wrote about ILLEGAL fireworks, NOT the “safe and sane” fireworks approved by the city. I did and do not question the camaraderie of block parties, nor the remembrance on July 4th of the freedoms we still have in America. The issue was ILLEGAL fireworks. ILLEGAL, Alan, I-L-L-E-G-A-L. What part of that don’t you understand? Should I conclude that you are one of the people who exercise their “freedom” by setting off illegal fireworks (and following your own advice of nonviolent civil disobedience) when you should be a leader in petitioning the Gilroy City Council to drop the illegal fireworks ordinances? Let’s see you put your ‘money’ where your mouth is.