Letters: City Council is most responsive in year

To the Editor, Full Disclosure: I am a Dan Harney For City Council supporter, but please, don’t stop reading here.

While precinct walking for Councilman Harney, I noticed the door hanger for his opponent. Can you please tell me why Carol Marques is running a race that ended two years ago? She is living in the past, running on issues about Measure H and backdoor deals, of which the previous administration was accused. There is only one endorsement listed, and that is from the special interest group that started the Measure H Campaign. This is the law for 18 more years, and there has been no talk from citizens or the council to change it. She’s the one that could be considered guilty of backdoor deals by using the Gilroy Growing Smarter (GGS) logo before the endorsement interview last month. Any wonder Marques would get this endorsement, being the vice chairperson?

I’ve seen her at several candidate forums,and she mentions—as does Tom Fischer, for that matter—being a “voice” for the people. Really? This is the most transparent, responsive council in years. Not only does the mayor bring city staff, developers and stakeholders back to the podium to address issues brought up by public speakers, but you are personally responded to by email or phone when you contact Mayor Velasco and many of these council members.

Carol Marques mentions more work needs to be done by the City Council. I would agree there is more to be done, but there’s an exciting momentum with opening parks, bike trails, cops walking the beat downtown and at community events. Downtown is thriving, with families attending the successful summer music series, many seasonal and holiday events, wine strolls, outdoor dining, and Dan Harney has been instrumental in these changes. He is the right choice to continue the progress we’ve been seeing and be elected to City Council for the two-year term.

Susan Mister

Personal and professional integrity are key

To the Editor,

I have had the privilege of knowing Marie Blankley, both professionally and socially, for more than 15 years, and I wholeheartedly support her bid for Gilroy City Council this November. Marie is a person with the utmost personal and professional integrity. I, for one, value that highly in a person who will be part of the team that leads our city. Marie also truly cares about the community of Gilroy, as evidenced by her previous work on the Planning Commission and with the Chamber of Commerce, and her commitment to charitable organizations such as Rotary and the Gilroy Assistance League.

Marie is a well-respected businesswoman in this community as well, having been a successful certified public accountant here since 1991. I believe that every elected body such as a City Council needs members with a variety of skills. Marie’s experience as an accountant will serve her constituents well. She understands short- and long-term budget projections, and financial implications in planning for the future. She is an advocate for business development, and services, to meet the needs of all of Gilroy’s citizens, yet also meet the city’s need for a balanced budget.

Marie has necessary, valuable experience to lead our city into the next four years.

She is approachable, and listens to input before making decisions. These are important skills as the City Council deals with the topics of growth, economic development, affordable housing and public safety.

My vote will go to this candidate who represents the values of the Gilroy community. Please join me in November in electing Marie Blankley to Gilroy City Council.

Lonna Martinez  

Trump-eting their anguish

To the Editor,

Taking a clue from a certain besieged president, Zach Hilton and Ron Kirkish wailed on these pages about some horrible insult to Dan Harney by Carol Marques, and wondered how she could be so ruthless. It has been a good defensive strategy for that certain president when people have spoken or printed facts that reveal his lack of morality—he claims people are using “fake news” to smear him.

Harney’s supporters have not described the alleged insult, but my best guess is that it was when Carol Marques proved that Harney had voted in favor of the 721-acre, 4,000-home project north of town, a horrid prospect that prompted the formation of Gilroy Growing Smarter and a 66-percent voter approval of an Urban Growth Boundary. She also reminded voters that Harney voted in favor of the “Agri-Tourism” project (a.k.a. Apartment Complex Masquerading as Agri-Tourism).

Apparently the truth hurts. Speaking of truth, Marie Blankley also voted in favor of the agri-tourism project; then, after it was clear the out-of-town developer and former mayors had enough votes to get approval without her vote, she switched to vote against the measure,thus she is left appearing to care more about Gilroyans than about greedy outsiders.

Now Ron Gurries moans that Gilroy Growing Smarter doesn’t care to hear the ideas of Harney and Blankley, they are left as voices in the wilderness. My response is that Harney and Blankley seem not to have listened to years of attempts to persuade them to protect our farmland and preserve our unique heritage.

Voters, who will you listen to? People like Tom Fischer, Dion Bracco, Carol Marques and Tim Renggli, who are tired of sweetheart deals going to out-of-town developers.

Phill Laursen

‘Smarter’ group remembers 2016 vote

To the Editor,

The writer of last week’s letter, Ron Gurries, is misinformed about Gilroy Growing Smarter. We invited all eight candidates for City Council to be interviewed if they wished to be endorsed by our group. Five accepted and were interviewed by four of our members. The following week our core group voted to endorse four of those. Our criteria did include whether the candidate supported Measure H, the Urban Growth Boundary approved by 67 percent of the voters in November 2016. Of course we want to support candidates who will uphold the Urban Growth Boundary that we worked so hard to attain! We then held a well-attended public event to introduce our endorsed candidates Tom Fischer, Carol Marques, Dion Bracco and Tim Renggli. We held an endorsement process as many other groups do, not a public forum. Maybe those candidates who didn’t seek our endorsement weren’t listening to the voters in 2016.

Connie Rogers