Letter: Need more leaders like Mark Turner

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Ever since we moved to Gilroy in 1978, I have observed many people who have selflessly given of their time and resources to improve life in the South County, starting with the first Garlic Festival that year. 

As with many of his predecessors, both of elected office and otherwise, I think that South County is blessed with Mr. Mark Turner’s devotion to Gilroy, as were, to name but a few, Mike Gilroy, Susan Valenta, Mark Derry, Bob Dillon, Don Gage, Perry Woodward, Jane Howard, Dion Bracco, Debbie Sanchez, Sig Sanchez and Ed Sanchez. The list is a long one for whom we ought to be grateful. 

Mark Turner was probably one of those present in the Gilroy Chamber’s Conference Room at the joint Gilroy & Morgan Hill Chambers’ pre-election debate in October 2008 when I debated the Honorable Rod Diridon on Prop. 1A, $10 billion bond initiative for the Bullet Train’s construction. He was probably among those who recognized Supervisor Diridon’s lie that, since UPRR wouldn’t permit Bullet Train on its right-of-way, they “would use BNSF tracks” to make Gilroy the South Bay Bullet Train Hub. He was one of the few who realized that the closest BNSF tracks to Gilroy are in Stockton. 

Gilroy, Morgan Hill and all South County have suffered by the big government transport policy from “Worst in the Nation” VTA, where Emperor Transit First is their number one priority, and they know no gas tax is too high for motorists to pay so that they can keep their public sector transit fiascoes running. 

I pray that Gilroy and South County continue to be blessed with such pro-business stalwarts as Mr. Turner, who, hopefully, can counter the pro-big government forces to the North. We need free enterprise leaders in government to stem the tide that is crucifying motorists and taxpayers with untenable, unsustainable high levels of confiscatory taxes and fees. How high will gas taxes have to go to keep VTA’s boondoggles running as we are crushed by the fiscal burdens of the Bullet Train, too? 

The Dispatch published my prediction in 2008. But I’d like to double it today with the inflation that is destroying all my small and very small business clients. Caveat viator. 

Joseph P. Thompson, Esq. 

Past-President, 1999-2001, 2006, Gilroy-Morgan Hill Bar Assn.

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