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Nonprofit is important
member of community
The East Bay Times article, “Nonprofit shocked by lease termination,” (Page B1, Jan. 24) made my jaw drop. Contra Costa County supervisors decided without public input to quadruple New Horizons’ rent in Rodeo. New Horizons provides resources and services for unemployed, underemployed, unhoused and other local residents. The Supervisors apparently think this modest little county-owned building can bring in a lot more rent money from a private business.
The Supervisors have either lost their minds or haven’t been to Rodeo lately. I suggest they take a stroll down Parker Avenue. Rather than a burgeoning community ripe with opportunities, they’ll see struggling businesses, vacant, boarded-up buildings, blankets and unhoused folks struggling to survive. Just what business do they envision renting here for $3,000 a month?
I urge the supervisors to reconsider. Our little corner of the county needs more New Horizons, not another boarded-up building.
Orinda should prioritize
safe evacuation route
The Orinda City Council must, on Jan. 31, reject the Planning Commission’s recommendation that the desire to maximize downtown development is more important than the “substantial and unavoidable” adverse impact on wildfire evacuation (as determined by the EIR consultant) that such development will cause.
A better plan would be to move some development out of downtown to the vacant, 10-acre Caltrans parcel near the Caldecott Tunnel. Doing so would reduce the congestion downtown that will otherwise impede evacuation in the event of a wildfire. Rather than approve the proposal to develop the Caltrans parcel as a 200-unit, exclusively lower-income project, Orinda should create a small village thereby authorizing 800 units at all income levels, in mixed-use buildings, so that amenities such as dry cleaners and a casual restaurant can be located there.
Tax policy exacerbates
our housing crisis
Like most, your article “Shortage of homes grows in rural areas,” missed the opportunity to highlight how tax policy contributes to the housing shortage. Seniors, living in homes they long outgrew, are encouraged by income and property tax policy to stay in those homes even if they would prefer to downsize or move away from crowded population centers. Moving subjects their most valuable asset, their home, to capital gains tax while having to pay more in property tax for a different home worth less than the one they live in.
Politicians like to pass laws forcing local governments to do more to incentivize housing construction but do nothing themselves to lower taxes to encourage efficient utilization of the abundant supply of existing housing.
Cut Congress’ pay
before cutting benefits
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy wants spending cuts in the federal budget. He mentions Medicare and Social Security, neither of which benefits him or probably anyone else in Congress. Why doesn’t he cut anything that does effect him? As speaker, he ‘earns’ $223,500 every year. Others in Congress make at least $174,000 salary, not counting any other government perks. That comes to over $93 million every year. Let’s start cutting their salaries, at least until they start earning what they are being paid for.
Some don’t even need the salary, because of the money they take from lobbyists. Mitt Romney got $13 million from the NRA. That’s over a million dollars a month. Seventeen senators each pulled in over a million dollars from the NRA. It is no wonder why we don’t have any meaningful gun management. Yet they want to cut our living income.