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    Peacetown Jonathan's Avatar
    Investigative Reporter

    Whose Business Would Shaffer & Austin Represent? A Letter Sonoma West Did Not Print

    The two letter pages of the most recent issue of Sonoma West contained three pro-Shaffer/Austin letters on the main editorial page, and three pro-Shaffer/Austin letters on the secondary letters page, along with one pro-Jacob and one pro-Eder letter. That made six letters for Shaffer and Austin and two for their opponents (none of which appeared on the main editorial page, in the issue closest to the election). I sent the following letter in midday on Monday; it was the proper length and there was sufficient time, but the newspaper chose not to run it.

    I am disappointed that their selection process was not more balanced. And that Sonoma West readers did not get to weigh the issues that I raise here prior to the election.

    Whose Business Would Shaffer & Austin Represent?

    As I waited in traffic on Bodega Avenue heading past the future CVS site, I fumed about how a Kathleen Shaffer-led hijacking of our public process will add 2,000 daily car trips to the busiest, most dangerous intersection in West County.

    I am irritated by mailings from “under the radar” Shaffer, and pro-CVS Kathy Austin which express alarm about Sebastopol’s economy and claim that electing them will help local business.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. What’s good for CVS and Chase Bank and sellers of $4 Million commercial lots is typically NOT what most benefits our local economy. Local government plays an important role in defining which designs fit our General Plan. This is what Sebastopol’s Design Review Board did, before Shaffer led an effort to overturn them.

    Government also has a role in maintaining our environmentally friendly community by regulating air and noise. When dozens of seniors at Burbank Housing begged the Council to regulate leaf blowers on commercial properties to protect their health, Council Member Shaffer responded by organizing opposition and declaring that regulating leaf blowers would be “bad for business.”

    That both Shaffer and Austin each received $1,500 each from an statewide Realtor PAC attests to whose business they are looking out for.

    For a green, locally sustainable Sebastopol, I strongly recommend Robert Jacob and John Eder for City Council.
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