Letters to the editor
music in the park san jose

Housing limit nixed

I didn’t vote for trying-to-become-president Gavin Newsom in the last election, and I certainly won’t vote for him next election, either.

Linda O’Maley

Morgan Hill

The cost of going electric

After a 4-1 vote, the Morgan Hill City Council has approved a measure that requires future developments of housing in the city limits to be constructed without access to natural gas, even in areas where natural gas is currently available.

Much has been said regarding the lack of affordable housing. Many people of moderate means are forced to relocate to areas with lower housing costs and living expenses. This action by the city council shows that the political leadership is out of touch with cost of living issues that are hitting our community residents.

The unclear benefits of this measure and the impact of its effect on current and future development should be clarified so that we can hold our city council accountable.

Based on the latest cost schedules provided by PG&E, the cost of one therm of energy generated by natural gas is $1.30. The same thermal energy generated by one therm of electricity is $6.73. The effect of this measure would increase the cost of heating our homes, water and food. Fortunately, the measure includes loopholes and may not affect commercial businesses such as restaurants and manufacturers who would otherwise be forced to leave Morgan Hill.

The measure effectively increases heating and cooking energy costs by 500 percent. California residents suffer high income taxes (highest top tax rate in the nation), high sales taxes (no. 7 in the nation) and the nation’s highest gasoline tax. Our beautiful state also is noted for having five of the top 10 most expensive cities in the US.

I invite our city council to respond to this issue with a public debate considering the costs and benefits for our residents resulting from the passage of this measure.

I will also invite PG&E to comment on the ability of our current electrical infrastructure to accommodate a 100 percent natural gas free California. I would venture a guess that their answer would include words such as: “impossible”, “disaster” and “foolish.”

Mark Sellers

Morgan Hill

Inmates deserve opportunities

With the continuous wildfires that are occurring in California these last few months, it’s time to acknowledge those individuals who will not have the opportunity to become firefighters once released from prison. 

Twenty percent of the firefighters on the front lines of California blazes are prison inmates. These inmates are paid $2 per day and $1 per hour while fighting these life-threatening fires. Prison labor saves about $100 million vs.paying full-time firefighter during these wildfires.

Once inmates are released from prison, their previous convictions bar them from the same job. Having minimal job opportunities, this would lead to the former prison inmates committing crimes to survive this limited world. This cycle will continue to affect former prison inmates if they aren’t given beneficial programs that will decrease their chances of going back to prison.

Brian Duran


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