I totally agree with Peter Byrne's legitimate questioning of the Sonoma County Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach (IOLERO) as a complete waste of taxpayer money (Open Mic, March 1.) If Jerry Threet needs nine paragraphs to justify and defend his newly formed organization (Letters, March 15), the questions are well-deserved.
To the common person, the fact that half of the total budget goes to one person is difficult to comprehend. His explanation for this is weak at best. In paragraph three, Threet wants us to know, and possibly feel sorry for him, that he "took a salary cut from $180,000" to his present $160,000 salary and $103,00 in benefits, totaling $263,000. His assistant receives $63,000 in salary and $59,000 in benefits for a total of $122,000. In the remaining paragraphs, Mr. Threet states what the agency has done to get set up, the "hundred" meetings held and, finally, what they can and cannot do, which included his reasons why the tragic Lopez murder cannot be examined by the IOLERO.
I have never met Mr. Threet, nor do I know anything more about him except what has been written. I am sure he is a fine attorney, an honorable man and wants to do what is best for the community in which he resides by providing a link between the public and law enforcement. This interaction is desperately needed.
My point is that a nine-paragraph
response explaining and justifying the IOLERO's existence has done more harm than good. My suggestion is to make the IOLERO website more user-friendly by breaking down the "investigations currently pending in our log" in an orderly manner so they can be clearly understood and followed from inception to completion. This will help taxpayers make up their own minds as to whether the IOLERO is worth the cost.
Pave the Way
After the rainiest winter in memory, many Marin and Sonoma county roads are in deplorable condition. The $65 million that the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors has invested in pavement preservation during recent years has enabled 300 miles of well-traveled county roads to largely escape the storms' ravages. We thank the supervisors for addressing the decades of neglect that transformed the county's road system into one of the worst in California.
But we still desperately need funds to repair the 60 percent of the Sonoma County road system that remains in poor or failing condition. Marin County roads have similar problems.
Legislation designated as SB1 will eventually provide over $18 million and $7.8 million annually to fix Sonoma and Marin county roads, respectively. Our cities face similar challenges and will benefit greatly.
Of Marin and Sonoma county's five legislators, only Assemblyman Marc Levine has not endorsed this proposed legislation. Save Our Sonoma Roads urges voters to contact Assemblyman Levine (Marc.Levine@asm.ca.gov) and insist that he support this vital legislation.
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