Letters To The Editor

Barrett for mayor

EDITOR:I am writing to encourage voters to elect Teresa Barrett to the office of mayor of Petaluma. Teresa has the experience we need to lead Petaluma in the many important issues we face; affordable housing, traffic relief, hiring a new City Manager, improving our city’s financial stability, dredging the Petaluma River, and many others.

Teresa knows the workings of our city government inside and out, through her many years of service on city committees and the City Council. She is also a tireless advocate for the many wonderful nonprofit organizations we depend on in Petaluma. And over the many years I have observed her contributions to our community, I have never seen her short shrift the best choices for Petaluma and its citizens.

She is a tireless advocate for this town we love and the most qualified person to guide it in the coming years. Please vote for Teresa Barrett for mayor of Petaluma.

Elizabeth Howland, Petaluma

(Petaluma Argus-Courier, Nov. 1, 2018)

Barrett for mayor

EDITOR:The need for good leadership is extremely important in today’s world. It is necessary to understand that the actions and results of each individual play a part to balance a healthy environment, a strong economy and the well-being of the people living in the community.

I believe Teresa Barrett’s work in the past 10 years in our local government fits the bill for what a well-balanced mayor can provide for Petaluma.

She advocates for 20 acres of parkland in our fairground conversion plan which, when one understands the ecological and environmental value and importance of trees in urban areas, demonstrates brilliant visionary skills.

She has been a leader for sustainable walkable communities. She has the economic intelligence to know how to navigate the bureaucracy of red tape. Barrett’s work as the chair of the Station Area Plan is now ready to be implemented, and if it is put into place according to the adopted vision it will allow Petaluma to secure grant funding for our infrastructure through the money raised from AB32 and awarded by grants as a result of SB 375.

Teresa Barrett thinks and acts systemically. Her perspective recognizes that people, nature and the economy are all affected by her actions. As our mayor we can expect that she will hear and act on innovation for our local government to live within its means, help steward our natural resources, bring our council members, community members and organizations together to support positive collaboration.

Lastly, Teresa Barrett has the strength to cultivate the spirit of proactive problem solving that ensures equity and fairness for a tapestry of peoples, cultures and economies that are the underpinning of a richly functional community.

We will be casting our vote for Teresa Barrett on Nov. 6.

Jean and Nick Sutton, Petaluma

(Petaluma Argus-Courier, Nov. 1, 2018)

Barrett for mayor

EDITOR:I am voting for Teresa Barrett for Mayor of Petaluma, and I hope you will too. In her term on the Petaluma Planning Commission and her 12 years on the Petaluma City Council, Teresa Barrett has demonstrated a deep and detailed knowledge of local government processes and policies.

Those who know her or who have seen her in action realize that Teresa carefully studies every issue that comes before the council and that she is thoughtful and respectful in her interactions. If you have a question about an issue before the city, she will answer it. In all my interactions with Teresa Barrett, I have been impressed with her great personal integrity.

Equally important in this election, Teresa Barrett has a vision for Petaluma. She believes in community engagement. She wants to make civic decisions that support environmental sustainability. She wants to create an environment in which young families can flourish along with older residents by reducing traffic congestion, developing more affordable housing, putting housing near transportation, providing more bike paths, completing the East Washington ball fields for our youth.

She is concerned about the vulnerable among us, so different from our national leadership. Teresa Barrett has thought hard about how to secure funding for Petaluma’s needs and has a record of balancing the budget. Please join me in voting for Teresa Barrett for mayor of Petaluma.

Beverly Voloshin, Petaluma

(Petaluma Argus-Courier, Nov. 1, 2018)

Barrett for mayor

EDITOR:I am pleased to see the Argus-Courier recognize the contributions Teresa Barrett has made to our community and as such as deservedly endorsed her candidacy as the mayor of Petaluma.

Barrett is the most prepared and qualified person for the job. She is not only endorsed by the Argus-Courier but by our Congressman Jared Huffman, neighboring Congressman Mike Thompson, our Mayor David Glass, and former Mayor Pam Torliatt.

Additionally Barrett is also endorsed by entities that care about things I care about such as the Sierra Club and Sonoma County Conservation Action.

Congressman Huffman said of Barrett, “she has the judgment, temperament, and dedication to be a great mayor for Petaluma. I look forward to working with her on affordable housing options, traffic relief, and dredging the Petaluma River to sustain navigation, recreation and improve flood control.

Barrett’s priorities match mine as well. She will continue to strive to relieve traffic congestion,

fix our streets, achieve fiscal responsibility, support our kids and improve housing affordability.

Barrett served as the Chair of the Station Area Plan. This is the opportunity site downtown and at Corona. She will make sure we get the best result for the future of our town.

Often the choice is collect fees from the developer or do without infrastructure and amenities such as parks and playing fields. Barrett’s approach is fees to obtain amenities before taxes upon the residents. That is a complete opposite approach to that of her opponent whose record is one of proposing higher taxes while cutting developers fees.

To not only maintain, but to enhance the charm and character of our town, please join me in voting for and electing Teresa Barrett our next mayor. She has earned our trust, support and vote.

Maureen E. McGuigan, Petaluma

(Petaluma Argus-Courier, Nov. 1, 2018)

Barrett for mayor

EDITOR:It was only three years ago that I moved to Petaluma. Very quickly I realized how fortunate I was to become a part of this charming community. Petaluma is a very uniquely welcoming and vital small town. A person could easily be unaware of the many challenges our city faces.

One person who keenly understands the needs of Petaluma is mayoral candidate Teresa Barrett. She has not only lived in Petaluma for 40 years but has been actively engaged in working to sustain and improve the quality and integrity of life here for all of its residents. Teresa Barrett has the experience, knowledge, commitment, stamina, and imagination that it takes to be a strong leader in challenging times. Please join me in voting for Teresa Barrett for mayor of Petaluma.

Judith Blades, Petaluma

(Petaluma Argus-Courier, Nov. 1, 2018)

Barrett for mayor

EDITOR:Actions speak loader than words. The following are a list of actions by both candidates: Teresa Barrett has the vision, values and a grounded, realistic outlook that consistently inform her decisions and helps her shape better outcomes for Petaluma. She does not shy away from controversy and holds developers accountable when needed. Mike Harris has never suggested an additional improvement or requirement on a developer application. Harris also has a record of missing council meetings when controversial issues are before the council.

When asked to pass a no-brainer resolution by Senator Feinstein, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Harris was the one and only council member to vote no. Teresa Barrett voted yes. Harris was also known for leaving the dais during United Nations Recognition proclamations because he does not support the UN.

It should also be remembered that when Teresa switched from supporting Hillary to Obama in 2008, Harris switched from heading the Guiliani for President movement in Northern California to supporting the McCain ticket.

These things alone should be enough to clarify the choice for mayor.

Suzanne Biaggi, Petaluma

(Petaluma Argus-Courier, Nov. 1, 2018)

Barrett for mayor

EDITOR:As an involved citizen in Petaluma, I have watched the upcoming local elections with great interest.

I have, over the years, formed general impressions of many of the key characters in the various races and I listened to every moment of the AAUW’s candidates night. I found they have many similar goals, albeit occasional different ways of achieving them. So then I had to ask myself: with so much in common, what else can I consider to in order to make my voting choice?

For mayor, it ended up very straightforward. Although both Teresa Barrett and Mike Harris have similar histories — 12-plus years on the council and longtime residents of Petaluma, for example — I have to think about who better represents my values. Who would I want representing the city of Petaluma to other communities, to other mayors? To the state? Who has the best interests of our community at heart?

I realized that, in spite of his commitment to the community, the fact that Mike Harris was a Sarah Palin delegate, an early and vocal supporter of Rudy Giuliani, that he’s against assault-weapons bans and is questionable on climate change, and I was dismayed. Many of those issues may never be voted on on a city level, and of course I know that the mayor is considered a non-partisan position.

However, in the wake of the current ugliness in Washington, and the current complete disregard for women by the Republicans in Congress, I feel a vote for Teresa Barrett for mayor is the most responsible thing I can do, for me, for my community, and for my conscience.

Patty Norman, Petaluma

(Petaluma Argus-Courier, Nov. 1, 2018)

Barrett for mayor

EDITOR:I am hoping that voters realize that the number of signs posted around town does not mean a person is qualified. Quantity does not equal quality.

The word temperament has been heard a lot lately, and for good reason. An unflappable, even-keeled temperament is a quality that’s needed in leadership, which is one of the many reasons I am voting for Teresa Barrett for Mayor.

Teresa has sound judgement. She listens carefully, thinks before speaking, and is unafraid to stand up to opposing views, all while being thoughtful, attentive, calm and smart. She has heard us. She knows that traffic, street repair, affordable housing and public safety are top issues for Petalumans. In fact, all of the candidates know this. But it’s Teresa’s demeanor and how she manages these challenges that has me convinced that she has the right temperament for the job.

I hope Petalumans will join me in voting for Teresa Barrett on Nov. 6.

Julie Sherman, Petaluma

(Petaluma Argus-Courier, Oct. 25, 2018)

Rainier means taxes

EDITOR: Mike Harris said he wants to pay for Petaluma’s Rainier Avenue crosstown connector with bonding from the revenue of future traffic mitigation fees (“Three vie to become Petaluma’s next mayor,” Oct. 13). The problem is no responsible bonding firm would lend money against traffic mitigation fees.Bonds, to be viable, require a predictable, enforceable, secure funding source. Taxes are such a source.The amount and timing of collection of traffic mitigation fees is unpredictable. Especially future fees, which could be adjusted downward, forgiven, eliminated or simply not achieved due to variables related to future events such as political will or a recession.What Harris doesn’t know could hurt you as he will continue to deliver the traffic without the relief. But he probably does know, and avoids telling you, that he would need to raise taxes, and raise them sharply, if his long-broken promise of Rainier is to be achieved.As a retired municipal finance professional and soon to be retired mayor, I can recognize a political material lie of omission. Harris is counting on voters not to know it.Tax hikes and Rainier are inseparable. Harris most likely knows it; he just won’t say it.

David Glass, Petaluma

(Press Democrat, Oct. 21, 2018)

Barrett for mayor

EDITOR: In our era of extreme — and counterproductive — partisanship, Teresa Barrett is singularly qualified to be Petaluma’s next mayor.

Beyond her long experience on Petaluma’s City Council and her savvy, down-to-earth approach to serving the entire community, it’s her personal integrity that makes her a standout in the upcoming elections.

Integrity is a matter of authenticity, honesty, fairness and reliability; Barrett embodies all four. Moreover, her acute intelligence does, in fact, make her the voice of reason that her campaign slogan ascribes.

For these reasons she has my vote for mayor of Petaluma in the upcoming election.

Donna Brasset-Shearer

(Press Democrat, Oct. 9, 2018)

Barrett for mayor

EDITOR:I assume that I am not alone in no longer seeing the many political signs planted all over town. They are still there. I just don’t “see” them anymore.

They have a purpose: let us all know who is running for city office. Then, when we no longer see them, it is time to get serious and look at the content of each candidate’s positions.

Content is where Teresa Barrett’s strengths and values shine. We know Teresa. She has been on the city council for three productive terms. During her tenure she has proven her willingness to do the work, all of it. She never avoids any issue, especially the important contentious ones. She does the due diligence, analysis, arrives at considered positions. While her positions are strong and committed, she listens, learns, refines her positions when the alternative presented is compelling, strong, convincing.

She has worked tirelessly to formulate a comprehensive strategy for Petaluma’s future.

Take a look at her website. You won’t find a single-issue candidacy. You will find positions that affect all of us who proudly call Petaluma home: sustainable housing development, traffic management — yes, including Rainier and potholes — affordable living, sustainable economic development, more.

Over the decades, many of us came to Petaluma for its friendly, vibrant hometown feel. We want the same for our children and young families. Forty years ago when I made Petaluma home, I knew my merchants by their first names, and most knew mine. We shared life as Petalumans. Teresa works to ensure that who works in Petaluma can afford to live in Petaluma. That we know each others’ names.

A vote for Teresa Barrett is a vote for a friend of Petaluma, in all its vibrancy and diversity.

Stephen Mori, Petaluma

(Petaluma Argus-Courier, Oct. 4, 2018)

Wake up, Petaluma

EDITOR: Petaluma has a particularly crucial election approaching that will most definitely determine whether our city remains a livable one or whether we will be sold out to developers keen to cash in on the town’s burgeoning popularity and proximity to the City.

With November’s elections, Petaluma will see not only the mayoral change of guard but also there are three seats in our City Council to be decided and, close on the heels, a new City Manager. This election could be a game-changer to the quality of life that Petalumans so highly value.

With so much at stake, I am particularly concerned about Petaluma’s mayoral race. I am compelled to speak out about my very strong preference. Make no mistake, there are two very different candidates competing for this seat. 

One candidate, Mike Harris, is a thinly veiled former Republican (former Bush/Cheney delegate, pro-Corporate Personhood), an opponent of the assault weapons ban, supporter of the forever Sales Tax Measure Q and an opponent of key local environmental issues.

My choice is clear and strong: Teresa Barrett.

In the 25 years that I’ve lived in Petaluma, I’ve watched Teresa in action through her 12 years serving on City Council. In that time, she has shown tremendous dedication and tireless determination and she has acquired the experience and qualifications to be the next Mayor of Petaluma. 

Teresa Barrett has devoted herself to making Petaluma a safer, more prosperous and desirable community. Her focus on smart growth and traffic resolution has been key in making Petaluma more livable for all. She has fought to achieve equitable housing opportunities and traffic mitigation while protecting our beautiful surroundings and focusing on clean energy.

Petaluma is booming and we can thank Teresa Barrett for having done her part in making this happen. She has an extremely impressive list of endorsements from elected officials, including Congressmen Jared Huffman and Mike Thompson, organizations such as the AFL-CIO, Sonoma County Conservation Action and the Sierra Club, local businesses, community leaders and private individuals. I’m delighted to be among her list of endorsers.

Petaluma is at a juncture that needs strong, clear-headed leadership. Teresa Barrett is the mayor we need now. I strongly encourage Petalumans to vote in November for Teresa Barrett for Petaluma’s Mayor in 2018 so that we can continue to grow as a community, as a prosperous town and a most desirable place to visit and to live.   

Get to know Teresa, visit her campaign website: barrettformayor2018.com and vote for Teresa Barrett.

John Crowley & Diane Gentile, Petaluma

(Sonoma County Gazette, September 2018)

A mayor for Petaluma

EDITOR: I attended a meet-and-greet for Petaluma mayoral candidate and longtime Councilwoman Teresa Barrett and learned she is the perfect candidate for the job.

Her knowledge of local, regional and national issues as well as her passion and commitment to working toward addressing issues such as traffic impacts that create consequences to our climate is obvious.

She addressed issues from traffic to parking to senior and youth issues with precision and expertise. Her experiences gathered from being a member of the nine-county air district gives her tremendous insights into the consequences of climate change, and her knowledge from her time on the City Council and the Planning Commission before that has allowed her to communicate and convey the local remedies needed for us to do our part.

Please join me in supporting and electing Teresa Barrett as our next mayor. She is the right person at the right time to get the job done for all of Petaluma.

Dan Ellecamp, Petaluma

(Press Democrat, Sept. 26, 2018)

Barrett for mayor

EDITOR:I have had the pleasure of working with Teresa Barrett and seeing her in action. She should be the next mayor of Petaluma. Let me tell you why.

Teresa Barrett is a straight shooter. That means she does what she says she will do. She tells the truth even when it not what you want to hear. She follows through. If she does not know the answer, she will get back to you.

Teresa Barrett is active in representing us. It could be a small group of neighbors with a trash problem or a large gathering to recognize a neighborhood clean-up. She doesn’t just show up for the photo-op, she stays, she listens, she participates. She is just as willing to have a one-on-one to listen to your thoughts on our community.

Teresa Barrett understands community planning. She has served on the planning commission and understands our General Plan and zoning regs. She continues to work for solutions to housing, traffic and growth without compromising our environment. She understands how to make development work for the community and continues to be engaged with the League of California Cities.

She represents Petaluma within the Bay Area. She works as a city council member to keep us engaged within the region. She is respected by county supervisors and endorsed state Congressmen, so we can participate in the benefits of being allied with county and state agencies. She has deep knowledge on water issues. She has been very involved in the Association of Bay Area Governments and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

The list could go on. But the point is that there is no candidate more qualified or more capable to be the next mayor of Petaluma. I support her. She deserves your vote.

Bill Wolpert, Petaluma

(Petaluma Argus-Courier, Sept. 20, 2018)

Barrett for mayor

EDITOR: I am pleased that Petaluma has the possibility of electing Teresa Barrett for mayor. She and I have been friends for more than 40 years. Her candidacy gives Petaluma residents the chance to know this wonderful woman. Throughout her years of public service, Barrett has consistently pursued her vision for maintaining Petaluma’s historic small-town character while improving its services for newcomers as well as longtime residents.

Barrett’s characteristics include her ability to listen, to concentrate fully on what someone is saying. This combined with her accessibility means that constituents will be heard. She listens closely, thinks carefully and finds answers.

For 12 years as a City Council member, Barrett approached the work as if it were a full-time job; she will bring the same commitment to the mayor’s role. Intelligent and well-educated, she researches topics thoroughly and applies carefully considered solutions to the issues facing the city and its residents.

An essential aspect of the job of mayor is to represent the city, to be the face and the voice of Petaluma. This is one of Barrett’s major assets. She is articulate, clear and thoughtful in defining the unique character of the city she loves.

I hope you will join us in electing Teresa Barrett mayor.

Gay and Chuck Robbins

(Press Democrat, Sept. 19, 2018)

Barrett for mayor

EDITOR:Of the many exemplary citizens offering themselves in service to our wonderful city, I am especially thrilled that Teresa Barrett is running for Mayor. Having served with her for years on our regional Flood Advisory Committee, I am impressed by the quality of her attention to all matters, whether large or small. She is always prepared, present, insightful, respectful, and practical. In her capacity on that committee as a City Councilmember, she was a guardian of the City’s interests while also respecting the needs of all.

As Mayor, and a resident of Petaluma for most of her life, I am confident that she is abundantly well-qualified to lead our city through the challenges ahead.

She is prepared to address our well-known legacy infrastructure issues, now literally at our feet with minimal funding for redress. More importantly, she will encourage new development practices that, by design, will avoid compounding such difficulty in the future.

In this pivotal time in human history, planet-wide ecological stress also reflects, to greater detriment, insufficient planning foresight. Given Petaluma’s unique character, we may become a wellspring of compassionate action under Teresa Barrett’s leadership.

Ned Orrett

(Petaluma Argus-Courier, Sept. 6, 2018)

Barrett for mayor

EDITOR:Your article on Rainier made it quite clear that Councilwoman Teresa Barrett is an advocate for transportation relief without tax increases, whereas Mike Harris would prefer to talk about a project rather than fund it, if funding means collecting the necessary revenue from developers.

Harris has an undistinguished record on finances. He has consistently stood with special interests at the expense of the residents of Petaluma. In his first term on the city council he was part of a misguided majority that attempted to double our garbage rates. It was this same majority that held down developer contributions for our parks and for traffic relief for many years. This resulted in the loss of millions of dollars in revenue to our city.

Mr. Harris was a supporter of raising our property taxes (Measure X in 2012) and our sales taxes (Measure Q in 2014) to bridge the funding gap for traffic relief, sports fields and parks that he consistently refused to seek from the development community. Why should we taxpayers be asked to pay for a problem created by inadequate participation by developers and from which they profited so well? Is that what we want? I don’t think so.

To support Rainier, soccer fields and the like, without funding, sounds irresponsible to me. It’s more of a wish list than a plan upon which we can count. I cannot make that leap of faith. Therefore, I will be voting for the fiscally sound candidate, Teresa Barrett, for mayor in November. I hope you will be joining me. Our city simply cannot afford the alternative.

Stan Gold

(Petaluma Argus-Courier, June 7, 2018)

Barrett for mayor

EDITOR:This past Thursday afternoon, May 3, Teresa Barrett’s mayoral campaign kicked off at the former home of Dan’s Auto Parts on Lakeville Highway. It was reassuring to see more than 200 enthusiastic Petalumans come out in support of Teresa’s candidacy.

Mayor David Glass and previous Mayor Pamela Torliatt were present and spoke, encouraging the attendees to help make Teresa Barrett our future mayor. A number of local elected and past elected officials, including former Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, were also in attendance to offer their support.

Barrett spoke about the

need to represent the interests of the people of Petaluma and pledged to be that voice as the town’s next mayor. After 40 years as a resident and three terms representing us on the Petaluma City Council, myself and the crowd were thankful she will be offering her services to the voters as our next mayor.

Barrett referenced the importance of the public electing their choice for mayor rather than seeing that role determined by a majority of the city council. She pledged a future of thoughtful development that enhances the city’s livability through a spirit of respectful collegiality and welcomed discourse.

It was definitely an enjoyable and important night as the crowd celebrated her past political accomplishments, and looked forward to more accomplishments in her future. I enthusiastically lend my support to her campaign.

Cynthia Renfrew

(Petaluma Argus-Courier, May 10, 2018)