De Serpa: Compassion – and understanding

I met Kim De Serpa in 1997 when we both worked at Child Protective Services, for the County of Santa Cruz. As recent Social Work graduates, we were just learning what our chosen careers were all about. Child welfare was definitely challenging work; life stories you never forget.

Kim has an innate understanding of people’s needs, and a strong sympathy for their challenges. I watched her deal with problems with fairness and kindness. Her sense of humor, compassion, and positivity are wonderful qualities to find in a work partner and a welcome distraction while doing tough work.

My mother, Rosie Gomez, as the district translator, had the opportunity to work alongside Kim for her entire term, and strongly supported Kim’s work as a board member.

With Kim, Santa Cruz County citizens will gain a board person who works tirelessly, and whom they can trust to take care of the needs of the district.

— Carla Gomez, Watsonville

Koenig showed command of issues in debate

A debate Monday between Manu Koenig and Lani Faulkner was revealing. Koenig showed a command of the issues, policies and facts that it takes to be an effective supervisor. He listed his accomplishments like building more affordable housing, free youth bus fares, the largest fleet of hydrogen buses on order for METRO, auxiliary lanes on Highway 1, many repaved and improved roads and bike lanes around the county, a 22% reduction in homelessness in the county, and extensive new preparedness for wildfires and other disastrous climate events.

By contrast, Faulkner talked in generalities and platitudes, despite a slick campaign funded by those outside District 1 where she is running. No solutions, just complaints. Faulkner claimed that she was running because members of the community asked her to. Then why did 57% vote for Koenig in 2020?

The people who work with Koenig daily like Supervisors MacPherson and Friend, Sheriff Jim Hart, and Mid-County Democrats have endorsed Koenig. Reelect Koenig, the experienced candidate who has brought new ideas, energy and consistent constituent interaction to District 1.

— Doug and Margie Erickson, Santa Cruz

There’s a reason Faulkner getting endorsements

Why haven’t Sam Farr, Bill Monning, Fred Keeley, Mark Stone, Dr. Gail Newel, Andrew Goldenkranz and a host of union and Democratic organizations, elected representatives, community leaders and myriad local coalitions endorsed the lst District incumbent seeking re-election? Because they know there is a better choice! Lani Faulkner offers a diplomatic and innovative approach, has extensive experience working with complicated networks of government agencies to get things done while simultaneously acting as an attentive and sympathetic conduit for community voices. Lani is fully engaged in efforts to ensure that local families, teens, older adults and others have access to safe and affordable transportation, housing, emergency services, parks, shopping and local schools.

What does your candidate stand for? Vote Lani Faulkner for 1st District Supervisor.

— Ronnie Trubek, Ben Lomond

Koenig a ‘known quantity’; Faulkner not so much

Manu Koenig is a known quantity on the Board of Supervisors for the past four years. I know and respect him through work with the homeless, Lani, I don’t know and this is her first run for office. Her web page lists eight different jobs and nine volunteer positions. Her LinkedIn page lists nine more volunteer and five more jobs.

That’s 13 jobs and 18 volunteer. How does she do it all? Well, only one job lasted more than two years. In her current job as Director of Equity Transit, which she founded to be the “voice of the voiceless,” she helped sponsor only two events. Equity Transit website publishes no meetings, no board members, no news and no discussion. The “Join” button doesn’t work, but the “Donate” button does. The Facebook page’s last post was in October.

That’s Lani at work.

Just as telling, she started 10 volunteer gigs in the last 18 months. That’s Lani building her resume to run for Supervisor.

Your choice.

— Jon Showalter, Aptos

Mismanagement: No on SC Measure L

I am urging voters in the city of Santa Cruz to vote No on Measure L. Proponents of Measure L want to place more of a financial burden on already over-taxed residents of the city of Santa Cruz to fund “affordable housing” and fund more misspent money on homelessness as well as paying staff to “administer” these already mis-managed programs according to the Feb. 5th Editorial in this newspaper.

I have a very workable solution to raise these needed funds without placing more tax burden on us residents. First, charge the developers of all of the massive housing projects to get the needed funds for the required match. Then for the needed funds for homelessness, go after the millions that the county receives from the state and feds to fund the homeless services in the city because it is in the city of Santa Cruz where the county and surrounding cities of Capitola, Scotts Valley, and such send the homeless and the majority of homeless services are located in the city.

Don’t be conned into voting for a tax increase when the monies are already out there; they are just being mis-managed.

— Brent Ruhne, Santa Cruz