Letters for December 25, 2003

Robert for mayor
Your editorial [“Follow this example,” CN&R. Dec. 11] states, “The current system, which creates the weakest form of mayoralty possible, does not serve the city well.”

You do not elaborate the various forms of mayoralty. Unless you do, the characterization as the weakest form of mayoralty is without substance. This is the substantive opinion of a city resident and a governor of Region VII of the American Institute of Parliamentarians.

One point that is certain is that a mayor necessarily presides over all the City Council meetings and should have good working knowledge of Robert’s Rules of Order and not just depend upon the city attorney unless the city attorney is a qualified expert in Rules of Order. One of the requirements of electing a mayor by the voters should be the knowledge of a parliamentary authority.

Just because the Sacramento Bee considers the idea of electing a mayor by West Sacramento city voters, it does not follow that city of Chico should consider the same to be good for the citizens of Chico.

The issue that needs study is, what are the responsibilities and duties a city wishes to entrust to a mayor?

Please define in a specific manner your vision as to what the mayor, elected by the voters of Chico, shall do and how it will make Chico a better city.

Brahama D. Sharma

Editor’s note: Please see our June 14, 2001, cover story, “Measure A, nasty politics and the leadership gap: Why Chico should switch to an elected mayor.”

Health problems
I was recently a patient at Enloe Medical Center, and the care I received was terrible.

To the administrators of Enloe, you should be ashamed of yourselves for providing such low-quality and shoddy care to the patients of your hospital.

It is inexcusable that a patient has to wait 25 minutes for a call light to be answered, or that a patient only gets to see a nurse one time during the nurse’s shift. I do not blame the nurses for the care I received; rather I blame the administration. The nurses who took care of me were great, and they did the best they could with the small amount of time given to them to care for each patient. The ratio of nurses and CNAs per patient is terrible. It’s no wonder that the nurses cannot do a high-quality job and that they are unavailable to help treat the patients.

The best care I received was in the Emergency Room, with one physician in particular being extremely noteworthy. However, once I was moved upstairs to a room it was a whole different story.

You outsource other departments such as housekeeping, food services and behavioral health and run your nursing staff into the ground. It is unforgivable how you treat patients. We are not a commodity; we are sick people who deserve decent care. The patients are the ones suffering needlessly, just so you can increase your profit.

I applaud the nurses and other staff for they are doing the best the can under the current situation.

Elissa Crane

Charrette charade
We received an e-mail from Tom DiGiovanni, of Heritage Partners, saying, “We would appreciate your participation in creating the vision for this important future part of Chico,” inviting us to the Meriam Park charrette. But when we arrived, we found a team of all-knowing “experts” who were only willing to show us their designs. They listened politely for a minute but we were never allowed any “participation.”

The only “input” the organizers admitted to receiving from the people of Chico was the flu. DiGiovanni’s e-mail suggested that Chicoans would actually have a hand in the design process, but the public was only included as an audience.

When the City Council discussed the “onerous” public-hearings process earlier this year, Councilmember Dan Nguyen-Tan suggested charrettes as a way to speed the permits process. Is he insinuating that the current public process is unreasonable? For whom? Why do we need to speed up the permits process?

It’s probably true that some of our city politicians would gladly trade those long, onerous hearings for quiet lunches with developers in trendy cafàs. But the charrette is no substitute for the public hearing. Citizens should lobby elected officials and appeal planning decisions that are counter to the best interests of the community. We can’t allow ourselves to be shoved aside for the best interests of the developer community by politicians who see public participation as a nuisance

Juanita Sumner

Political paper trial
Lots of us don’t trust politicians, which is certainly a sad state of affairs in a democracy. I hope we can trust our politicians more as more people become less apathetic and demand that better candidates run for office.

But if we can’t trust voting machines, we will never be able to trust the politicians that are elected, because issues about whether they were elected fairly will hang over their heads.

That’s why we should insist that new touch-screen computerized voting machines print out a paper receipt for use in the case that a recount is necessary. These machines, like all computers, are vulnerable to hacking, power-outages and crashing.

A paper receipt issued by the voting machines would instill more confidence in the machines and the politicians we elect by using them.

Tanya Henrich

He don’t compromise
Country music’s “Ford Truck Man,” Toby Keith, has a new CD out. It’s called Shockin’ Y’all. The backside of the album shows Toby and his fighter dog with their hunched-over back toward us, looking out from a rise above a Middle Eastern village.

The box-shaped buildings are illuminated not by bomb-fire, but good-old fashioned-all American fireworks. It’s Disneyland in the sand. I’ll tell ya, makes ya wanna run out and buy the thang so Toby don’t put his boot-toe where the sun don’t shine.

Bob Garner

And pacified my gourd!
“They have crassified my Lord.”

Stephen T. Davis