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September 17, 2004

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Publication Date: Friday, September 17, 2004

Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor (September 17, 2004)

Quotes didn't ring true in story on sex offender

Editor:

I was quoted extensively in last week's lead article, "Neighbors pressure sex offender to move." For the most part, my comments were rendered fairly. However, the few inaccurate quotations tended to inflame an already difficult situation.

Let's start with the title. In our telephone conversation, the reporter raised the subject by asking if there had been any pressure from our residents regarding Hector Chavez's presence in the complex. I said yes, many people were upset and concerned. However, they directed their concerns to the board, not to Chavez.

After considering several courses of action -- from requiring owners to do background checks on renters to welcoming Chavez to the complex in a friendly way -- the board simply gave residents additional objective information on Chavez's status, and organized security training with the Mountain View police.

I was also quoted as saying "... is it justice to subject him to continual harassment?" which could suggest that our association has harassed Chavez. I would like to add that, although I don't believe anyone in this complex has harassed Chavez, I do believe that Megan's Law, as written, presents a de facto incitement to harassment. It states that people can't use the information to discriminate against the offender, but that's a legal fiction. People will discriminate, if only in their hearts.

Finally, I hope it is clear that my comments reflect my own point of view and are not meant as a statement from the homeowners' association.

Nancy Bernard
Montecito Avenue


Perry said to be off base in Abe-Koga complaint

Editor:

Elected officials who promote fair government and serve as "watch dogs" in protection of the community should be applauded. However, launching unfounded allegations about reporting the use of campaign funds, as reported in a Sept. 3 Voice article, actually does a disservice to the community.

Margaret Abe-Koga is a candidate for the Mountain View City Council and will file the required campaign fund-related documents with the city, contrary to what Council member Greg Perry has alleged. Council member Perry should have waited until the Oct. 5 filing deadline before asserting that Abe-Koga neglected to file these important papers. After all, even credit card companies wait until a consumer's payment is actually late before assessing a late fee.

Too bad Council member Perry was not more diligent in his fact-finding before making his claim. He has undermined his own credibility, and as an unreliable whistle-blower, he should turn in his whistle.

Julie Lee
Orangetree Lane


Council could hear public comments earlier

Editor:

Less than a day after I was called by your office to confirm my previous letter, the Mountain View City Manager personally provided the information I had been requesting. I am encouraged and very grateful that a single letter to the editor was able to accomplish what several trips to City Hall could not.

In order to prevent the kinds of problems I have encountered, I have started a petition drive to place a limited "General Communications from the Public" item as the third item on the city council's agenda. I encourage readers to obtain copies of the petition from www.livejournal.com/community/mountain_view/71379.html.

James Salsman
Mount Vernon Court


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