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In the Feb. 28 issue, the Star printed a letter penned by Suzanne James under the headline of “We get to vote on city’s RSO.” It seems that Mrs. James is enjoying her time in the bully pulpit, demonizing the city and its efforts to protect senior housing through the legal vehicle of a Rent Stabilization Ordinance. She is proffering her position that the city has somehow come to this protection through a “flawed process.” She is unwilling to believe the fact that the city has had this ordinance as a formal goal since November 2017, preferring to embrace the wild notion that it is the recent nefarious work of some backroom cabal.

Like the historical, evangelical preacher Billy Sunday, she is suspected of being a “tool of big business.” Why else would she continue to evangelize and campaign against a city ordinance that is mirrored throughout the state – in over 110 communities and counties – to protect residents in housing that is affordable and sustainable? Her mantra has been: “ … we prefer to operate on trust and faith rather than fear.” I believe that rental business relationships are based in contract law and language, not emotional trust and faith.

Working with the Vineyard Valley Corporation, she has toiled tirelessly to try to derail the ordinance under the smoke-screen of a “popular vote,” claiming that people have somehow been denied a voice. She hopes that the ordinance falls to defeat at the upcoming election date of June 4. Don’t let her deny the residents of Vineyard Valley their rightful choice of the protection of the RSO (or an optional long-term lease). Vote yes on Measure F.

Michael Merriman

Vineyard Valley resident

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