Inappropriate lead story
First let me tell you how much I appreciate the Walnut Creek Journal. Having this very specialized, local news is helpful and informative. As a resident and business owner (financial advisor) in Walnut Creek since 1980, I have seen a lot and staying on top of what is going on is helpful.
The Nov. 21 edition was a surprise to me. We usually have lots of positive things going on in WC. To have the featured article with the largest headline be about our city manager being slapped with a $200 fine for failing to report a dinner he had when he was an employee in San Rafael seems to have missed the mark. This type of issue is not significant or relevant, and certainly should not warrant front page/headline coverage.
By the way, I really like how Elisabeth Nardi has written about city government. I have read, with great interest, the scandal in city government and she seems to have done a nice job of covering the topics well.
In the same issue, we have articles about "Japanese students visiting Walnut Creek," Eagle Scouts honored at Hillside Covenant Church, volunteers in line to be honored, and the "Grand Night at the Lesher Center" Any of these articles would certainly be a much better reflection of the good that is happening in our great town.
All of that is to say, "Keep up the good work." Your choices in how you present our fine city are a reflection of what is going on. I am not an expert in journalism but I certainly think that reflecting positive community happenings as our headline articles would be much more appropriate. A small compliance error by a local official, long before they were local, for a fine of pocket change, hardly seems to fit.
BART contract: Balance missing
The BART fiasco of the past few months only provides more proof that if we allow taxpayer-funded employees the ability to hold hostage the people that are paying them for a service, that over time the cost will be so excessive that our public systems we have all come to rely on will eventually collapse.
Most private unions in this country have evolved over the years to understand that it is a partnership with management that allows them to empower their membership with fair wages and benefits. They must walk a fine line and balance what is fair and equitable to their membership with what the business can realistically pay. If the union demands more than the business can afford to sustain, then there are multiple options open to the business to allow it to continue to operate.
This balance does not exist within the realm of a taxpayer-funded service and the employees that provide it, and since we the public are ultimately the business owners, it is our responsibility to change it and make it work for all.
If we do not, at some point we will run out of options and when that happens then everybody loses.