Readers comments 9-18-20

Mask ordinance

Dear Editor:

Somehow l was under the impression we were under a mask mandate in the city of Claremont until l drove up Yale on Wednesday. So l was not only confused by the approximately third of the people strolling down the street without masks, but frustrated by the seeming lack of concern for the rest of us.

Come on people, is it really that hard to just cover your mouth and nose? If it’s that hard, maybe you could just stay home.

Susan Stocker



Resistance to masks

Dear Editor:

I find it sad to see so many people not wearing masks, and in some instances violently resisting wearing them, to help minimize the spread of COVID-19.

On the other hand, I think I understand one of the reasons for the resistance: lack of personal consequences. While people aged 1 to 49 are reported to have 70.3 percent of the COVID-19 cases, their death rate is close to 0.47 percent. 

Even if they catch it, their chances of dying are miniscule, probably only slightly higher than the chance of getting caught speeding at less than 15 mph over the limit. However, 43.5 percent of those over 70 who contract COVID-19 can expect to die from it. Masks can help keep your grandparents from getting COVID-19.

Parker G. Emerson



Zach Courser for council

Dear Editor:

We are supporting Zach Courser for Claremont City Council. He is the best prepared candidate, with expertise and broad experience in working with the various components of our city government; our non-profit sector; the business community; and neighboring communities.

We believe he is the right person to represent us in this challenging time, and he demonstrates his abilities in many ways.  As chair of the Traffic and Transportation Commission, he helped craft policies beneficial to us as neighbors, and he worked with all elements of our Claremont system of governance and with surrounding communities on this important regional issue of traffic and transportation.

Zach’s leadership of Claremont McKenna College’s Policy Lab demonstrates his strong research skills, understanding of public policy and experience with budget management. He teaches these skills to students and will bring these skills to benefit the council. He will also be a key person to develop our town-gown relations.

Most importantly, our council needs a representative who knows how to listen and get things done. His experience in volunteering with local nonprofits and in working with the city’s human services department has given him real insight into community needs.

His development of the nonprofit Housing Claremont has taught him what local organizations must go through to be effective in delivering needed services.  His sensitivity to local concerns is evident through his support in raising $30,000     for the Claremont Homeless Advocacy Program.

In his campaign and in all his conversations with business people, residents or those in need, he listens closely to questions and offers problem solving suggestions.

We who live at Pilgrim Place are blessed to have him as a valuable board member, and we will be blessed to have him as our District 1 representative on the Claremont City Council.

He has shown himself to be a very caring, capable and committed person with a real passion for serving this community

We hope you come to know Zach as we do. Check him out at to see how you can help him. And then together, let’s vote to elect him!

Ann Marie Sullivan, Karl Hilgert,

Judy Hilgert, Alison Stendahl,

Meg Matheis, Ed Copeland,

Keith Tennis,and 29 additional

endorsers from Pilgrim Place



Slandering the police

Dear Editor:

In a column which city council candidate Christine Margiotta recently published on the website (“Six Actions for Anti-Racist White People”), she made this statement: “Last year, police murdered over 1,000 people in the US.”

It is an unfortunate reality that in a nation of more than 300 million people, where criminals commit more than 15,000 murders each year (and a million other violent crimes), police officers must occasionally use deadly force.

Remarkably, Ms. Margiotta not only refuses to acknowledge the right of police officers to defend society (and themselves) against violent criminals by the appropriate use of deadly force, but she believes that each and every time a police officer kills someone, it is an act of murder.

I respect everyone’s right to criticize specific acts of police misconduct, but as someone who has served in the criminal justice system for more than 30 years, I refuse to silently abide the mindless and indiscriminate defamation of law enforcement professionals. Their jobs are dangerous enough already without people like Ms. Margiotta sowing enmity and distrust.

It is important to understand that Ms. Margiotta is not interested in merely reforming procedures or implementing more effective discipline of police misconduct; rather, she has explicitly called for the defunding of police departments.

I am not aware of anyone else in the long history of Claremont—and certainly not anyone running for office—who has ever publicly expressed such utter contempt for the men and women who risk their lives daily to defend us.

If Ms. Margiotta is elected, there is no reason to expect that she will accord Claremont police officers the respect they deserve, and every reason to fear that she will put our community’s safety at serious risk.

In the same column she wrote that “White supremacy is an ever-present, pernicious force in the US that is as pervasive as the air we breathe,” and that we need to use our power “in unwavering service of Black liberation and our collective liberation.”

No one who is committed to such an inflammatory and divisive agenda should be trusted to serve on the city council. I cannot think of anything, not even the defunding of the police department, that would be more destructive to our community’s civic culture than separating residents into “victim” and “oppressor” classes solely by the color of our skin.

In my opinion, our city will be far better served by electing council members who appreciate and seek to protect all that is good in Claremont—instead of self-righteous extremists who want to tear it all down because it isn’t perfect.

Jim Belna



Ask the candidates

Dear Editor:

Being that there is a diverse range of people seeking city council and school board seats it is important to understand their governance philosophy. I ask you and your team to ask each and every candidate to declare who they are voting for the presidency of the United States.

I believe this information tells a great deal of their philosophical belief in the governance process. I would urge my fellow voters should the candidate refuse to answer the question then they should not be considered in a voter’s decision.

I hope the COURIER staff will take on this work and print the responses so the citizens of Claremont have a knowledge of these people they might not have had before. Our nation this year has a big decision to make and it goes from the top to the local. Let’s get it right this time.

William F. Rook



Our housing needs

Dear Editor:

Our city needs more housing, especially affordable housing, but it does not need to give up its commercially-zoned areas, at The Commons or elsewhere, with their community benefits and sales tax potential, in order to meet its housing needs.

Our city’s obligation for 2021-2029 under the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) is 1,707 additional units. Our general plan contains a citywide inventory of vacant and underutilized properties.

I calculate 91.2 acres usable for residential development. We can reach 1,707 units at a modest average density of only 18.7 units per acre, low enough to allow variations while avoiding ultra-high-density development.

There is no pressing need to convert The Commons from commercial to overwhelmingly residential use incompatible with Cable Airport’s nearby runway.

Bob Gerecke




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