Letter: 5th District needs real leadership
by George Wylie
May 31, 2012 | 2560 views | 41 41 comments | 47 47 recommendations | email to a friend | print
 EDITOR, Annette Marcum has for several decades been a towering icon of both the San Lorenzo Valley and Scotts Valley communities. Her exhaustive and selfless work on several fronts, most notably as the leader of Valley Churches United Missions, has made each of our neighborhoods a much better place to live, particularly for those of us less fortunate. On May 11, Marcum published a letter in the Press-Banner (“Candidate’s experience worth gold”) which reflected her support for Bruce McPherson for 5th District Supervisor. Since then, she has received several malicious, obscene or intimidating phone calls, apparently from members of our community who are opposed to McPherson’s candidacy for supervisor. The calls have been serious enough to trigger an investigation by the sheriff’s department, which is currently under way. Of particular note was a difficult call she received from 5th District Supervisor candidate Eric Hammer, wherein Hammer emphatically stated how upset he was that she was supporting McPherson in the race for supervisor. Hammer’s call was highly improper in that it forced Marcum into the difficult and unnecessary position of having to defend her choice against his unsolicited challenges, on the fly and without warning or preparation whatsoever. We need real, competent and ethical leadership in the 5th District if we are to successfully navigate the difficult times in which we currently find ourselves. Hammer’s call to Marcum reflects an apparently different leadership style.

George Wylie, Brookdale

Editor’s note: Marcum reported to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office that she received more than six hang-up phone calls and one obscene call from a woman she didn’t recognize over two days.
Comments
(41)
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Gratefull
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June 09, 2012
Thanks George.
Mark Z
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June 08, 2012
It is important to expose the truth. Even if the truth is messy.
BC Adult
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June 08, 2012
It sure is easy to have an opinion and get all worked up over hearsay. Commenting on and arguing about a telephone conversation you did not hear is juvenile at best.
Kay H
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June 08, 2012
Police report. Check

Admission by the offender. Check

History of same. Check

Seems it is worthy of discussion.
Ben Lomond Mom
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June 03, 2012
I've watched valley organizations for more than 30 years. I remember when Valley Churches United and Valley Women's Club became 2 distinct organizations because they had different ideas about how to achieve success in their respective missions.

Annette Marcum's Valley Churches United Missions decided from the start to rely just on community support rather than taking money from county government. The concern then was that taking taxpayer dollars from county government would cause significant strings to be attached.

Sure enough Valley Churches United has become the most successful San Lorenzo Valley nonprofit providing direct aid to over 1200 needy people in our community every single month. And because they have stayed clean of special interest money, they don't have to poster over politics. That's refreshing.

Annette Marcum has logged over 60,000 volunteer hours. No other valley nonprofit can claim anywhere near the level of success of Annette Marcum and Valley Churches United Missions.

I request that the good people who have taken the time to read this please contact Annette and let her know you support her and her organization.

Thank you for listening.
Ben Lomond Mom
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June 03, 2012
...posture over politics, that is.
Joni Martin
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June 03, 2012
I agree that Valley Churches makes an amazing contribution to our community. I've always felt really good about supporting them, and I would never let a difference of opinion about a political candidate get in the way of that. If you think it would be helpful for Annette to receive calls to that effect, I'll happily do that first thing Monday. That's a nice idea.
Mom Votes
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June 03, 2012
The other person who deserves some credit and gratitude is George Wylie. His very eloquent letter is a great step in the direction of stopping the destructive rhetoric we've seen from a very small, but vocal, group.

What a leader. Think about the kind of supervisor he would have been.
Don Smith
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June 04, 2012
The harassment is continuing. The hope was that Mr. Wylie's letter would put a stop to it, but it is only getting worse.

Time to pull some REAL leaders in the community together to put a stop to this. It's ridiculous.
Joni Martin
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June 02, 2012
(1) It's terrible that somebody made an obscene call to Annette Marcum for expressing her opinion, but is George Wylie suggesting that Eric Hammer was somehow responsible? Is he suggesting that Hammer is supposed to somehow control the phone calls of everyone in the county?

(2) Regarding Eric Hammer calling Annette Marcum directly after she wrote a letter supporting his opponent, if I had known someone for several decades and had been taken unawares by them writing a letter of support for my opponent, I'd call or talk to them about it, too. It would be strange not to.

Ann Onimous
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June 02, 2012
Once again Joni, you have not been paying attention.

You start with a false assumption that everyone automatically supports Eric Hammer. And therefore any deviation from that is worthy of rage.

In the real world, the majority of valley residents supports moderation, intelligence, and kindness.

World view expansion is highly recommended.
Mojca
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June 02, 2012
Joni,

it is quite obvious that you really don't know the real Ric Hammer, do you?
Derrick Will
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June 02, 2012
I think some people affix themselves to a belief and can't let go. I've seen it described as cognitive dissonance. The concept that even though a slogan or candidate violates their core belief system, they have to stick with it and defend it in pure defiance of reality.

Interesting.
Derrick Will
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June 02, 2012
Read more here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance

Fascinating.
mojca
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June 03, 2012
Correction... Eric (sorry)
CS in BC
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June 02, 2012
George, I live in Boulder Creek. Everyone I have spoken to supports your letter. There has not been one person who has disagreed with your comments.

Thanks for speaking up.
not me
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June 04, 2012
You haven't spoken to me.

I know Annette and I find it hard to believe she's as vulnerable as George says. This is all a bunch of posturing... Sad state of affairs since I am pretty certain Annette and Mary Hammer have been friends for years and yet she couldn't handle a simple phone call. Unfortunate that politics comes before friendship. Well I guess that's nothing new since everyone seems the need to slam the VWC and VCUM can do no wrong. sad. really sad.
Buffy Lomond
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June 04, 2012
Read the police report. It's not a simple phone call. Be informed.
not me
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June 05, 2012
You missed the point Buffy. I was talking about Annette and the call from Eric, not the harassment call. Two separate things. Pay attention. Try to be objective.
Sue Cize
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June 05, 2012
Wait, the harassment call and the call from Eric were 2 separate things? Are you sure?
not me
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June 06, 2012
Yep.

There lies the misinformation that has been spread about this issue.
Joni Martin
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June 06, 2012
To clarify a couple things: Following "Ben Lomond Mom"'s suggestion, I did call Annette Marcum on Monday to express my continued support of her organization. We had a pleasant conversation, and without my asking about it, she told me what had happened with the calls. She also made it sound as if she had not intended for that information to become public; she said she had privately told only two people what had happened.

To Sue Cize, yes, Eric's call and the harrassment calls were two separate things. She did not describe Eric's call as obscene or harrassing.

The obscene call was an anonymous woman who said a rude word to her and hung up. And then there were the "hang up" calls, I guess, though she didn't talk about those in my conversation with her. That's not okay, obviously.

To Don Smith, when I spoke with Annette at mid-day Monday she didn't indicate there had been any repetition of the harrassment, so unless she got another call after I talked to her, I'm not sure what you're referring to when you say it's getting worse.

Finally I'd like to encourage everyone posting comments here to try to keep a more courteous tone in the discourse - on both sides. I know it's tempting when writing anonymously to just let the emotions out, but it's not productive or pleasant to read, and it doesn't help either candidate or our ability as a community to move toward making things better in our Valley, which is the whole point of why we are supporting the candidates we support. Each side feels their candidate would help our community continue to get stronger and better. Attacking each other anonymously online doesn't help move us in that direction. Let's remember our higher motivation please. Thanks!
Lola Barnes
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June 01, 2012
What a great way to get some much needed dialogue going in this valley. Way to go George!
Winstonn
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June 01, 2012
I would encourage everyone to support Annette Marcum as the leader of the most authentically benevolent nonprofit in our valley and George Wylie for saying what has needed to be said for years.
Susan Hammer
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June 01, 2012
There is a lot of static and some nasty rumors surrounding each of the candidates in this most important race for 5th District Supervisor. I wish to encourage you all to watch all or even any random 20 minutes of this candidates forum, sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the Valley Women's Club, so that you can inform your vote. Ann Wise did a beautiful job moderating this clear and informative forum. The forum will give you the opportunity to hear each of the candidates offer their views and plans first hand, allowing you to make your own decision.

This critical race can be won by one vote, so please make yours count.

With great respect for you all,

Susan

http://www.communitytv.org/programs/online/5th-district-supervisor-candidate-forum
Winstonn
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June 01, 2012
Rather than static and nasty rumors, perhaps you meant to say "shameful behavior" from one of the candidates.

People have already made their choice. Now thanks to this courageous and appropriate letter from local Democrat and former candidate George Wylie, that choice is made even clearer.
mojca
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June 01, 2012
I was there for the forum and it was of no surprise to me to hear some of the comments made by Hammer... comments which were totally contradictory of his comments and actions he had made regarding the rec center proposal, the neighborhood involved, the homes in peril and the community involvement.... total opposite... his words at the forum were words he know the community would want to hear... . that's all... so, what should we believe?
no way
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June 04, 2012
It has been well documented here that Mojca doesn't have an objective bone in their body when it comes to anything to do with the BCRPD, the Hammer family or what is good for Boulder Creek. They are unable to post ANYTHING positive about any of these subjects because they can't see past their personal subjective emotions about a block of Boulder Creek that is full of RENTAL properties.
hey no way
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June 04, 2012
I own my home across from that block of residential "RENTAL properties," and that's the way my neighbors and I want our neighborhood to stay -- residential. If I had wanted the lights, traffic and noise of a community center, I would have purchased in a different neighborhood.
no way
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June 05, 2012
You are a fool if you believe that one block off highway 9 is a quiet neighborhood. I guess you have gone deaf from all those years living there and hearing all the Harleys ride by.
nobody's fool
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June 05, 2012
My point stands. It is irrelevant for you to point out that the property in question is "RENTAL." While that may be true with regard to the single family residences owned by the carpetbagger, they are zoned as residential and not commercial/public.
Bill Smallman
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May 31, 2012
I have been told from constituents that they have received harassing calls from people who disagreed with their voter choice. I think George is making a good point, I have met Annette, and hold great respect for her, and her freedom of choice. I have neighbors, of over 20 years, not voting for me. Do you think I want to hate them now? Not!. I said before, just use your own, independent judgement on who you want to vote for. This is one of the most important values, us Americans, need to preserve and cherish.
Mojca
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June 01, 2012
Nicely put Bill!
Valley Voter
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June 06, 2012
Thank you, Bill! Anyone running for elected office should be this mature in how they respond when people don't vote for them. Eric Hammer could learn a lot from you.

Sadly, Eric, his mother, and Barbara Sprenger are all bullying people in order to win an election. Leadership by intimidation... NOT what we want for the 5th District!

As a lifelong Democrat, I am not voting my party lines in this race, as he is not the best candidate -- by far.
anonymous
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May 31, 2012
This is Hammers standard MO. Intimidate those who do not agree with him. I and many others in this community have experienced this first hand. If you look at History between these families you can understand how I am sure he put Annette on a guilt trip which is inappropriate. Time to grow up Eric...this is a small community and we all remember you growing up, which is no reason to vote for you. If you quit stabbing those who do not agree with you in the back and start owning up to your mistakes.
no way
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June 05, 2012
This is NOT their "standard MO"

I have disagreed with both Eric and Mary from time to time and NEVER been subjected to such treatment, and I know others as well. I submit that it is the likes of people like you who have a personal vendetta for the Hammers for some reason (probably because you live on Boulder street). You can't seem to get it thru to your brain that it is a BOARD that makes decisions regarding the BCRPD and not just one person. You also can't seem to understand that this board has the courage to tackle tough decisions to make Boulder Creek a better place. I am sure the minute someone stands up and provides an alternative location that meets the needs of the entire community the BCRPD would consider it. You should vent you anger towards Scopazzi since he's the one that owns all the rentals and wanted to sell to help the community- oh wait, that's right... you don't get that part either...
not again....
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May 31, 2012
George,

Why was it so wrong for Eric to call her and express his displeasure in this rude and obnoxious behavior? I am certain Eric or anyone seriously a part of his campaign had nothing to do with this harassment, and I think it shows to the character of Eric Hammer to stand up and defend someone who is being wronged; Eric Hammer just showed that characteristic.

Are you now saying it is inappropriate for Hammer or his supporters to knock on her door while canvassing her neighborhood? I am not a Mcpherson supporter and I would not be offended by one of their supporters contacting me. I can be an adult about this, apparently so can Eric Hammer. too bad there are others who cannot and are just making a bad name for the candidates.

mojca
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May 31, 2012
There is a HUGE difference between expressing one's displeasure and being malicious, obscene and intimidating. Huge!!!

Think again not again...
not qualified
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May 31, 2012
Another reason not to vote for Hammer.I am a lifelong Democrat who lives in Bouler Creek and will be voting for McPherson because of the way this candidate conducts himself in all matters. Sounds like he may be getting desperate.
no way
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June 05, 2012
mojca we already know that you can't possibly be objective in this discussion. In your eyes the only good Hammer is one hanging in the hardware store. Pathetic. Go away.
anonymous
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June 05, 2012
no way; Your angry and over zealous support of Hammer is sickening. Contacting Annette at this time and manner is unprofessional at best. Why don't you practice what you preach and go away.


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