The conflict regarding the recall of Gail Marshall is so disturbing to us that we feel compelled to express our views. Blatant abuse of the democratic system has been used by a group of dissatisfied citizens to get what they want. Be aware Americans, that the flag stunt, staged to discredit Gail Marshall, also makes a mockery of our system of government. Should patriotism be used as a manipulating force? Does it really matter whose flag is the biggest?

Now if you’re concerned about your tax dollars, be aware that the little flag stunt, specifically staged to undermine Gail Marshall, has cost us plenty. The people in the elections office earned a bundle on all their overtime pay and were totally stressed out and overworked to meet the demands of the situation. The public does not realize the magnitude of work that just an ordinary election requires. If you add in the complications of the recall, that is over the top. The greatest cost, though, came in the further deepening of the space between opposing sides.

The main concern we have is this: People are confusing the issue here. Many think that there is a race between Mr. Thomas and Gail Marshall. They don’t realize that the main gist of the election is, “Do you want to recall Gail Marshall?” If you really study the flag situation, you will find that the people involved were well aware of what they were doing. They were specifically told that they needed permission from the board to proceed with the pledge. They totally disregarded the mandatory meeting protocol. They were totally disrespectful to the people on the board and to Gail. It isn’t appropriate or moral to recall someone because you don’t like their politics, yet the proponents of this recall want to do just that.

Mr. Thomas might prove to be a great supervisor but many people have been extremely pleased with Gail’s performance. Also, practically speaking, you must realize how long it takes a new candidate to learn the ropes; learn all the workings of the position. When you have an elected official who is seasoned and has two more years to go, it would be foolish to lose that experience and bring in someone who has yet to learn the ropes. Let Gail finish out her term.

Those in the north end of the county should be pleased with all of the positive changes since Gail has taken office. She has gone out of her way to support agriculture and maintain the rural environment that we so cherish. Although we appreciate the many vineyards, we do not want to become one big vineyard. Gail has worked hard to coordinate the needs of the wine industry and the population that exists around them. If you really want to know who is supporting this whole recall effort then just look around at the number and size of the billboards that now dot our landscape. That ain’t no grassroots, save the earth crowd. Don’t let these people further fragment our valley; do your part to preserve one of the most beautiful places on earth. Vote no on recall. Let’s keep Gail Marshall.

Shelley Hochhauser Lane, Kelly Gray are residents of Los Olivos.