In "Home to the Chief" by Diane Wedner [Nov. 16], Steve Merksamer, described as a prominent Northern California lawyer and former chief of staff to Gov. Deukemejian, stated: "It's a sad commentary on the state that we don't have a suitable residence for the governor. It reflects the respect we show public officials."
I don't find the lack of a Beaux Arts-style mansion echoing France's Versailles or a Queen Anne-style residence for California's governor a sad commentary whatsoever. Why the governor, a public officer who is paid by taxpayers, should live in a plusher residence than the average Californian is a point I fail to see.
What is truly a sad commentary is that those individuals actually making a positive contribution to the lives of Californians -- teachers, fire and safety officers and nurses -- can hardly afford their rent, let alone a home of their own.
I think it would be wonderful if our new governor would buy the mansion built for the Reagans but never occupied by any governor, and then donate it to the state of California when his term of office is up.