Union Democrat staff

Slogan, not argument

To the editor:

Your April 30 editorial, "Stop State Spending - Vote No on Props," is remarkable for a total lack of any practical suggestions as to how spending might actually be cut (I presume you really mean "cut" and not "stopped," which is rather different).

In fact, it qualifies more as a slogan than anything approaching a reasoned argument. It really should be restated as "Stop State Spending, apart from anything that might affect me personally," which is what most people mean when they say things like that.

Considering that the livelihoods of a large number of people in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties depend on state spending, you might want to think these things through a little more before you make blanket statements about cutting or stopping their sources of income. Or perhaps you would just like to see more schools closed down? Whose ox do you want to see gored, basically? That is the main issue that the voters need to address, not blindly voting no on everything that is presented to them.

Malcolm Carden

Long Barn

VNA/Hospice program

To the editor:

Whoa! Another medical service debunk by our county related to privatizing our VNA/Hospice program/service.

It seems we have more financial problems and one must wonder why the private sector can or would do a better job than the people who manage the finances now. Maybe the real issue is, how are our county monies managed and how many layers of people are we paying to manage and oversee these programs? Do they each get a cut out of the pot?

Before going on, though, we must give pats on the back to the VNA/Hospice staff who are in the field doing a great job and responding to real-people's needs. We all probably know someone who has benefited from their services, and obituaries call for donations to the group. So the quality of service seems to be there.

What is lacking is a top notch financial manager for the county - no layers of bosses like Wall Street. We need to start taking the cream off the top and getting down to the service.

Even with a private group, the county will still be in the red (why is this normal?) and still paying the same dollars to management and financial people to oversee what the private group does.

We need to keep our VNA/Hospice Program! Speak up to the Board of Supervisors now. Write, call, e-mail and go to the board meetings.

Julie Cowell

Twain Harte

Candidates supported

To the editor:

May 4 begins the period people will file papers to either run for re-election or run for election to the Calaveras County Water District Board. Ed Rich, District 4, and Bob Dean, District 2, are running for re-election. Don Stump, District 3, is seeking election.

There is a behind-the-scenes move by a director to attempt to find candidates to run against Directors Rich and Dean because they stand up for what is right and he doesn't like it. This is the same director who gets angry and says to the other directors in board meetings, "Stay out of my district." This director tries to intimidate Rich and Dean and has been unsuccessful. Intimidation is not how decisions are made. Open discussion on the issues is the manner of coming to a consensus which serves the best interests of all county rate payers and not for personal gain.

Director McCartney has been on the board since December 2008. Phil's wealth, breadth and depth of knowledge and great insight have been a plus. The citizens of District 1 have elected the right person.

Business as usual is not how business is conducted since the election of Directors Rich and Dean. These gentlemen are progressive in their thinking and are fiscal conservatives.

Finally Don Stump has consistently attended board meetings for the past year. No one else in District 3 has. Don has a wealth of water experience. District 3 is fortunate Don is the candidate.

I urge all citizens in Districts 2, 3, and 4 to vote for these high-caliber candidates. Exercise your rights and vote on August 25.

George Fry

Angels Camp

Life saver

To the editor:

I am a commuter and I got a speeding ticket a few weeks ago. I was quite annoyed. But I have been a model citizen since the ticket. I can't afford another one.

After being a slower driver for the last few weeks, I have noticed something extraordinary. My gas mileage increased. I know, I know, we all have heard that driving slower will increase your mileage - but it really does! I usually got five trips up and down "the hill" on one tank of gas, but now that I am a slower driver, I get six trips. Really! I figure it won't take long to pay for my ticket with what I am saving at the pump. And paying attention to the speed limit has not increased my commute time by more than three to five minutes. You know, the ride is much nicer now that I have slowed down. Getting that ticket was a life saver.

Wendy Griffiths-Bender