Union Democrat staff

Government works

To the editor:

Why all of the anti-government rhetoric by some letter writers, such as Mr. Mulvany from Murphys (June 24)? Are these people unpatriotic, or do they have a distorted view of the purpose of government? How about "of the people, by the people, for the people"?

Maybe we should go back to the, so called, "good old days" with little regulation.

Unregulated hydraulic mining resulted in the destruction of many streams. Gold mines allowed their toxic waste to wash down into streams, and they are still creating pollution which we have to deal with today.

Even now, the large coal companies are being allowed to cut down forests and remove the tops of mountains to get at dirty coal that is grossly polluting the atmosphere. They have already destroyed about 2,000 miles of streams. This practice has negatively affected the lives of thousands of people who live in that part of the country.

Basically unrestricted housing development around cities in the Central Valley, has resulted in the loss of much good agricultural land. Building codes have greatly helped to prevent shady contractors from building sub-standard homes, and have required more energy efficiency which benefits everyone.

Remember the hucksters of yesteryear that pedaled their phony medicines before the advent of the FDA?

The FAA has done much to make flying one of the safest forms of transportation.

I could go on and on about the good our government does, or I could moan about being restricted by government, as some others do.

Government isn't perfect, but certainly private industry isn't either!

Privatization ultimately results in higher cost to the taxpayers!

Jerry Fueslein


Mayor's vote

To the editor:

Recent letters to the editor have questioned my vote for Donnie Brooksheer as an Angels Camp City Council member. Here are the facts supporting my choice:

As documented in past City Council meeting minutes and in several news stories, Mr. Brooksheer stands out as the only applicant who on the record wants our excessive water and sewer rates rolled back. Also, as a retired police officer, Mr. Brooksheer would bring an experienced eye to the council as we work through our police and fire budgets of $1,900,000, which are two-thirds of our entire general fund budget.

Angels Camp has the highest water and sewer rates in Calaveras County. Reducing our water and sewer rates reflects the needs of a majority of our businesses and our citizens – particularly our residents on low and fixed incomes. This is an area of great concern to me and my goal to change. The suggestion that I should have compromised my selection and my vote in order to save the $5,000 cost of an election is not an acceptable trade-off.

In summary, strong positions on rate cuts for water and sewer service and personal experience in safety services are the reasons I supported Mr. Brooksheer. I want the third vote to support the needs of our citizens.

Jack Lynch,

Mayor of Angels Camp

Price of democracy

To the editor:

I am pleased folks are paying attention to local government. It's a shame those folks who are putting a price on democracy were not at the city's budget reviews. They would have witnessed attempts to spend significant monies on wasteful projects. Yet apparently the democratic right of the citizens costs too much. The policy of the council filling a vacancy by appointment is strictly a dollar issue. There is no statute to mandate such a policy. It's cheaper, but does it make it fair or unbiased? We were elected to the council to perform as promised. To capitulate for the sake of convenience is, frankly, just wrong.

Council members expressed their choices on who they thought would best serve the interests of the citizens. We couldn't agree. So move on and let the citizens exercise their right to vote.

For those who bemoan an election as fiscally irresponsible, where were you during the arguments when some on the council were fighting for fiscal constraints on much more significant issues than spending money on an election for an elected position?

The city currently has $2,000,000 in reserves. The county estimates a maximum cost of $5,000 for this election. In my opinion the $5,000 to administer democracy correctly is the appropriate course of action - better than a reverse schoolyard pick or flipping a coin, as was used in the past.

For those who argue the cost is too high, I ask how much should we spend on true democracy? Those who question my diligence regarding fiscal constraints are misguided. I welcome you to become a regular attendee and see for yourself.

Craig Turco,

Angels Camp city councilman