Union Democrat staff

Occupy Sonora movement

To the Editor:

Dick Eller's letter on Nov. 21 offers an opportunity for clarification and communication. When participating in Occupy Sonora, we have noticed that most passersby have honked their horns in support, but others have opened their windows and yelled ignorant profanities. Why would anyone object to the goals of the Occupy movement? Many of the people standing every Saturday are employed or retirees. They aren't asking for anything from the system beyond equality and integrity, but they are concerned about those who do have needs, and worried about the growing numbers of people having to lower their standard of living in order to stay afloat.

The Occupy Sonora patriots want you to know why they stand: We are the 99 percent - leaning neither left nor right. We support small business. We are law-abiding and non-violent. We hope to lessen economic inequality. We hope to start a dialogue between people. We hope to restore/restructure/recreate true democracy. We hope to change the course of corporate political influence. We stand in solidarity with those occupying the streets world-wide. We are a leaderless group with many voices.

Congratulations on making a good life for yourself, Mr. Eller. The occupy group wants to be sure you have the future you have earned. You sound like a "pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps" kind of guy. Perhaps you'll consider attending a gathering and having a chat with a member of the 99 percent. You may be surprised about what you have in common. Any of them can tell you why they worry about the increasing numbers of those who have no bootstraps.

Kathleen Liedlich


TUD rate increases

To the Editor:

The increases in rates proposed by the Tuolumne Utilities District are simply unacceptable. Increases of this magnitude without justification indicate that something is very wrong with the way TUD is being operated.

I do not wish to blame the employees and believe that people should be paid as well as possible with decent benefits. However, TUD's employee costs are 72 to 75 percent of their budget. When other public agencies get into fiscal trouble, they often find innovative ways such as wage freezes, rotating days off and other temporary measures to make cutbacks.

A look at our county's demographics shows a high percentage of retired people and a higher than average unemployment rate. Just raising rates to fix a fiscal problem that must have been long in the making is not the answer. I encourage everyone affected to write to the TUD board or attend the meeting at their office at 9 a.m. Dec. 7.

Shirley Campbell