Union Democrat staff

Gov. Brown, AB 109

To the Editor:

The Union Democrat's editorial regarding AB 109 and Governor Brown, that appeared on Wednesday, March 7, got my attention. I would hope it would get Governor Brown's attention also, but I'm confident it will not. Mostly because I'm convinced that he's not and never has been much troubled with the concerns of the people who elected him into office.

This issue is deja vu all over again. In the early to mid 1970's this same, much younger, governor was instrumental in emptying California State prisons and flooding our towns and cities with convicted felons. And, by the way, a number of conservation camps, those facilities that provide crews for fire fighting and other conservation-related projects, were also closed for lack of low-risk inmates. Briefly, we've been through all this before with this governor.

In all fairness to our Governor, the dynamics that resulted in the emptying of California's prisons in the 1970s and now, to a lesser degree, in 2012, are vastly different. This time it involves decisions by the Supreme Court. In the 1970s it mostly involved getting our (California's) hands on Federal money.

Last time Gov. Brown seemed to be mostly interested in Federal tax dollars. This time he's doing the same things because he has no idea as to how to deal with court mandates. The end results to California's citizens under Gov. Brown's leadership then and now are, unfortunately the same. Much more crime and danger in our communities.

Ray Bailey


Pendley, Columbia

To the Editor:

The Columbia School District Board of Trustees is continuing to circle the wagons to protect their superintendent, John Pendley, from charges of misconduct. The public is angry over how the board has handled this matter. Perhaps, by their interpretation of a law, they have the right to stifle public input, but should they when the issue is so controversial? To muzzle the public from discussing this at Board meetings, which are open to the public, serves only to insulate themselves and reinforces their belief of what they are telling themselves.

Who does the school board work for if not the families of the school district? What gives the Board the right to say they have heard enough? Obviously they do not want to hear what the public has to say.

The appearance of a conflict of interest, or the commission of a crime, is as damaging as the conflict or crime itself. Where there is smoke, there is usually fire. The public must be assured that there has been no cover up in this matter.

This sounds like an issue for the county Grand Jury to investigate. The public deserves an independent investigation of this incident.

Thank you Trustee Jeff Tolhurst for being the lone voice of sensibility in this matter. It must be a very lonely position. Please do not give up.

Thad Waterbury