Union Democrat staff

TUD savings pathetic

To the Editor:

Pathetic and insulting are the two words I use when describing the whopping savings of $37,000 per year from TUD employees and the five year extension on Mr. Kampa's employment contract. The $37k is a savings for maybe two years and does not help the bigger picture of the existing TUD deficit nor unsustainable health and pension benefits of current employees and retirees.

The Board caved in and instead of demanding more savings of Mr. Kampa, they extended his contract another five years. That sends a picture to the community that the status quo is acceptable.

The changes to benefits and salaries of TUD employees do nothing right now as it really affects new hires. Just smoke and mirrors. There are no new hires. It will take decades to achieve any savings if at all as CALPERS just revised their expected rate of return which means TUD will pay more into the fund. That translates into the rate payers paying more to support retirees who paid little or nothing for those benefits.

The TUD Boards' and Mr. Kampa's statements infer that some in the community do not support nor appreciate the employees of TUD. That is so disingenuous and wrong. We know the employees are out there keeping the system running at all hours of the day and weeks and we appreciate it. That is what they were hired to do. We just want giveback that is fair to the ratepayer so that benefits are sustainable for all current and future employees. People are not dumb. We get it. We will recall this TUD Board!!

MP McHugh

Twain Harte

Washington Week issue

To the Editor:

Re: Opinion page April 3 2012, Washington Week by Andrew Clevenger

The first sentence states " Democratic efforts to end tax breaks for big oil companies were blocked Thursday by Senate Republicans". This is an outright lie. The current Senate makeup 51 Democrats, 47 Republicans and 2 Independents. It is not possible for Republicans to block legislation that only requires a simple majority vote.

This bill S2204 was defeated by a 51 to 47 vote, with the four Democrat Senators named in the article voting with the Republicans. These four Senators are responsible for the failure of the bill. If you read the bill you would know why they voted to defeat it. It would be nice if we could read our local paper and get the truth instead of some political agenda slant from someone in an unknown place.

More letters and less garbage cartoons on this page would be nice also.

Tim Dorner


Measure C is essential

To the Editor:

A recent letter to the editor falsely claimed that Measure C was an "additional tax that was not needed". The fact is that Measure C does not raise your your taxes, the TOT is paid by overnight visitors, not you.

Measure C is critical to our tourism industry in Tuolumne County. It will result in tourism tax fairness by extending the tax to all overnight visitors and it has the potential of keeping Railtown 1897 and the Motherlode Fairgrounds open to the public. The Board of Supervisors will appropriate the tax proceeds and they support the plan to provide temporary funding to these important tourism organizations.

Passage of Measure C is important to our tourism industry and economic development in Tuolumne County.

John Zach

Twain Harte