Union Democrat staff

Vote yes on Measure C

To the Editor:

Please vote "Yes" on Measure C this June 2012. First and foremost, this is a local tax that is NOT paid by locals. Instead it is paid by visiting tourists. This "Motel Tax" actually can improve county services and simultaneously help our tourism economy. Measure C would apply the current "Transcient Occupancy Tax," or "Tourist Tax," to RV parks and campgrounds. Tourism travelers are very used to this fee, and don't mind paying it. Plus, Tuolumne County's proposed fee is considerably less than some of our neighboring counties. This increase is slated to be used for keeping Railtown 1897 and The Mother Lode Fairgrounds open, places that all of us enjoy! So, let's support this small leverage for a big pay-off. Now, if only the local "big wigs" would agree to have even a tiny part of that TOT go to Central Sierra Arts Council, then we could all see the impact that one small agency could make for residents and visitors alike!

B.Z. Smith


Columbia Elementary School concerns

To the Editor:

The Columbia School board has decided that they do not want public comment on certain topics, namely anything dealing with the sex crime that happened on campus. (Union Democrat 4/11/12) They have done their own investigation and have apparently concluded that no further action is necessary on any of the issues surrounding the incident. They have told the public that people attending the Board meetings are on the "honor system" not to bring up certain topics. Or what? They will be cut off. Now, what kind of an "honor system" is that? If you do not shut up, we will shut you up. That sounds like the "honor system" by intimidation.

What is the Board afraid of? Maybe they are afraid that with more probing, more people will be implicated in the matter, as all school employees are mandated reporters and obligated by law to report any incidences that come to their knowledge, or reasonable suspicion, involving a minor under 18 involved in sexual abuse or sexual assault, as this matter was. Google "California Mandated Reporter Laws" and see how serious this matter is.

The Board has lost trust with many in the community, and by squelching any further discussion of the incident only reinforces the distrust.

What are they hiding, and who are they protecting? It is time for an independent investigation of all the issues surrounding this incident.

Thad Waterbury