Union Democrat staff

Voting suggestions

To the Editor,

The local Republican Central Committee is recommending a No vote on Proposition 28 as it is designed more to confuse voters than be a resolution to the problems created by term-limits. It would actually reduce turnover in the legislature, exactly the opposite to what it claims to produce. Finally, it would increase costs by creating mid-term special elections.

We recommend a No vote on Proposition 29 (tobacco tax) as it would raise taxes and increase bureaucracy without accountability. There is no guarantee the funds received from these taxes would be spent within California thereby taking money out of the state while not creating jobs within the state.

While Railtown and the Mother Lode Fairgrounds are as important to us as anyone else in the county, we recommend a No vote on Measure C, as there is No guarantee that the receipts from the tax will be directed at either Railtown or the Fairgrounds. It may harm local tourism and businesses by increasing the tax on campgrounds, RV parks and houseboats to our visitors by 10 percent. There must be other, better ways for us to save Railtown and the Fairgrounds.

Higher taxes are not always the way to solve our problems. There must be cuts in government, other than education, fire and police. We have a great deal of excess, government property, many jobs can be turned over to the private sector, and the general costs of government operation can be significantly trimmed. Starting with these can take us a long way toward solving our financial problems.

Patricia Ryan

Secretary, Tuolumne County Republican Committee

Vote for Rodefer

To the Editor,

For many years I traveled to Tuolumne County for recreation, finding interesting places to visit and a variety of activities.

Six years ago I moved to Columbia. What a wonderful area to live and enjoy. But I have also seen a county struggling with high unemployment, dropping home values and reduced county revenue.

I support Karl Rodefer for District 5 supervisor. I believe Karl has fresh ideas for revitalizing Tuolumne County. Karl's proven leadership serving his country and his leadership in business will bring new energy to the Board of Supervisors. Karl listens to people's concerns and responds with thoughtful and insightful ideas. I believe that Karl, as Tuolumne County supervisor, will help to stimulate a positive business environment and work to cut bureaucratic red tape for business and individuals. Above all, Karl is a person of integrity who will work together with other supervisors to help make Tuolumne County attractive to new business and a great place to live and work. Karl deserves your vote. He has mine.

Allan Gelber


Yes to Aretakis

To the Editor,

I think that Tuolumne County would benefit greatly by having at least one judge who has not spent the majority of his career working for the government.All five of the current judges have come out of either the District Attorney or County Counsel office. I would like to know that there is at least one judge who does not personally identify with the County, government officials and law enforcement that come before him.

The average citizen and small business owner needs to know that there is at least one judge available who hasn't been on the government payroll for most of his career before becoming a judge. We want to have an opportunity to go before a judge who is less likely to have an attitude that "the government is right until proven wrong."

I think Alex Aretakis would be a good addition to our court and bring a "private sector" perspective into the mix.

Also, when our other local judges retire, they should time their resignations so that the voters can pick their replacement instead of the governor. It is a little irritating to see Donald Segerstrom, Jerry Brown's choice for our judge, using his title to campaign when no one has ever voted for him tobe a judge.

Kevin Wall


Vote for Measure C

To the Editor,

As a founding member of the Tuolumne County Visitor Bureau and one who worked closely with the original TOT expansion in the early 1980s, I would like to offer the following thoughts:

• We formed the TCVB and supported an 8 percent TOT, with the understanding that 75 percent of the monies would go into the general funds of the City of Sonora and Tuolumne County respectively, and that the remaining 25 percent of the monies would go to funding of the TC Visitors Bureau.

• At the time, we were under time constraints and only considered TOT for lodging entities within Tuolumne County. Only later, did we realize that we had omitted to consider adding the private RV campgrounds and the private campgrounds within the County, far too late to attempt a quick remedy.

• Nonetheless, the TCVB has consistently supported and has expended vast sums of energy and monies to help the respective RV parks and campgrounds.

Please vote yes on the expansion of the TOT.

Stephen Willey

Proprietor, 1859 Historic National Hotel and Restaurant,


Expel incumbents

I have been voting "one and done" for a long time.

No matter who is running for reelection I vote them out. If this was practiced by all voters we wouldn't have entrenched 'career politicians' and the expense of pensions and 'double dipping'.

This would also give rise to the occasional good luck decision that would favor the everyday Citizen who pays for the elected. When I see, election after election, office holders seeking reelection advertising they have the support of all the heads of the local government and of people holding similar offices it reinforces the image of the "good old boy/girl network."

With each election a new office holder, new blood, new ideas, very easily could become beneficial to Joe Citizen. If "one and done" had been demonstrated by the electorate for, say, the past 20 years, then those voted in would know they only had one term to make an impact and leave somewhat of a legacy. Contrast that with the present system of our present office holders acting as if they're U.S. Supreme Court Justices, in for life!

Because there are way too many people out there that do not vote, I would like to encourage all of us how important each and every vote is with a little past history. Before moving up here I had ran for a Modesto City Council Seat in 1974, and my last campaign ad reminded the voters that a Council Seat in 1970 was decided by only one vote!

Barry Wilson