Union Democrat staff

Keep Railtown open donate $20 a year

To the Editor,

As a volunteer at Railtown, I was deeply disappointed with the vote against Measure C.

If Railtown and the fairgrounds are forced to close, the loss in tourism will have a devastating effect on the economy of Tuolumne County.

I have been frustrated by the fact that the people who wrote to The Union Democrat opposing Measure C have said they support Railtown but have not, to my knowledge, suggested any specific alternatives for funding it.

I have a couple of suggestions for them.

If the 6,500-plus persons who voted against Measure C sincerely want to keep Railtown open, they could each donate $20 per year to the park.

The resulting $130,000 would be close to what Measure C would have raised from tourists who come to our County to enjoy all that it has to offer. Even better, the anti-Measure C folks could purchase memberships in Railtown and both support and enjoy the park.

Doing either is easy, just visit Railtown or go to its website.

Steve Ralston

Mi-Wuk Village

Fish planting regs must be changed

To the Editor,

In reference to Larry Stewart's recent letter: I've been a fisherman, camper, firefighter with the U.S. Forest Service. I've been camping/fishing in the Sierras for about 50 years, I know more things than you can fathom. If that one experience for your son brings him to enjoy and love the great outdoors and fishing as I do, I am happy for you.

But don't hold a blind eye to things you know nothing about!

We are just seeking equality on how fish are planted for all fishermen, not selected resorts! Fish on!

Joe Fedor

San Jose

Reject TUD water

rate increases

To the Editor,

I attended the June 7 public water rate increase workshop.

I once again reject the TUD rate increases. The board and management continue to ignore the fiscal problems of TUD.

Rate increases no matter how large, accounting gimmicks, and lame expense cuts do nothing to fix the fundamental problems. The TUD Board and Management have a spending problem, not a revenue problem and TUD is a short few years away from bankruptcy.

Public sector unions and water districts have a monopoly on making sure the benefits and salaries stay in a certain range and will not change them until we vote in a new board that is fiscally responsible and ask management for the real expense cuts.

We as citizens need to keep the pressure on to reform the bloated public sector system. We cannot afford to pay the full freight for CalPERS retirement, Cadillac healthcare and free-for-life retirement healthcare.

The state water mandate is to raise rates to cover your expenses.

Well, if that is done the concern is that water rates will escalate so much just to pay for salaries, retirement and healthcare benefits for current and retired employees that we won't be able to fix, maintain and upgrade the water delivery system as the money will just not be there.

This is happening throughout our state and nation. Services are being cut back because salaries and benefits are eating away at the general fund.

It is insane and needs to be reformed.

We are broke in California if you haven't noticed. Rate and tax payers are revolting and saying, "No more!"

MP McHugh

Twain Harte