Jenn House, The Union Democrat

Tuolumne County employee plea deal

To the Editor,

A story which ran in The Union Democrat July 11 was disturbing on many levels ('County Transpo planner pays $66K for theft').

My greatest outrage, however, the one I feel is deserving of a response from Tuolumne County Public Works Department, is the citizenship of Mr. Sukumar.

In December 2009 when he was hired, unemployment in California and Tuolumne County was at record levels.

Was the person best qualified to deal with Tuolumne County transportation planning issues a citizen of India? There were no unemployed professionals in our county, U.S. citizens, who desired a $66,000 a year job?

I'm sure there are other taxpayers that would like a bit more insight as to how this decision was made.

The negotiations for Mr. Sukumar's plea deal were structured to protect his immigration status. Would a Mexican immigrant receive the same consideration?

David Munson


Campaign reform and full disclosure

To the Editor,

Our politics and government representatives are sold to the highest bidder.

The one with the most money wins. Is that how it goes? We need to find ways that money will not influence our policies and representatives. Or stop calling this a Democracy.

We could: A. Ban all lobbyist and special interest people from the halls of our government. If they seek a meeting with a Representative, they should do so publicly at a Charity event for example.

B. All donations and contributions made publicly with full disclosure from whom and reasons why. Donations cannot be hidden behind a business name. Actual names of real people.

C. Corporations should definitely not be considered a personhood.

D. Election candidates should have the same amount of media advertising regardless of how much money they collect.

Rebecca Simonitch


Water conservation

To the Editor,

Tuolumne Utilities District now says that we will have to conform to mandatory water rationing.

I bet they are glad that Mountain Springs did not go through as planned otherwise we would be rationing water during the rainy season.

They said that they could provide water for them no problem. Heck, they can't even provide water to the customers they have now.

T.U.D. says that their customers are doing a good job of conserving now. I say yeah, we had to cut back because of the price of water.

Green yard or groceries - you choose.

Richard Shears


Upset with the Mother Lode Fair

To the Editor,

It saddened me to see that the county fair had raised their prices so high that the families in Tuolumne County could not afford to go.

Many families in this county are on a low or fixed income. For a family of four to get into the fair and enjoy the rides it was an outrageous $140.

This is so unfair to our families here. This did not include food, games, souvenirs, or events. This just got you through the gates and a few rides.

Speaking of rides, the people they have running them were very rude. I asked one of them about the safety of a ride for my son with dystrophy and he ignored me.

Also, I noticed the games where you are "supposed" to win a stuffed animal were filthy. The stuffed animals that people were carrying around that they had won were filthy and looked moldy.

I spoke with many people at the fair that said they aren't coming back next year and that "it's a rip off."

I personally won't attend the fair again. If people refuse to pay these outrageous prices maybe then they will take a closer look at the amount they are charging us.

Karen Burkett


Editor's note: General admission for the 2012 Mother Lode Fair was $8 (just $4 on Thursday). Pre-sale of "unlimited ride wristbands" were $20. Purchasing individual ride tickets or other combinations of ride tickets could produce a higher cost.