Union Democrat staff

Vote no to bond measures

To the Editor,

I recently read an article about school bonds being considered by voters locally and in surrounding counties. It described the difficulty of determining how much it will actually cost to repay a loan (bond) and how long landowners will be in debt. Estimated repayment cost covering local bonds (Measure J - Sonora Union High, $23 million, Measure H - Summerville Union High - $8 million) were not incorporated, but other districts were included.

Ripon Unified School District want voters to approve $25.2 million in bonds - it ultimately will cost landowners $70.8 million over 36 years; Escalon Unified School District - $19.5 million bond - ultimate cost $72.8 million over 42 years.

Sticker Shock: In 2008, Poway Unified School District (San Diego County) secured voter approval covering $105 million in bonds. It was recently discovered that landowners will have to pay $981 million over the next 40 years to repay the bonds.

Interest rate and term dramatically impact the cost of repayment. Escalon property owners will pay no more than an extra $44.40 per $100 in assessed value for 42 years. The interest rate has not been provided to voters. This projection assumes that Escalon property values will climb 4 percent per year for the next 42 years - seems like wishful thinking at best.

We've been told Sonora High's measure would raise annual property taxes by $22 per $100,000 of assessed value. That seems low, unless an assumption is built-in that has area property values rising significantly for the next several decades. My question is this: As with any loan, shouldn't we all know how much it will cost to repay the locally requested bonds, along with how long we will be in debt?

The financial data is too sketchy: Vote NO on Measure J and H.

Ray Anderson


Support Brennan for Supervisor

To the Editor,

A time to vote, a time to decide. First, I would like to express my appreciation to the County Supervisor that represents my district. She has been at it a long time. I can appreciate all the hours she has put in trying to make this county a better place for all of us.

Unfortunately, there were too many 4-1 votes with my Supervisor on the losing end of most of them. Sometimes I agreed with her reasoning, but most of the time I did not. It is for this reason that I urge voters in District 1 to support Sherri Brennan and cast your vote for her.

I have talked to Sherri on several occasions and I think she is bright, articulate, and energetic. I think she will represent us all to the very best of her ability. I also think she is the type of person who will listen to her constituents and do her very best to help in any way she can. Whether you agree with me or not, at the very least make sure you vote come election time.

David Utecht


Stop stealing signs

To the Editor,

Hey, Tuolumne County! Please do not steal or damage elections signs. I know they have appeared everywhere, but they are expensive!

I support Carrie Ashe for the Summerville Union High School District Board and have personally paid for and planted many of her campaign signs. They are not cheap, and it's hard work climbing up those embankments!

Everybody get out there and vote!

We have some great candidates running in Tuolumne County this year! And, remember Carrie Ashe for Summerville High School Board!

Jody Kellerman


Vote carefully

To the Editor,

I want to thank Ralph (Retherford) for his October 18 letter. You are so right when you say the Tuolumne Utilities District needs new blood. The "transfusion" started with your resignation and the election of Behee four years ago, and appointments of Ringen and Dahlin this year.

I urge voters to examine the facts regarding TUD. Take a look specifically at the years Retherford was a director. We have seen documentation showing years of income versus expenses which raised major concerns to us about what has happened under Retherford's watch.

Who actually voted for the employee wage and benefit increases? Were the rates kept artificially low? How did the monies that were collected from connection fees that builders and developers get deposited and used, shouldn't those funds have been put into a capital improvement fund? Has the infrastructure for our water supply been adequately maintained or updated, which, a capital improvement fund could have provided for?

My husband Tod, and I have spent hours with Ron Ringen, including time at the flume and along the ditch, learning about our water supply that we have naively taken for granted. We have seen pipes that are massively corroded.

Are we prepared to the best of our abilities to have water supplied to us without interruption in the event of disaster (natural or otherwise)?

Make sure your candidate(s) are well-informed about the actual condition of the infrastructure of TUD, and what the value of each employee really is to the operation of TUD. Ask the candidates why they want to serve on the TUD board.

Please carefully look at your choices before you vote to help ensure our water supply for our years to come.

Marianne Ringen

Twain Harte

Voting is important

To the Editor,

I've heard from numerous people lately, including my own daughter today, that they aren't going to bother to vote because it won't make a difference. Maybe one vote can't make much of a difference, but together, we can make a big one.

If you don't go vote then you are one of "we the sheeple," content to let other people make decisions that will affect the rest of your life and the lives of your children. Vote and become a part of "we the people."

Together we really can make a change and it's simple; go vote for anyone, of any party you choose, as long as they aren't currently in office. If other words, use your vote to say you want to fire those people not doing their jobs. If the new ones don't do their job, we can fire them as well.

I realize that we only have two choices for president and you'll have to decide the less of two evils, as I did. However, for most public office there are usually more than just two candidates. It is possible that the people were fed up with their inability to accomplish anything but padding their own pockets; and that they weren't going to be in office for long if they don't do their jobs, they would be more inclined to work for us instead of for themselves, which certainly seems the case these days.

Please stop being one of "we the sheeple" and become a part of "we the people."

Just vote!

Gina Davenport


McClintock will prevail; why?

To the Editor,

Though I have seldom heard or read anything about our local Congressman Tom McClintock, there is little doubt that he will be re-elected. Why?

Because he is a Republican and supports the Republican platform which was proclaimed at the Republican Convention in Tampa. For example, to help restore America's greatness and prosperity, Mr. McClintock wants to ensure that American women are denied their reproductive rights and make abortion a crime. In other words he wants to keep government off the backs of women. A champion of free enterprise, he wants to return to Wall Street's glory days of 1929 when government regulation was non-existent.

(The Congressman would prefer to ignore the Crash of '29 and the subsequent Great Depression. In 1932, the unemployment rate reached 25 percent.)

To provide additional security to American homes and businesses he will fight any restriction's on the sale of assault weapons.

Thus, an individual will be able to fend off mobs of lunatics.

And after dismantling the Affordable Health Care Act, millions of newly uninsured Americans will be able to utilize the Emergency Room of their choice. And to increase private property rights Mr. McClintock will fight to eliminate the ERA and abolish clean air and water laws, thus restoring America as the land of the free.

And of course a Romney and McClintock victory means no No more Obama signs on Phoenix Lake Road.

Daniel Connell


Support Measure H

To the Editor,

Yes on Summerville's Measure H!

Let's get beyond all the nitpicking on the Summerville bond. We should remember this bond extension is all about students! We want them to have the best facilities we can muster. Yes, we have to pay for it. They are our students after all. For the district's facility plan or to apply for the Citizens Bond Oversight Committee, go to the school's website and download it.

Let's turn out on November 6 and cast a vote for our students, our community, our future generation. Go Bears!

John Keiter


Summerville High School

Help our students

To the Editor:

Summerville High has my yes vote on Measure H.

I am a second generation Bear graduate, and my kids will be the third. Measure H deserves our support.

We'll be able to get some of the facilities that we've been wanting for years!

Technology will be improved, buildings updated, and handicap access improved. There's a reason that Measure H is supported by the Tuolumne Chamber of Commerce, Supervisors, and local businesses. They all know that Measure H is financially good for our school and surrounding community property values.

Great schools and communities drive up demand for homes in the area and increase property value. I own a home in Tuolumne, and am more than excited to show my support of youth in our community by voting YES on H. We are not leaving our kids with more debt, but investing in their future.

In turn, they will do the same for generations that follow. If you support our kids, and believe that we can still make a difference in our own community, prove it by voting yes.

Dave Sanders, Jr.