Union Democrat staff

TUD board needs to face harsh realities

To the Editor:

I attended the TUD board meeting Tuesday and listened to the fiscal year budget proposal, as director Mikkelson pointed out, "without a Strategic Plan." Not knowing or caring a lot about budgets, I took a few notes and then caught this. The TUD employees gave up a 2 percent COLA in order to pave the way for a scheduled rate increase of 2.7 percent. This needed increase would help with the rapidly deteriorating and unattended infrastructure like water tanks and pipes, the things that bring clean water to our homes. In "good faith" TUD employees took the cut for you, the rate payer, and the new board refuses to raise the rates because they were elected to do so? The employees are struggling to maintain services with outdated and deteriorating equipment; securing services for our communities under adverse weather conditions and you, Tuolumne County citizens and ratepayers, elected this Board?

TUD set up a Public Advisory Committee to discuss discounting by approximately $400,000 the clean water hook-up fees to an apartment project because it is new development and we need jobs. Diminishing salaries of current employees, and reducing their benefits, would discourage any young person from staying in this county and who would apply for a job with an agency that violates their employee's good faith? Now, where do you stand on increasing the rates for clean water and service by 2.7 percent?

Barbara Farkas


Neighbor grateful for cat rescue help

To the Editor:

On Sunday, Sept. 15, my "house" cat got out in the morning and did not return home that day or night. I feared for her life as have various wild animals who roam our neighborhood. I drove around the area but did not find her as did other family members. Monday afternoon upon returning from a meeting, I was greeted by my niece and her husband who they knew where Miss Kitty was … high up in a neighbor's tree! No one was able to coax her down. The neighbors, Larry and Diane, did all they could to rescue her through Wednesday morning, the fourth day Kitty has been in the tree without food or water, though the neighbors has provided both for her. On Wednesday morning with the help of a friend and several ladders the men were able to get out of the tree, and she was home that day.

I cannot say how much these caring neighbors did to solve the problem, spending three full days of working with all suggestions on how to rescue the cat and keeping me advised of Miss Kitty's situation the entire time. With neighbors such as Larry and Diane it is not wonder I enjoy living in Tuolumne County so much.

Thanks again Larry and Diane!

Jane Walsh