Union Democrat staff

Drought is a bad time to close pools

To the Editor:

Here we are, in the worst drought in history. A 12 percent snowpack. Ordered by the water district to cut consumption by 50 percent (while paying 100 percent rates). Limited outside watering, or just let the plants die. Do not fill swimming pools. Forget the vegetable garden. Collect gray water in buckets and tote them around to do laundry, flush toilets, water trees. Okay, it is about time Californians learned to conserve their most precious resource. Hopefully the big water users will do their part, although they're not saying much.

Summer is sure to be hot and dry, so it is a bad time to close public swimming pools. Congress lives on another planet, but how can local officials be so out of touch? They need to get every community pool in working order, and plan for an extended season with extended hours. Postpone non-essential projects that would close pools or limit use. Stop Sonora High from destroying their pool.

Our residents are facing considerable inconvenience, lifestyle changes and landscape/livelihood losses due to this extreme drought. The Board of Supervisors, recreation department and county administration should rearrange their priorities to mitigate impact and provide some relief. Keeping the pools open would at least be a good start.

Mary Tune

Twain Harte

Unification may not save schools money

To the Editor:

I decided to write this letter because recently I was at The Junction shopping center, and I heard the person at a table out front telling a couple how unification is going to save a lot of money for our children. We need to get to the truth on both sides.

First, when you remove all of the superintendents, some who are sharing services between districts, you have to pay the principal one-third to half the cost to take over duties of running the school. No principal is going to get that responsibility and do the work for nothing. Extra cost!

Next, you have to raise all teacher's salaries to the highest in the county. Elementary to the highest district, high school to the highest district. Extra cost! That is true for all support staff too.

You can't lay off any personnel for two years (by-laws). So there will be no savings for at least two years! One superintendent can't be at all districts at the same time. What about emergencies such as active shooter incident, fire, and others? Along with this you have two major bond issues at the high schools. We haven't received information about how the debt is handled if you unify into one district. There may be added debt to your taxes.

So, before jumping to conclusions, research the issues, get the facts, and make an informed decision before you sign on the dotted line.

Dennis Spisak

Twain Harte, Summerville High School Board member