Union Democrat staff

Get unification

on a ballot

To the Editor:

Unscientific polls from local media outlets have shown the people of Tuolumne County overwhelmingly support unification. Unification does not change school boundaries, close schools, require contract negotiations or combine any schools. All unification calls for is the phasing out of a few very costly positions that are no longer needed and/or producing very little relative to costs.

So why are we wasting tens of millions of dollars paying salaries and perks to those whose positions are no longer needed?

Two reasons: First the bar for achieving unification has been set unfairly high - strongly favoring the present bureaucracy. The other - there are those who wish to deceive and mislead you. You saw this last month with Mr. Spisak and recently, more of the same from Mr. McFarland.

In a 1996 a study "prepared by" Educational Research Consultants, Inc. was touted as the reason local school boards shot down unification of the Sonora High School District. Their conclusion was that Sonora schools were growing and soon there would be "over 6,000 (students) in just the eight Sonora High School District schools."

For the 2012-2013 school year the actual number of students in those schools was 3,973 - down 28 percent from 1995. That study concluded that "having 5,000 to 7,000 in a district" was a manageable number of students for a single district. Current enrollment for all Tuolumne County is 5,888 - forecast to drop another 7 percent in five years.

Mr. McFarland, if you want another study the cost is $20,000 and takes a year. If any folks want to do their own "study," our volunteers will provide you with documented facts - do not be mislead - draw your own conclusions.

Time means money and further setbacks for our children. Help cut our loses - sign a petition and get unification on a ballot.

Domenic Torchia


Dark side

of the Rim Fire

To the Editor:

Take a horrible event like the Rim Fire. Twist the facts upside down, and blame your political opponents for the disaster.

In an ad last week, a group stooped to this tactic. They showed us that their number-one priority is using the fire for political gain, not healing the forest.

Shame on the Tuolumne County Farm Bureau for embracing the dark side.

Melinda Wright