Union Democrat staff


landlord policy

To the Editor:

The TUD board recently changed the landlord billing procedure from directly billing tenants to directly billing landlords instead. A very smart move as a number of county water companies already have this policy in place and TUD should be no different. TUD is not a bill collection agency and customers should not subsidize the landlord in this venture! 2000 man hours used to open and close tenant's accounts and collect on the tenant's water bills. Those hours can be used in a more productive manner I am sure. The property owner is 100 percent labile at the end of the day to make TUD whole if the tenant does not pay. I don't see a hardship for the landlord to scan the bill and email it to the tenant and have them pay you when rent is due. The argument that now that the tenant is not getting the bill directly will give them zero incentive to conserve is weak. Doesn't the rental agreement spell out the tenant is responsible to pay ALL utilities? As a responsible landlord I would think you had a conversation with them on conserving as they still pay for their water use. How many landlords have up-to-date waterwise washing machines and dishwashers and low flow toilets and sink spouts in their properties? That sends a very big message to tenants that their landlord cares a great deal about water conservation. I can only imagine the risks and headache of being a landlord but if you do not want to be responsible for that risk then you should not be a landlord. In closing, to those who call Board Members liars and harass staff, it is uncalled for and does not help your cause!

Mary McHugh

Twain Harte

Bravo to FOAC, SAF

To the Editor:

Bravo to the Sonora Area Foundation for their assistance to Friends of the Animal Community in their efforts to rehabilitate and manage Paws Inn. FOAC is the ideal volunteer organization to breathe new life into this existing boarding facility, which will benefit both FOAC and our community. FOAC's accomplishments are many and deserving of support and recognition.

Last year alone FOAC rescued 209 dogs and 28 cats. Since being founded in 2001, FOAC has supported 1141 dogs and 328 cats from Animal Control. This number does not include the 1000 plus animals rescued and re-homed from the community. These efforts have helped lower the euthanasia rate in Tuolumne County from 50 percent in 2000 to 25 percent in 2012, half of the estimated state average. Helping animals is not cheap. It costs approximately $220 to 250 for each healthy dog rescued, $120 to $150 to spay or neuter and $110 to 120 for exams, shots, vaccinations, chips, etc.

In addition to fostering or adopting a dog, you can support FOAC by buying a ticket for their "Garden Paw-ty" fundraiser on May 17 or entering their "Me and My Pet Look Alike" contest (www.FOAC.us.) Thank you to FOAC and the Sonora Area Foundation. You do Tuolumne County proud!

Diane Kirkpatrick

Twain Harte