Letters to the editor for January 17, 2013

Written by Union Democrat staff January 17, 2013 10:33 am

Outrage over S’ville bait and switch

To the Editor:

“Summerville High says sports a priority” for spending Measure H funds.  Not shocked. Not surprised.  Just disappointed!  Once again mislead by public officials, those who pitched H to us.  We were told about the urgent need for infrastructure repairs and improvements: roofs, gutters, plumbing, electrical and technology upgrades.  No mention of sports facilities. But, what will we get?  According to the “advisory steering committee”: sports fields, tracks, bleachers and lighting; covered outdoor areas and more security cameras.  Bait and switch!

Oh but not to worry!  There will be “transparency”: a teachers’ representative and a community member “randomly selected” by the Superintendent to be on the “advisory steering committee.”  Then an “independent” citizens’ bond oversight committee will be selected to “monitor and advise” on the use of the funds.  All the buzzwords; form over substance; sure sounds good.  Any wonder about how these hand picked people are going to affect the outcome when the ultimate decisions will be made by the Board anyway; the Board that moved sports facilities “to the top of a list . . . brainstormed late last year.” i.e, after the elections?

On first count Measure H failed by two votes.  But, miracle of miracles: upon recount paid for by a Summerville High School Foundation member it passed by two votes!   Amazing coincidence or something else?  After initially voting against H but before delivering my ballot to the Registrar I got “guilt tripped” into supporting our schools; you know, “the country’s future”, etc.  I ended up voting for it.  As did a couple of other people I know for much the same reasons. Every vote counts, just like we were taught in school.  Ours sure did.  Little did we know that our future depended upon new sports facilities rather than improvements and repairs to academic related infrastructure needs.

J.W. Mullally 

Tuolumne 

Cut businesses some slack

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to the letter from Domenic Torchia that appeared in the Jan. 7, The Union Democrat. While I agree that it is encouraging that Sonora’s Visioning program is looking at ways to make Sonora better and increase tourism I do not understand why Domenic continues to single out and try and restrict local business like Blue Mountain Minerals. Blue Mountain Minerals is one of our largest employers providing much needed jobs and revenue for our area.  Does he not understand that many businesses (both local and out of town) have their product transported by trucks on the state highway through Sonora and the trucks are neither owned by Blue Mountain Minerals nor are the drivers their employees.

If we do not want truck traffic on Washington Street (State Route 49) then we should all focus our efforts on supporting and funding viable alternative routes. Several of these alternatives have been under study at the County for many years. Domenic may remember that an alternate truck route (Greenley Road Extension) was voted down over a decade ago because of neighborhood opposition.

All Blue Mountain’s studies and proceedings during their long arduous Environmental Impact Report permitting process were legal and above-board and they volunteered to pay additional traffic mitigation fees as part of those approvals. In this highly regulated state there are no easy approvals, especially for mining companies! Blue Mountain Mineral’s employees live here and are part of this community. They are valued supporters of many charities and organizations and contribute both time and funds to improve our overall quality of life in this area.  Dominic’s accusations of crony deals cut by elected officials are unwarranted and should only be made if backed up by documentation.

Ron Kopf

Sonora