Here we go again.

To the Editor:

The city is stepping up their landscaping plans for the downtown.

The City of Sonora, through the Tuolumne County Transportation Council, is hosting a five-hour open house to showcase their new designs for Washington Street between Snell Street and Stockton Road.

Why they chose the middle of the workday in the busiest season of the year is beyond me. People are busy and business owners have a hard time prying themselves away from their storefront between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Is it unfair to say they are trying to sneak one past us?

Three proposals will be presented by their hired consultants. The public will be encouraged to identify areas where parking should be removed to add parklets. By my understanding, the public will not be invited to identify areas that should remain as parking places.

The city has already received a petition signed by nearly 400 people stating their opposition to the Vision Sonora plans, specifically street closures and the removal of downtown parking spaces.

The city has proven to be unable to maintain the few spots of landscaping they have. And the proposals we’ve seen so far only serve to degrade the historic look of Sonora.

In any event, the Community Design and Mobility Workshop Open House is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 14 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the second floor of City Hall. At 9 a.m. the consultant will make a special presentation to the members of the Vision Sonora committee.

If you want a new park, get down there ‘cause they want to hear from you. If you want to preserve the downtown and keep parking available for a viable business district, you probably want to attend as well so you can see what is in store for you.

Elena Linehan

Sonora

Show us the data

To the Editor:

I would like to thank Tuolumne County Business Council (TCBC) for taking the time to respond to me (as well as many others) who are concerned about TCEDA’s lack of transparency and measurable performance outcomes relative to their stated role in creating new private capital investments and increases in jobs. All of which involve entrepreneurship from citizens, having a great product or services and investing private money.

I agree that TCEDA can be the first point of contact for potential new businesses and has created the Innovation Lab project. There are, as TCBC has pointed out, some local businesses and politicians that value the organization. But I must again challenge the organization for its failure to publicly disclose basic information on how they came up with $126 million in private economic investments and 1,200 new jobs due to their organizational performance. I have requested and received hundreds of documents from three Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests attempting to determine if these claims are accurate and if their strategic goals and objectives have ever been accomplished, especially claims about Innovation Lab achievements. None of the documents and reports publicly disclosed to-date on their website, to me, or the TCEDA Board of Directors have ever substantiated any of the financial or job creation accomplishments made directly by TCEDA.

To paraphrase the fictional character Jerry McGuire’s words, “Show me the money.” We are asking that TCEDA (www.tceda.net) now “show us the data.” Only in this way can the taxpayers of Tuolumne County be assured that the $500,000 annual expenditure for this two-person operation is worth the investment going forward. Show us the data and name the 1,200 businesses created or expanded, the private financial investments for each new business or job ($126 million total) and list the product/services now being provided. Publish the data.

Ken Perkins

Sonora

19011882