There they go again

To the Editor:

Rather than seeking to raise taxes on the people and visitors, perhaps now is the time to consider some fundamental improvements such as:

Does the city of Angels Camp need its own police force at a cost of $1.6 million? The county sheriff is seeking deputies who want to be in the Gold Country. Wow, what an opportunity.

Raising TOT taxes seems pain-free because the visitor taxpayer is unaware and unrepresented. While there is concern about visitors going elsewhere, if they become aware of the increased charges, this is not the most important consequence.

To see this more clearly, we need to consider the unseen consequences. Every dollar taken from the visitor for government is one less dollar spent in our community. If we would raise the tax from 10 percent to 50 percent, it would be clear to anyone that there would be 50 percent less spent and 50 percent fewer sales tax from this source.

On the other hand, if the city or county would repeal the TOT tax, there likely be an increase in visitor spending and an increase in visitors as well - especially if Angels Camp or the county advertised: “Come to happy Calaveras County - we tax you less.”

And there is another unseen benefit from a more prosperous local government – that is, other increased taxes received such as property tax etc.

It may be wise for the city and county to consider other cost-saving actions such as contracting out to improve service and lower costs and seeking solutions to the CalPers dilemma.

Doesn’t it seem clear now, that raising taxes is not the way to prosperity?”

Albert J. Segalla


Kudos Foothill Leadership

To the Editor:

Foothill Leadership Academy has been a wonderful addition to our county.

In the past few months, the school has been bullied by the county schools administration. FLA has always responded to their inquiries in a timely manner and answered their questions. FLA has provided them with any information they have requested. It never seems to be enough.

Public charter schools do not have all of the same requirements as a public school. This has been shared with the county on many occasions not only from the founders of the school, but also from the California Charter School Association.

The front page article in the newspaper on March 16, 2018, did not give fair press to FLA. It also did not reflect current growth in both test scores and financial information.

This school has done wonderful things for the community. This school has been a great blessing to the families who send their children there.

Please contact Foothill Leadership Academy to hear the rest of the story.

They would love to talk with you and let you know the many wonderful things that go on there. FLA Lions Roar.

Dianne Price


Many issues face next supervisor

To the Editor:

A county supervisor is suppo sed address local issues, and we have many, including fire danger, road conditions, homelessness and illegal drugs. Our incumbent supervisor, Randy Hanvelt, has had two terms and yet these problems persist. Maybe Hanvelt has given up and that is why he seems to spend much time in Washington and elsewhere attending to matters deemed more important. Perhaps having a “global executive” background is not well suited to such issues.

Ryan Campbell is younger, energetic and with greater experience for the task. He has motivation to improve county environment and opportunities for his young children. He has spent most of his working life as a journalist searching for truth, both on the East Coast and in California. Working for The Union Democrat, he covered many important stories related to Tuolumne County government reorganization, Tuolumne Utilities District and the closing of Tuolumne General Hospital.

In 2013 he started working for Tuolumne County Behavioral Health as an analyst, where he got a clear perspective on three key challenges facing our county: mental health support, substance abuse and homelessness.

One of his accomplishments involved undertaking the data-based study tracking the rising rate of opiate abuse. Ryan, who currently works for the county office of Emergency Services, was key in implementing the program in 2016 that offset the dangerous effects of the western pine bark beetle infestation. He had a major role in obtaining $2.4 million in grants, overseeing more than 25 hazard tree removal projects, involving 5,000 trees near homes and county roads.

So the question is whether you want Ryan Campbell, who has the proper experience and track record, as supervisor? Please don’t check the box at voting time because you recognize Hanvelt’s name from his big signs.

Look at the issues.

Sheri Malone


Thank you to Sheriff Mele

To the Editor:

On Feb. 22, the town of Moccasin, Groveland, and outlying areas suffered severe damage at the hands of the ‘atmospheric river’ that ran down Highway 120. Many businesses suffered damages, but none more than the Helping Hands Furniture Barn. We are a non-profit that gives our proceeds right back to our community. We were inundated with three feet of standing water and debris in all five rooms and left, with literally, seven tons of merchandise to dispose of in 30 yard dumpsters.

We contacted our wonderful volunteers who answered the call to help with the clean-up, but the task needed to take more than one day and was more than we could handle.

We attended a meeting with Sheriff Mele, Undersheriff Pooley, Traci Riggs of OES, Larry Cope, John Fisher and several more executives at the county level on March 26.

We left the meeting quite disheartened since there were no answers or ‘plan’ in place for assistance we knew we had another full day of toil ahead of us.

The next day, at 9 a.m., we were surprised with a crew of jail inmates and two deputies who were there “to do anything we needed them to do, for as long as we needed them.”

We are forever indebted to Sheriff Mele and John Fisher for providing us with the group of hard working young men who worked tirelessly to help with the clean-up.

When we thought no one at the county level was there for us, we were so very grateful for the quick action taken by Sheriff Mele and to assist us in our desperate time of need.

Patti Beaulieu