Too many outside consultants

To the Editor:

Why are the city and county contracting outside consultants for everything involving county government?

A few examples are cited:

1. The Sonora City Council is in the process of designing bus stops in the downtown area. I think it is wasteful spending of grant funds (tax dollars) for the development. I am shocked at the engineering design costs for which are approved at $270,000 for a outside national firm.

2. The Greenley Road extensions or bypass is another example, study after study, and another $120,000 recently approved to upgrade the previous study.

3. The Standard Park Recreation expansion project submitted with no bathrooms because of funding.

4. The recent lawsuit concerning TCEDA, $80,000 plus, contracted with an outside attorney group to defend the county.

4. The sale of the Wildcat Ranch Property to expand the recreational facilities, another study for designs and the construction will be based on obtaining grant funds. We now have a possible suit concerning the sale, another outside attorney group to represent the school?

We need city and county leaders to be more diligent in spending/managing our tax dollars. This can be done by utilizing existing staff or local contractors to provide support if needed in an advisory role. Grant funds are not free.

Ed Anderson


What reform should look like

To the Editor:

This is what proper immigration reform should look like. It should include the wall, increased surveillance, enhanced detection measures at the ports of entry, enhanced visa tracking and enforcement, updated asylum protocol, a guest worker program, and give it all teeth.

Drones and other high-tech systems can be used to support the wall system and supplement coverage where a wall isn’t practicable. These surveillance systems can’t be a substitute for a wall because the intent is to stop an illegal crossing not to be able to observe it. Once they are across they fall into a different category. They are eligible for due process, given a court date and are released into the population. There is no real incentive to come back.

Modernized ports of entry with enhanced detection measures to stop attempts to bring in drugs and contraband are overdue. An expanded wall system is needed to obstruct drug and other trafficking along the border.

Borders aren’t the only point of illegal immigration. Advanced systems need to be put in place to track visas, expiration dates, and provide notification of violations.

Asylum protocol needs to be updated so the system can’t be abused. There needs to be well known clear procedures put in place. Asylum claims can’t be used for a get out of jail free card for illegal crossings.

A well-regulated guest worker program can be used to meet some of the labor needs in this country. There needs to be set lengths for the worker visas, job categories, tracking, and required return to native country.

The teeth aspect would include harsh penalties. Missing an immigration court date would result in an automatic deportation order. Visa violations would result in deportation orders. Probation periods would be included and too many strikes would result in a permanent ban.

This is clear and simple and shouldn’t take a destructive government shutdown to get done.

James Brown


Shutdown consequences

To the Editor:

When a political party or a president, shuts down the government in order to push their political agenda, and puts thousands of federal workers into financial crisis, along with our entire country into a financial crisis, then it should be under the laws that:

The income salary is also stopped for that political party’s president, congressmen, and senators. And that it is not retroactively paid back, when the government shutdown is over, like it is for the federal workers.

This way there are financial consequences to the leaders and members of that political party for putting the country’s federal workers in financial turmoil, just for their “political party’s agendas.”

Otherwise, how else could you prevent a diabolical plan, of an unethical political party takeover of the country. Such as, say a Republican president, Republican congressmen, and senators, who are also getting large supplemental incomes, say, from the petroleum, steel and mining industries, and won’t feel the loss of their government salary, from a government shutdown, so that’s why they create a shutdown.

Thus, they are able to take over the country by starving out their opposition, such as all the Democrat congressman and senators; in addition, to the entire country’s innocent federal workforce, who are all dependent on their salary income.

How else can you prevent the taking over and taking away of our country’s freedoms and our stable economy, for the short-sighted political agenda if unethical political leaders? (Leaders who would rather build a border wall, instead, of funding federal workers to secure the border.)

Doris Grinn

Mi-Wuk Village

Excellent opinion

To the Editor:

I thought the guest opinion on keeping Wildcat Ranch was excellent. Numerous potential educational and training activities and sources of financial and other support were presented. If some of the suggested activities had been pursued earlier and were in place, maybe there would have be less need, or more reasons not, to sell the property.

Bill Hansen