Too many closings

To the Editor:

I was very sad to read that Talulahs closed. My wife and I would go to Saturday Mass, dinner at Talulahs then go to Stage 3. We called it our Pray Eat Play date.

Walter Reed


Who hired Larry Cope

To the Editor:

I would like to know who negotiated the original contract with Larry Cope and who signed the contract. Also, I would like to know which board members subsequently approved salary increases.

It makes no sense why Cope would be the fourth highest paid employee in the county government and be granted generous benefits no other employee received. Someone negotiated these terms and the taxpayers footing the bill have a right to know who was initially and subsequently responsible for such unbelievable terms.

The article in today’s paper listed various individuals who served on the TCEDA board, so let’s narrow it down to who was responsible for this fiasco.

Patricia Lawler


Community Economic Development – What next?

To the Editor:

Now that both the 2018 and 2019 Grand Jury investigations have brought the 10-year TCEDA saga to a final conclusion, what next? What can be done now that the slate has been wiped clean but there is still a need for an advocate to help grow and maintain our local economy for the next generation of entrepreneurs and business owners?

Our county leaders’ plan is to essentially wash, rinse and recycle that same old approach that got us stuck into this economic cul-de-sac in the first place. We don’t need more government and more spending without clear measurable objectives. I recommend they not create a new economic development department for the next 12 months. Turns out it didn’t matter much the past 10 years.

The City of Sonora has a better plan. Hire an outside expert to gather input from local business owners and other stakeholders then let them decide how to implement the recommendations. No need for another permanent government employee collecting $100K-plus in salary and retirement benefits per year.

Next, let’s elect new supervisors in 2020 who will make sound economic development decisions that would include reducing governmental spending, executive hiring and costly regulations and fees. We need supervisors who will conduct quantifiable Return- on-Investment (ROI) analysis vs. the good-old-boy “subjective analysis” as highlighted by Supervisor Gray’s response to the Grand Jury report.

Lastly, more governmental transparency is still needed. The Grand Jury has noted that this has not been totally settled. They looked at the TCEDA’s nonprofit arm, the Economic Prosperity Council of Tuolumne County, and determined “the public should be able to see the findings from a review of potential conflicts of interest that was conducted by the County Counsel’s Office.” The results are considered attorney-client privilege. Sounds very similar to their response to my Public Records Act lawsuit which initially discovered the government’s lack of transparency. According to the report “the public has a right to evaluate whether any conflicts existed.” It is unfortunate that the jury will not pursue the matter due to the potential legal costs to taxpayers. Maybe this needs fresh new eyes from a higher authority.

The bottom line is that whatever changes are made in the coming months by our leaders, they will have to regain trust from the public. A good start would be new leadership. What happens next is up to us. Follow the news — information is power — shop locally, get involved and vote.

Ken Perkins


Liberals' incessant whining

To the Editor:

I realize that the incessant, nauseating whining of the Trump-haters will likely bring about the very thing they dread the most: another four years of Trump, but I am sick to death of listening to their tantrums and putting up with their hypocritical ravings.

They rant about Trump being the king of liars while ignoring the eight-year record of their hero Obama, who proved himself to be head and shoulders above all other pretenders to the throne. Compared to Obama, all other practitioners of deception fade into insignificance. How's that for whining?

When they can't prove any wrongdoing on Trump's part after years of their own hacks spending millions of dollars on an investigation, liberals openly start countless other investigations for the purpose of harassing our president and his family. Then they blame him for dividing our nation.

Where are the conservative commentators in our community? I realize many of us are working overtime just to survive while supporting the entitled, but let's not abdicate our responsibilities to misguided individuals who fled "enlightened society" to live here and now want to turn us into the cesspool they escaped from.

Write and let your feelings be known. If they publish me, they'll publish you

David Peters


Wild West Fest success

To the Editor:

I would like to congratulate and thank the City of Sonora and Sonora's main street merchants for sponsoring a most successful Old West Fest on Saturday May 18.

As one of the many local participating individuals and groups, I found that people were visiting from as far away as Merced, Modesto, Galt, Sacramento and the Bay Area for this event. Many were carrying full shopping bags away from local stores and shops proving that downtown Sonora should not be considered down and out.

I sincerely hope this first ever event is not the last, as I look forward to participating in the future.

Donn Marinovich