New supervisors needed

To the Editor:

We have our backs to the wall. Unemployment is high and our population is declining. Our roads need repair and coverage for high-speed internet and cell phones is poor. Our kids must leave the county to find a good job.

Irresponsible financial management by our Board of Supervisors has put us $5 million in debt. Our supervisors say, “Things will get worse.” “Get used to bad roads.” There is no money to fix the roads, for after-school programs, to strengthen our community centers or operate the library. There is no focus to bring in new businesses with good-paying jobs.

Our Board of Supervisors approved a $42 million, 230 person jail. Only $33 million is provided by the state. Operating costs are $8.3 million per year. When full, the yearly cost per inmate is about $36,000. When less than full, the cost is much higher.

Do we expect the jail to be full? Did we negotiate commitments from other counties to pay a fraction of the cost? Or, are we stuck holding the bag? The $8.3 million per year could have funded other priorities. How did jails become our top priority?

We need new supervisors who will focus on building our community and on bringing in outside money. We need new supervisors who will focus on making our community a great place for new businesses and good-paying jobs. Other counties throughout California are doing this with great success. So can we!

Last year, Ryan Campbell and his team solicited and were awarded grants totaling $2.4 million to take down the dead pine trees that threatened our roads and our homes. This is the action and the type of person we need for supervisor. Vote for Ryan Campbell to replace Randy Hanvelt for District 2 Supervisor.

Marvin Keshner


Legal pot destroys communities

To the Editor:

Fantastic. More private homes busted in Calaveras County in connection with an international crime syndicate that has been cashing in on the greedy rush to get rich off the pot industry in California.

Five hundred federal agents raiding 70 locations including our neighbors across the river, seizing over 62,000 plants, hundreds of pounds of processed marijuana and numerous guns. Yet we in Tuolumne County and the city of Sonora are determined to bring upon ourselves the same plague.

And sadly, city and county officials seem unable or unwilling to stand up to the industry for fear of losing a few votes or a few dollars. The only supervisorial candidate in Tuolumne County who has openly and publicly stated his objection to the marijuana industry is Anaiah Kirk, who is running in the 3rd district to replace Evan Royce. As a correctional counselor, he is well aware of the crime that accompanies this industry.

Laurie Sylwester, another 3rd District candidate, refused to say that she would oppose commercial marijuana in Tuolumne County during my conversation with her, saying only that it should be taxed if allowed. Not good enough.

Calaveras County leaders said the same thing and look at the fix they are in. The people of this County are not stupid. We have only to read the papers to see what waits for us and our children if we give in.

Supervisor Royce and other supporters of marijuana never tire of reminding us that 52 percent of county voters voted for Proposition 64 in 2016.. But I can guarantee you that if that election were held today, the results would be very different. We were duped once, but never again.

David Peters


Justice is served

To the Editor:

The Tuolumne County Business Council is very pleased with the decision by Judge Frank Dougherty to rule against the lawsuit brought by Citizens for Responsible Growth, and their President Barbara Farkas, towards the Stone Mill Center at the Pedro Y in Sonora/Columbia.

The attorney for the more aptly named ‘Citizens Responsible for No Growth’ attempted to convince Judge Dougherty that an extensive and expensive Environmental Impact Report was required for the project to move forward.

Those of us who were in attendance were impressed with the thorough research that Judge Dougherty conducted and the logical way in which he reached his decision that an EIR was not required for a site development permit that is typically a simple administrative permit in most Counties.

We were dumbfounded that no members of Citizens for Responsible Growth were in attendance for the proceedings, given the considerable legal costs that they have caused and incurred in the creation of this lawsuit.

The Tuolumne County Business Council is optimistic that this court decision will mark the end of frivolous lose-lose lawsuits designed solely to slow down needed improvements in our county and add unnecessary expense.

The developer, Columbia Union LLC, incurred legal expense of $75,000 and the project was delayed for over a year. County residents did not have a local Prompt Care and our county missed out on needed jobs, fees and tax revenue.

The tax revenue delay is especially important in these times of County budget deficits, as the $100,000 of new revenue generated yearly by the Stone Mill Center is desperately needed to reduce cuts in the services that our county currently provides.

Jeff Redoutey

President, Tuolumne
County Business Council

A clear choice

To the Editor:

To appreciate the power of propaganda to do harm, consider that the United States is the only nation on earth that officially ignores the threat of climate disruption, and that now, the Trump administration is foolishly planning to make things worse by relaxing the fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks.

Climate science is based on real things that can be measured, not wishful thinking. Science has given us a cornucopia of useful technology, lengthened our life spans through medical knowledge, and has discovered insights into the hidden workings of nature. But science is being disparaged for profit and political power.

It is laughable to hear a windbag like Rush Limbaugh act as though he has the background and expertise to reject the solid consensus of climate scientists, but there is nothing but sorrow and suffering for us on this planet if the climate changes substantially from what we humans and all the plants and animals are adapted to. It is the most serious threat we face. The laws of nature will pay no heed to propaganda, but we can use scientific knowledge to avoid disaster by reducing the quantity of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses that we put into the atmosphere.

Rep. Tom McClintock has been a reliable ally of greenhouse gas emitters. He gave a speech full of denier pseudoscience at the industry funded Heartland Institute in 2008, and he remains willfully ignorant to this day. Jessica Morse, who is campaigning to represent the 4th Congressional District, wants to restore American leadership by living up to international commitments in areas such as climate change as a matter of national security. We have a clear choice in this election between a propaganda puppet and a responsible leader. Let’s side with the truth.

John Watson