Reschedule vote on General Plan

To the Editor:

Local residents should be deeply disturbed that county supervisors are ramming through a new General Plan without providing fair opportunity for local citizens to participate. They’ve scheduled a key hearing six days before Christmas and the final hearing just two days after New Year’s Day.

In the midst of the hectic holidays, there is no realistic way for citizens to devote countless hours to review 180 pages of the revised General Plan and to find where changes were made in 536 pages of the Plan’s EIR. Planning documents are difficult reading, and there is no possibility for a careful review with the first hearing scheduled for Dec. 19.

As of Dec. 5, plan materials weren’t even available. Once posted online, citizens would need to review the 700 pages in less than two weeks amongst holiday demands. Even worse, the county plans to limit each speaker to just three minutes.

A General Plan revision sets planning direction far into the future. Policies can affect schools, roads, traffic, noise levels, and public safety. For example, the proposed General Plan fails to prevent new development from being approved in high-fire-risk locations. Policies can affect you personally.

The chance for county residents to influence those policies comes once in decades. But current county supervisors are so aligned with pro-development interests, they are rushing forward with their pre-determined decision.

County planning staff has acknowledged that the rushed timeline by the Board is to ensure two outgoing supervisors get to vote. There is no valid reason for favoring those departing supervisors. It actually is more appropriate to allow supervisors who voters just elected to at least weigh in.

County residents deserve the opportunity to effectively participate. Hearings should be rescheduled in January – not six days before Christmas — to allow time for fair review and meaningful input.

John Buckley

Twain Harte

Inspiring proclamation

To the Editor:

In regards of the Thanksgiving celebration, why is it no presentation was made in regards to the U.S. president’s Thanksgiving Proclamation for 2018. I had to look up other sources to find it. It was awe inspiring and gave thanks to God for His benevolent care.

Martinus Dykxhoorn

Sonora

Growth is wealth, really?

To the Editor:

Really, then why has Tuolumne County been fed this baloney for decades, and, why aren’t we all beyond rich and living a life in clover? Well, the easy answer is that growth is not the same thing as wealth.

I am totally pro-wealth. But wealth needs to be defined in its true meaning and value, Tuolumne County’s wealth is our county’s natural and cultural assets, our historic uniqueness, community identity, our wild and woolly existence, breathtaking rural beauty (the oak trees, the open space, mountains, the agriculture land, historic sites), all of which our multi-million dollar tourist industry and we, the locals, enjoy, and have come to depend on, and, the very reason we moved here to live our lives and raise our families!

The inconvenient truth is that wealth does not need growth to survive. It is the exact opposite. Once we allow ourselves to uncouple the word growth from wealth, we immediately see how confused people are who use the label anti-growth. The label these people use equates to being anti-wealth.

With the Tuolumne County population stagnant or declining, with a Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors about to ram through a revised EIR/General Plan with very short public timelines for response, please attend the Tuolumne County Planning Commission meeting at 4 p.m. Dec. 19 in the Board of Supervisors meeting room, and the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors meeting at 4 p.m. Jan. 3 to let them know how you feel about this ram through of the revised General plan even though many of the community comments/requests for changes and an extension of time for review and comments appear to have been swept under the rug.

What’s the big rush – this process has been drug out over six years?

Ron Ringen

Sonora

What would Jesus think?

To the Editor:

I wrote a letter on Jan. 12, 2017 where I said “Get a copy of the Constitution and read it to see that Trump could be in violation of some of it; like blind trusts, collusion and the emoluments clause.” This is all happening now.

Trump said over and over that he had nothing to do with Russia. We are finding out that this is one of many lies (thousands) that he tells.

I was raised to be honest and that lies were a bad thing. It was also not a good thing to kill journalists. Now, there is no penalty if you kill and dismember journalists. Our so-called president thinks that thug leaders are fine because they flatter him and that money is more important than human rights.

An article in your paper on Nov. 30 asked a question about the raising suicide rate in the U.S. Mike Stobbe stated “Financial struggles, a widening income gap and divisive politics are all casting a pall over many Americans. I really do believe that people are increasingly hopeless and that leads to drug use, it leads potentially to suicide.”

Christmas used to be a season of hope and joy. What would Jesus think about our leaders in the White House? This should be a time of peace on earth, not a time for greed, power and corruption.

Sydney Taylor

Sonora

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