Opinion

Just say ‘no’ to YARTS

With the Fresno Council of Government (FCOG) and Supervisor Wheelers approval of running YARTS buses up Highway 41 to Yosemite, the proverbial camel’s nose is now completely under the tent. Mark my words, within 10-15 years if not sooner, all private vehicle parking in Yosemite Valley will be gone! This has been the goal of the National Park Service (NPS) since the 1980 General Management Plan (GMP). Since 1980 over 6000 parking spaces have already been removed.

Even though the language of the GMP 1980 plan was changed in 2014 to “The intent of the National Park Service is to remove automobile congestion from Yosemite Valley ….”, the NPS’s goal is still the same no matter what type of word games they play. What do the words “remove automobile congestion” mean? That is up to interpretation, and will accelerate the removal of the remaining private vehicle parking spaces in Yosemite Valley under the guise of “congestion management”. We know how trustworthy government officials promises are; You can keep your healthcare and your doctor if you want to, smog fees would never be more than $20, not a smidgen of corruption with the IRS, Hiding Government emails to avoid transparency, etc….

With this this final leg of YARTS which completes covering four corridors into Yosemite, an unelected group of bureaucrats (Fresno COG) are now controlling millions of taxpayers’ dollars and we can’t vote them out of office! Any public official who is making rules and policy on spending our tax money should be directly accountable to the voters. Fresno doesn’t care about supporting commerce in Madera County, they want the business for themselves and they want tax funding from Madera County. Unfortunately they have the support of Supervisor Wheeler who is usurping the will of a majority of mountain communities and businesses who have made it abundantly clear over the past 20 years that they see no benefit of having YARTS.

All the money to support this rubber tire boondoggle with the exception of the fare box comes from tax payers. This also diverts money from other programs the tax money was originally targeted for and subsidizes entertainment and transportation for park employees. Rob Peter to Pay for Paul! Gee, I guess if I was a park employee I’d love it to! Seems they forget who is paying the freight!

Supervisor Wheeler who sits on the YARTS Joint Powers Authority board and the Fresno COG will now pick winners and losers by deciding where buses stop. No conflict of interest here right? If running a bus from the Yosemite airport to Yosemite is such a great idea, a “no brainer’ as Dick Whittington says” then why not let private free market entrepreneurs capitalize on this opportunity. Why burden taxpayers for entertainment and subsidize park employees? This is a rubber tire boondoggle just like the High Speed Rail boondoggle and a subsidized Amtrak boondoggle that is losing billions every year!

Supervisor Wheeler is quoted as saying “Constituents have been contacting me for years asking what could be done to increase transportation opportunities in our area, ”People want to be able to get to and from Fresno for doctor appointments, to visit family, and even to shuttle to and from the airport so they do not have to pay to leave their vehicle”.

Since when is it the tax payers' responsibility to pay for transportation to doctor appointments, visit families, and get subsidized fares to and from airports for entertainment on the backs of tax payers?

Our Supervisors and local politicians should be doing everything possible to reduce the size of government spending, not expand it. That’s called fiscal responsibility.

Former Supervisor Frank Bigelow and current Supervisor Rick Farinelli have it right on YARTS in Madera County. Supervisor Wheeler is on the wrong side of this issue.

When establishing government policies, principled solutions should always trump pragmatic solutions. The principles of a free market vs. a tax payer subsidized government run program is far more efficient and it is a win/win situation for all. Fiscal responsibility vs. big tax and spend government and Individual responsibility vs. Government mandated policies.

Principles always win! A pragmatic solution always fails in the end. All you have to do is look at how a pragmatic approach to Welfare has contributed to the breakup of millions of families producing more crime, more violence and more jail inmates.

Just say No to YARTS.

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