Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor - week of March 2

Squandered opportunities

I just received a phone call asking for support on Measure L. Regrettably I will not be supporting Measure L.

The Madera County Board of Supervisors has squandered many opportunities to fund additional fire and sheriff positions through their support of coffee bars in county buildings, recreational facilities that they had no business being involved with and now, to add insult to incompetency, a “Welcome to Madera County” sign that could cost the salaries of five or 10 firefighters or deputies.

I am retired on a social security fixed income as are many Madera County seniors and asking us to support a tax and spend, fiscally irresponsible government is not going to fly. Sorry.

Next election I hope to vote in a board that will more effectively take their role of providing public safety funding as their first priority.

Eric N. Loos, Oakhurst

Be responsible or suffer consequences

I can sympathize with the fire departments and sheriff’s office concerns about insufficient funding, though this problem apparently exists for a long time. The county should have taken preventive measures long ago, like eliminating wasteful spending: “For many years, the CAO ... analyzing the gap ... looking for creative solutions. They ‘quickly’ realized ...”

Well, when looking “for many years,” they certainly did not “quickly” realize. That is typical for Madera County: study, analyze, plan, have meetings, (costly) expert opinions etc. regarding everything and then come up with wrong solutions (or do nothing), like, for instance, the extremely important water predicament in this drought state.

As the situation got out of hand, I would be supportive of an increase in sales tax for a limited time - definitely not 20 years - to give the county an opportunity to rearrange their priorities. However, the money from the sales tax increase has to be put into a separate trust account to be only used for the intended purpose - no intermingling with the general account and no borrowing from the trust account, which is so common in government and leads to wasteful spending.

We all have to live within our means, including government, or suffer the consequences for our irresponsibility.

Helga Weber, Coarsegold

Politicians love taxes

Once again, we are being asked to approve another new tax, this time called a safety tax with the argument that it will make homeowners insurance rates go down by improving ISO ratings. The same proponents of this tax are also proposing that the county pay for an off road vehicle (OHV) park to the tune of $25,000 per month.

Now while some of the supervisors might feel obligated to repay a generous campaign donor, it shouldn’t be at the expense of the tax payers. Taxpayers should not pay for the entertainment of a specialized group, especially one that has been evicted from numerous other sites because of the destruction imposed by their type of activities. Even if they get part of the money from a grant, where is that grant coming from? Is it from the taxpayers? That money would pay for a least three fire fighters.

They siphoned off money from the tobacco tax fund that was supposed to be earmarked for other uses, to build a coffee kiosk in the county government building. Is this for the benefit of the taxpayers or for the convenience of those who work in the building?

I find it interesting that the new fire stations will be in or near communities where two of our county supervisors live, North Fork and Chowchilla, but it will be status quo for Coarsegold, YLP, Ahwahnee and Oakhurst.

Politicians have never seen a tax that they didn’t love. Remember the purpose of the gasoline taxes? To build, maintain and repair our highways and roads. The funds built up an excess, but instead of reducing the tax rate, our politicians put all of it into the general tax fund. Look at our roads now. And they just keep adding to our gasoline taxes because they know that we have to have it.

Measure L will add an average of 3 cents to the cost of every gallon of gas. People who make frequent trips to Madera or Fresno for medical care will feel the added expense.

Go to www.noonmeasurel.org for more information.

Sharon Holley, Oakhurst

Climate change

I attended Rep. Tom McClintock’s Town Hall Meeting in Mariposa on Feb. 21. Giving credit where credit is due, he did educate a few in attendance about how government and the judicial system works. Elsewhere, he pretty much toes the party line and continues to place party over country.

Regarding his stance that climate change is not real: Given that we owe our existence to modern science, i.e. technological advances in medicine, computer technology, the ability to forecast the weather, things we take for granted, why would we doubt what 97% of scientists are telling us about climate change when the future of our planet hangs in the balance?

He claims the last four elections demonstrate that the GOP has been given a clear mandate, perhaps, gerrymandering of voting districts and voter suppression laws designed to rig elections because they know they cannot win based on the merit of the issues, notwithstanding.

Joe Nelson, Oakhurst

Docents wanted

The Sierra Historic Sites Association (Fresno Flats) is preparing to greet the children from many mountain and Madera area schools again this year as the season for school tours is fast approaching.

During the tours, the children visit the Old Cunningham School, the Taylor Log Cabin, the Laramore House, the Raymond Jail and other buildings that have been relocated to the site. They will be involved in hands-on activities such as candle dipping and rope making, all designed to help our children learn the history of the area.

For this to happen we need help. We need docents to help the kids learn about life back in the 1800s. On March 16 we will host a free luncheon for anyone wanting more information about Fresno Flats and how to become a docent. The meeting begins at 11 a.m., and any interested parties are invited. This might be great fun for anyone who enjoys working with children.

The gathering will take place in the Cunningham School at Fresno Flats, 49777 School Road. You can call me at (559) 868-2277 for information.

Don Ashton, President SHSA, Oakhurst