Open your eyes, A.G.
First we read that the city of Arroyo Grande is short funds for improvements and pay raises. Then we hear they want to move ahead with the Centennial/City Hall project.
For years, the city leaders underfunded the repairs and maintenance budget for the city buildings, allowing them to deteriorate without reinvesting in their infrastructure. As a result, they now claim the buildings are beyond repair and need to be torn down.
The city council acknowledges that sales tax revenues are down. That is because the current administration’s interpretations of zoning and use codes provide restrictions that make it uninviting for new businesses to settle in Arroyo Grande. Currently, processing a review for a new business license takes two weeks or more. This equates to two weeks of lost revenue to the proprietor and the city.
Arroyo Grande is becoming a ghost town along Grand Avenue, yet the leaders continue to put their efforts toward a “theme park Village” while the town crumbles around them. Keep the Village historic and real, and open your eyes to the rest of the city.
Mark and Julie H. London
Bad for business
Regarding “Lawmakers to take up bill that would expand state’s anti-sweatshop policy,” March 22:
Our insane legislature is entertaining yet another bill that would drive even more businesses out of the state. It would expand the anti-sweatshop policies so that businesses wanting to get contracts with the state would have to guarantee that their entire supply chain is untainted by abusive labor practices.
Does the bill say how a contractor would or could prove such an onerous requirement? Of course not. That would be undue interference, wouldn’t it? The contractor would have to hire specialists for such shenanigans, if any exist, at even more expense.
The bill’s author, Sen. Ellen Corbett, said she hopes to help make California a national leader. This bill would sure do that big time. A national leader in screwing businesses even more than they have been already.
It is evident that our democratic system of government is in a sorry state at the moment. One of the main reasons is that it is based on having an informed electorate. Greg Steinberger’s letter on March 18 entitled “Redundancy” is a classic example of an uninformed electorate.
He states that getting a letter from the United States Census Bureau telling him that he would receive the actual census form in about a week is inefficient and not cost effective, and from there, he reasons that the entire government is inefficient.
If he were better informed, he would know that the United States Census Bureau has determined with certainty that such a letter dramatically increases the number of responses to the actual census form.
This, in turn, dramatically reduces the number of households that must be contacted personally and saves the bureau many times the cost of sending the letter.
In short, the letter is an example of cost effectiveness and efficiency.
In his viewpoint, Rep. Kevin McCarthy states that “according to survey after survey, the vast majority of Americans did not want” the health care bill (“Why I voted ‘no’ on health care takeover,” March 24).
He said he heard the same message from those who attended his town hall meeting in Paso Robles. I was at that meeting. Evidently, he didn’t hear me.
A USA Today/Gallup poll taken right after the bill passed reports that 49 percent think the bill is a good thing while 40 percent think it is a bad thing. So who is this vast majority?
The poll also reports that 76 percent of Republicans think it is a bad thing while 79 percent of Democrats think it is a good thing. I suspect that Rep. McCarthy must think his only constituents are Republicans because the only “vast majority” against the bill are Republicans.
It’s time for Rep. McCarthy to start listening to his non-Republican constituents, too.
Fairer health care
So Charles Krauthammer wants us to get worked up about health care rationing (“The value-added tax cometh,” March 26). In case he hasn’t noticed, it is being rationed now. It is available to the rich and insured and unavailable to the poor and uninsured.
With the new health care law, that at least will substantially change, and we can begin an adult discussion of fairer and more considerate ways to apportion scarce health care dollars.