Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 12/13

Stop whining, Joe

Joe, Joe, Joe Tarica ... you whiner.

If your heart leaps when you see a patrol car, that’s guilt, not Pavlov’s theory (“They pledge to harass and fine,” Dec. 4).

Police presence is there to remind drivers of traffic laws that were put into place to make roads safer. This doesn’t guarantee that there aren’t jerks on the road, just as there are jerks writing newspaper columns.

Driving is a privilege, not a right. A vehicle can be a deadly weapon in the hands of someone who doesn’t take it seriously. Following the traffic laws are part of that privilege.

What is your reason for doing a rolling stop or running a red light? Are you going to arrive at your destination one minute earlier? Or are you just so important that laws don’t apply to you?

Joe, wake up and smell the phosphorus from the road flares when that rolling stop causes the death of a child in a crosswalk. Or when squeezing through that red light results in a fatal collision.

I challenge you, Joe, to put on your big girl panties and volunteer with law enforcement agencies in this county that sponsor many programs that benefit our community. Perhaps you’ll develop a positive attitude toward law enforcement.

Terri Shearer

Arroyo Grande

Change SLO system

It’s laudable that you want the community to support its new mayor (“It’s time to stand behind Jan Marx,” Dec. 1). That is the point of elections — to allow a democratically elected individual to serve as the community voice.

However, you glossed over the undemocratic side effect of her election: It created a vacant City Council seat. Today, San Luis Obispo voters have four elected council members, but are disenfranchised on the fifth. The four will select their fifth member, not the voters.

Morro Bay has had similar situations, but not any longer. In 2006, voters overwhelmingly approved an initiative that now allows a midterm council member to run for mayor while preserving the power of the people to select their midterm replacement.

We require that the midterm council person announce their council resignation early enough to allow voters to fill the vacant council seat in the mayoral election. The resignation can be effective upon election certification, though it is announced earlier.

Mayor Marx played the hand that the system allowed. San Luis Obispo voters should think seriously about improving the system so that voters will stay in control of their entire council, including the fifth and often deciding vote.

John Barta

Morro Bay

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