Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 4/20

Better, not more

The SLO City Council is considering spending an extra $236,400 to hire “neighborhood service specialists” to “deal with nuisances such as noise, cars parked in front yards, excess trash and debris in yards and illegally converting living spaces.” (Tribune, April 14).

Why, I ask? If any of the above are criminal activities, call a cop. That’s their job and if they are not doing it, fire them and hire those who will.

If the above are city code violations, send in the inspectors. That’s their job well, I repeat myself.

Why hire additional employees to do a service already assigned to a segment of the city’s staff? These situations are not new and simply the norm for college towns such as ours.

Governments sadly do not measure the effectiveness and efficiency of their employees and services as does the private sector. In the government arena, if some service already assigned to a department is not being done adequately, the default reaction is to hire more staff. In the private sector, it is to reassign existing staff and resources to the most needed areas and squeeze out additional efficiencies.

We don’t need more police and inspectors. We need increased fines and code enforcement with real consequences. Or a new City Council.

D.G. Mullin

San Luis Obispo

Our fair share

Thank you for your article on the Morro Bay/Cayucos wastewater treatment plant controversy. I live in Morro Bay and fully support following the Coastal Commission’s recommendation regarding the relocation of the proposed treatment plant.

My family is willing and able to pay our fair share of the additional costs associated with these changes. We are not so agreeable, however, to having our tax dollars spent hiring a lobbyist to try to influence the Coastal Commission to change its position, which is unlikely at best.

Nicole Dorfman

Morro Bay

Mind the cost of oil

I am concerned about the economy, just like everyone else. I was wondering if the federal government was going to shut down, but fortunately we avoided a disaster. However, there is one thing that everyone is forgetting.

No matter what budget cuts are enacted, or how lean the government becomes, it will be a colossal failure if we ignore the price of oil. If the price of oil continues to rise, the cost of everything will go up, from food to heating oil. Employers will not be able to create more jobs, because it will cost too much to operate their businesses.

Apparently, the federal government is not paying too much attention, because nothing is being done to offset the rising oil prices. We need to increase our production of domestic oil resources, so that we would not have to rely on the oil that comes from the Middle East.

Remember, everything that has improved in the economy will disappear if we do not do something right now about the cost of oil. I don’t mean buying a hybrid as a solution.

Mark Sobowits

Paso Robles

Consolidate schools

Consolidation of K-12 school districts in our county should be considered as a way to reduce costs. We have 11 districts, with more than 90 administrators, including superintendents, principals and other site administrators, according to the 2008-09 County Schools listing.

Consolidating districts should reduce the number of administrators required and allow for some administrators to take some of the teaching load.

Is this too radical an idea for our administrators to consider?

Enrico Bongio

San Luis Obispo

Accurate report

I was present at the rally on Friday, April 8 imploring the California State Legislature to pass a budget that doesn’t take from the poor to give to the rich. Tribune reporter Bob Cuddy covered that rally, and he restored my faith in media reporting! He reported this event exactly as it happened, which unfortunately, the public can’t always count on.

Thank you Bob Cuddy for accurate reporting.

Lynne Levine

San Luis Obispo

What’s a living wage?

This is to the lady who doesn’t want Walmart to come to Atascadero. First of all, I would say “If you don’t like Walmart, don’t shop there.” Pretty simple. Why is it that some people seem to think they need to tell others where to shop. As for myself, I don’t like Starbucks, as I think it is overpriced. I don’t go to any Starbucks, but where you shop is up to you.

Then she mentions a living wage. What is a living wage? The few people I know who work at Walmart earn $9 an hour and work 30 to 35 hours a week. Would a living wage be working at a hardware store for $8.50 an hour or would that be working for a school district as a cafeteria assistant for $8.60 an hour? Or maybe working as a professional aide for $9.25 an hour at three hours a day, nine months a year? How about the new theater? Will a person there be able to buy a house and pay taxes, maybe a new car too? Seems to me a person could supplement the family income better at Walmart than at a school district.

Ronald Mac

Atascadero

Doomed nation

Increasing government jobs (even when called “investment”) and increasing taxes on small private businesses (even when called “the rich”) will not grow anything but more debt.

It takes the taxes from at least 10 private-sector employees ($5,000) to pay the salary and benefits of just one government employee ($50,000). When the number of government workers approaches the number of private workers, our nation is doomed.

Sue Perry

Morro Bay

Placing blame

Here is my view on the fracas on public employee pensions: Unlike some others, I don’t blame the union leaders or members for what is going on. I commend the union leaders for doing the job their members hired them for.

I blame the politicians, mostly Democrats, for giving in to the unions. Too bad most, if not all, of the politicians involved no longer are in office or holding other government jobs.

The Democrats still control the state Assembly and Senate, and as far as I am concerned it is up to them to solve our financial problems. Good luck, but I won’t hold my breath while I am waiting.

John Steinbroner

Cambria

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