Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 7/10

Strange economics

So let me get this straight, the city of San Luis Obispo is raising prices on parking meters from $1.25 per hour to $1.50 per hour — equal to rates in Manhattan, N.Y. — but the increase will not take effect until the city installs 400 new parking meters, that it presumably will have to purchase, or has already purchased, and pay to have installed.

The City Council estimates the new rates, along with Sunday parking fees, will increase revenue by more than $300,000. 

In all likelihood, people will adapt their behavior to not incur punitive parking penalties by consciously or unconsciously spending less time shopping downtown.

As a result, “revenue” to the city will remain the same, or decrease. Revenue to downtown businesses will also decrease. The taxpayer will be left with a bill for the new parking meters, and double Sunday pay in perpetuity for parking enforcement personnel.

The downtown businesses shouldn’t be concerned, though. When revenue decreases, because people shop for less time or opt for free parking at the mall, businesses can adopt the city’s brilliant economic model and increase prices to raise revenue.  Works every time, right?

Andrew Wright

San Luis Obispo

Parking for pensions

The funds the city of San Luis Obispo will generate by the new residential parking fees might just about cover the city’s pension contribution for its lowest-paid clerk for one year.

The parking meter raise might possibly cover the pension contribution for just one of their overpaid, over-benefitted and lavishly pensioned police officers. This is like treating the effect, while ignoring the cause.

It’s time to put public employee salaries, benefits and pensions to the vote of the people. It doesn’t do any good for any governmental entity to push for increased taxes; the unions will just demand raises for the employees.

Shirley Bianchi’s long rant (Tribune, July 3) about public employee morale suffering in times of budget tightening is true. It makes every one of them remember they could be replaced at half their cost (salaries, benefits, pension contributions) to the taxpayers in free market hiring that offers prevailing wages and benefits.

Robert Hyde

Morro Bay

Disaster in Gaza

What is developing in the Middle East is a shocking humanitarian disaster. Those ships from a number of countries all loaded with goods and services for the 1.6 million people in Gaza have been ordered not to sail to Gaza. In fact, some of these ships have been sabotaged. This decision has been that of the Israeli government with the questionable compliance of our government.

The question arises, should this Israeli policy, which attempts to force Gaza to renounce Hamas by keeping these relief vessels from entering Gazan ports, be considered a human rights violation? There is also the question as to the waters off Gaza, whose legitimate concern are they?

It would certainly seem that this egregious plan should be taken up by the United Nations. Finally, what ever happened to the plan that Egypt made to allow the people of Gaza access into Egypt?

W. R. Cole

Arroyo Grande

Put stores at Gardens

I am writing to agree with Lon Allan’s column in the July 5 Tribune.

I have lived in Atascadero more than 20 years and love this small town. I understand the need for expansion and promoting business, but I have always felt that the Sunken Gardens should be used as a social center for our community.

We all need doctors, dentists and other medical practitioners but I believe their locations are misplaced in this town. We now have a wonderful opportunity presenting itself — the school district wants to move the junior high — and that space would be a perfect location for a medical center.

With a few incentives, those medical offices around the Sunken Gardens could be persuaded to move and we would have space for wine bars, ice cream parlors, coffee shops and cafes — all with sidewalk seating overlooking the Gardens.

I, along with Lon Allan, was very pleased that the Design Review Committee rejected the idea of a medical office on the ground floor at Colony Square — that space needs to be retail or restaurants. Upstairs at the Square is all right but better yet would be a conveniently located, well-designed center where all our medical needs can be met.

The school district says it will be six years building and moving the junior high. That provides adequate time to consider appropriate land use for the old site.

What do you think?

Chris Shuck