Letters to the Editor | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Letters to the Editor

Hidden cost

Measure H has a huge hidden cost included in the measure – 20 employees. Twenty employees translates into significant current cost with wages and benefits but that cost will increase over time with inflation and even more upon retirement. Retiree health care and pay benefits are crippling the city and state. In the out years without significant increases in fees, we will have less workers on hand as they retire and collect those benefits.

We already pay $154 to the State for Fire Prevention. Now we are being asked to pay an additional $120. A number of us have low paying jobs or are living on fixed income. Some of us just can't afford more!

We do need better fire prevention. Let's demand more from the State and not the people.

Lane Sykes

South Lake Tahoe

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Demonstrated commitment

Since the various candidate forums in the community have concluded, the voters of South Lake Tahoe should be well informed as to their choice to take a seat on the City Council. I doubt it. Many residents do not have the opportunity to attend City Council meetings, nor do they participate in the activities of the community, as a matter of fact, can't bring themselves to cast their vote.

I would class these folks as the Silent Majority. However, when confronted with issues where they feel they are being ignored, or a City Council behaves as if they know what is better for the community, then the citizens do! Watch Out. The case in point is the recent election on paid parking, which went down by a margin of 2 to l. That is an example of the behavior of the current City Council and those candidates who believe this Council has the interest of its citizens. That would leave only two candidates who have emphatically stated that they would represent the entire community and seek their views on the issues at hand. Austin Sass and Bruce Grego have demonstrated their commitment to the community and all of its residents.

John N. Cefalu

South Lake Tahoe

Key to prosperity

Why should we care about investing in higher education in our local, state and national communities? According to a 2013 report by the Economic Analysis and Research Network in Washington D.C., "States can build a strong foundation for economic success and shared prosperity by investing in education. Providing expanded access to high-quality education will not only expand economic opportunities for residents, but also will likely do more to strengthen the overall state economy than anything else a state government can ever do." Additionally from the same report, "There is a strong correlation between the educational attainment of a state's workforce and median wages." South Lake Tahoe has been searching for a solution to spur its economic development. A well-educated workforce is our key to prosperity. Please vote yes on Measure F for Lake Tahoe Community College.

Karen and David Borges

South Lake Tahoe

Against Bond Measure F

As a homeowner and taxpayer I am appalled that we are being asked to vote for another bond issue "F" to fund improvements and upkeep for the Community College. As a senior and long time resident my tax bill has been increased by school district bonds from the 1992 election, the 1999 election and the 2008 election. There is also bonds from SLT recreation CFD00-1 and the library tax. These all total $262.30 per year or 7.1 percent of our tax bill not taking into account Snow removal, ambulance, mosquito program, hazard waste and solid waste reduction and additional $74.60 per year.

Now we are being asked to add another bond to fund a college; not a children's public school. This is a bad precedent for homeowners.

Tuition rates at our Community Colleges are very low compared to four year schools. If Lake Tahoe Community College needs funding it should raise tuition rates for those who chose to use it, not for those who have already paid for their education and are dealing with high taxes, skyrocketing healthcare costs and increasing utility prices.

Joseph Sowma

South Lake Tahoe

Vote for my husband

When you vote on Nov. 4, please consider Austin Sass for City Council. He is a long time local who truly cares about our community. Austin has served on the planning commission, school advisory board, and helping those less fortunate in our community as a volunteer at St. Theresa food pantry. The time needed to serve on city council is considerable. Austin is retired and therefore, has the time and energy to listen and be well informed. Austin is an avid hiker, biker and skier, he is a team player who is fiscally conservative, but with an independent spirit, ready to preserve the environment and deliver reliable core city services.

Please vote for my husband Austin on Nov. 4, and allow him the opportunity to serve our community.

Beverly Sass

South Lake Tahoe

Vote with wisdom

There are always good causes on the ballot but that doesn't mean you have to foot the bill. When you vote ask yourself, "Am I responsible for this just because I'm a home owner?" Future home owners beware too. Why should one small group of people in a community have their taxes raised? Just because it's a good cause doesn't mean the money should come out of your pocket. Ask, "Could this be the responsibility of the city, county, contractor, business owner, federal government, state government, or whomever will reap the benefits? They are always trying to get you to pay more. Is it fantastic to have a fire department? Of course it is! Is it wonderful to have a college? Yes! But, why should we allow services like these to continuously add to their income through our property taxes? It's endless. Voting is never about feelings. It's always about money. Be wise.

Jennie Clyde

South Lake Tahoe

Centerpiece of the community

As the co-chair for Lake Tahoe Community College's Measure F campaign, I have had many great conversations with people about our wonderful local college. Everyone really loves LTCC! I was having coffee with a good friend recently who said, "Wendy, when I go to the college I think it looks great. So why should I vote yes on F?" I paused because I feel the same way when I go to LTCC: I feel proud to have this beautiful college in my community. I thought for a moment before I answered her, and then said, "We need Measure F because our students do not have access to the technology and modern learning environment they need to keep pace with what is necessary to learn and teach and work successfully today. We have aging systems causing problems that aren't easily seen, including heating, electrical, and other critical facility issues that casual visitors to campus may not be affected by, but our students certainly are. We have a state-of-the-art high school now, but a community college that hasn't gotten the funding it needs to stay competitive. LTCC has so much potential to be great, with the ability to expand our popular Fire Science, EMT and Wilderness programs by adding a Public Safety Training Center. And maybe one day we'll be able to offer a four-year degree in Forestry or something similar." I went on a little longer and she said, "Okay, I will vote yes, because now I get it."

Voting yes on Measure F is so important to our college and community. Please join me in supporting students of all ages and interests who rely on LTCC, now and in the future. Those students include you, most likely, and me. I want this college to always be a true centerpiece of our community; something we can all take pride in. We need to take care of the college we love. Vote yes on Measure F.

Wendy David

LTCC graduate, Class of 1984

Prop. 46 manipulative to voters

California Proposition 46 is costly and deceiving to voters. It would increase costs for patients, deter doctors from practicing in California, and threaten patient privacy. The consequences are also higher for rural communities like South Lake Tahoe. I have been a physician in South Lake Tahoe for over 34 years and I'm asking our voters and patients to take a closer look; Prop. 46 just doesn't add up.

Prop. 46 will escalate insurance rates and, ultimately, increase healthcare costs for patients. The non-partisan California Legislative Analyst's Office estimates that Prop. 46 would cost patients an additional $9.9 billion annually, that's $1,000 a year for a family of four.

The second part of Prop. 46, also considered the "sweetener" to woo voters, would require random drug testing on physicians. While this may seem like a valuable safety measure, data shows that a minuscule percentage of harm is done by impaired physicians and Prop. 46 would exclude testing physicians who practice in private offices. Medical facilities, including Barton Memorial Hospital, already have proven and effective safety measures in place to protect patients from harm.

Lastly, Prop. 46 would require doctors use a state-controlled database before prescribing certain controlled substances and to discourage patients who "doctor hop" for pain medication. But the Prop. 46 solution to this real problem is inadequate: the database is unreliable, understaffed, and lacks security measures. This will only burden medical providers to operate an additional program that is not ready or secure for statewide use.

I encourage voters to take a closer look at this proposition. Please join Barton Health and over 500 other organizations across party lines and vote no on Prop. 46 in the upcoming election.

Paul Rork, M.D.

South Lake Tahoe

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