Letters to the editor for Nov. 1
Voters beware. A special-interest group is running a slate of candidates in an attempt to take over the South Tahoe Public Utility District. Currently, the board is well-balanced with differing perspectives. If the takeover is successful, only one point of view will dominate for the next four years. I have taken the high road and kept to the issues. However, since I was named personally by Pat Martin in a letter to the editor in Wednesday’s paper, I felt a response was in order.
Mr. Martin called for change. Ironically, it has been myself and other board members who have made the changes that this cabal of angry men has opposed. I was elected to clean up soaring legal costs, sweetheart laundry contracts and rampant cronyism. The result of their good ol’ boy mentality was decaying water pipes, financial chaos and terrible morale.
By all forms of independent measurement, the district is now running well. We have twice been named the No. 1 utility district in the nation by the EPA. Our comprehensive annual financial report has won the top award in the nation a record 13 years in a row. Our rates are well below the state average. Our waste water rates are lowest in the basin, and our water rates are second-lowest. Most important is that the improvements we made to our water system provided plentiful water to the Angora firefighters. It is doubtful that the water to save those homes would have been there had the cabal stopped the needed improvements by running a bare-bones system just so they could get elected.
Mr. Martin wants you to vote for John Runnels, Dale Rise and Ernie Claudio. They are his special-interest group’s appointed puppets. This group has invented false issues in an attempt to get back in control ever since some of their cronies were voted out years ago. Fortunately, the voters have seen through it every time and voted for stable, independent leadership. That needs to happen one more time.
South Lake Tahoe
Incumbent, Seat 4, STPUD Board
The City Council is raising rates at Heavenly Village Garage due to it not collecting enough money to offset costs (according to the council); how do I know the money collected is strictly for the garage and not being put into a big slush fund?
Parking at the structure already is overpriced, and now it has been decided to gouge us a little more. When does it end? Those businesses that validate parking will more than likely raise their prices and blame it on the garage. Don’t you lose customers by raising prices? The locals and tourists would be better served if the rates were lowered, thus creating more volume.
I’m done being gouged. I’ll never park there again, which means every business at Heavenly Village has lost my business. I speak with hundreds of tourists every year – why should I send them to Heavenly Village to be ripped off by high prices and parking fees?
This is in regard to the continual cry from the police and fire departments for more money and the city pleading no budget. I remember that three years ago, the city raised the sales tax by one-quarter percent for just this purpose: more police and fire protection. The first thing that happened was a fleet of new vehicles, including two motorcycles, of which one is rarely seen on the street. I think the city owes the citizens and taxpayers of this community an accounting for where this money is going.
I am on the streets every day, and it is criminal that we have very little in the way of police presence in a place where people have decided Highway 50 means the speed limit is 50, with no regard for stoplights or other traffic laws. I feel pretty confident that our city’s sales-tax revenue is very large and can more than pay for the number of police officers we need in order to stay on top of crime and keep our streets safe. In fact, some speeding tickets, licensing violations, etc., would go a long way in adding to that budget.
South Lake Tahoe