Letters to the editor for Oct. 7
October 6, 2008
This letter is in response to the change in regulations for vacation-home rentals in the city of South Lake Tahoe. I am in favor of any ordinance that restricts loud parties or other nuisances that might affect our neighbors. However, the authors of this ordinance have only created another cash cow, which will have the effect of driving us and others into making our units full-time rentals.
Now, you might think this is a good thing. Wrong! As a past president of our community association, I can assure you that we have more problems with permanent rentals than vacation rentals. In the 10 years we have owned the vacation rental, not once have we been notified of a problem. The permanent rentals, on the other hand, have many persistent problems that are ongoing and difficult to solve.
In reference to the cash cow I mentioned above, my annual fee will go from $50 to $140. When the $50 fee was instituted, we did not complain, even though the only addition to the city staff was an employee to administer the collection program.
Few problems exist in our complex. We did have to call the police once to respond to an assault on one of our homeowners who confronted a trespasser. The response was less than timely, and the aggressor was long gone prior to their arrival.
Additionally, the city has required a sign to be posted outside the unit in full view from the street with restrictions on occupancy, parking and emergency numbers. This is in violation of our CC&Rs and in violation of the California Civil Code which governs common interest developments.
A better solution to this problem would be to fine the offenders and those who rent to them.
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In response to the letter to the editor from Gregory Bergner on Measure G (“Support students and teachers,” Oct. 2), I do support our teachers and students. However, I do not support another tax increase for public schools. I speak from experience when I say that money does not solve the problems in our schools.
Several years ago, I was heavily involved in pushing through a tax increase for our school district in San Jose. When it passed, several of the superintendents, principals and teachers went to a local bar to celebrate.
As a teacher and administrator in the district, I saw services for youngsters cut – librarians, school nurses, the music program, athletic programs and others. At the same time, more administrators were hired. All of them needed secretaries. The district became very top-heavy.
I recall a teacher coming to me for help – she needed to spend the rest of her budget, or she wouldn’t get as much the next year. What should she buy?
The Lake Tahoe Unified School District needs to learn to live within its budget, the same as you and I do. This is the third time in a row they have spent thousands of our tax dollars trying to pass a tax increase. Those dollars should have been used for the education of our children. When will they get the message that families are already overtaxed, and just simply cannot give more? Please join me in definitely voting “no” on Measure G.
South Lake Tahoe
Greed and political shenanigans have led our economy into chaos. How did we get here?
— 1979: Jimmy Carter banned “red-lining,” thus requiring banks to issue mortgages in risky neighborhoods.
— 1995: Bill Clinton had Treasury Secretary Ruben rewrite the Community Reinvestment Act to ease credit for low-income households to purchase homes.
— 1999: Clinton signed legislation loosening the rules for Fannie Mae.
— In marched the greedy, including some shady bankers and real-estate appraisers, who allowed people who should have known better to purchase homes they couldn’t afford.
— A housing boom and overinflated prices ensued, the bubble burst, and several million homes are worth less than the mortgages.
Most voters are blaming President Bush and Republicans for the mess. However, what are we not being told?
— President Bush and Alan Greenspan tried repeatedly since 2002 to get legislation for regulation of the mortgage industry. Their efforts have been thwarted by the Democrats.
— John McCain co-sponsored the 2005 federal mortgage/Fannie Mae regulation bill, at the same time testifying before Congress that dire economic consequences would occur if they failed to act. Democrats blocked the legislation – not one voted for it.
— The recipients of the largest political contributions from failed mortgage giants Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, etc., are Democrats on the committees charged with oversight of those corporations – Barney Frank and Chris Dodd – along with Barack Obama.
— Obama previously worked with ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), which was instrumental in coercing banks to issue high-risk mortgages to low-income people.
Neither Republicans nor Democrats are without blame, but Republicans supported increased regulations. Therefore, it’s extremely important to elect the candidates who have the best interest of the entire nation at the top of their agenda – national security, keeping taxes low, cutting spending, creating a healthy free economy, and assuring our energy independence. In the presidential race, it’s John McCain.
We have been inundated daily by clips of Katie Couric asking Sarah Palin “gotcha” questions – edited, no doubt.
But we have not seen one clip of anyone asking Joe Biden a single question. Is this a case of press bias, or are the Democrats hiding Mr. Biden? Maybe they cannot edit his answers into a 30-second sound bite. Inquiring minds would like to know.
South Lake Tahoe
This is in response to Ann Harmon’s letter of Oct. 1.
Pray tell of Barack Obama’s experience after 146 actual days worked as a senator of the United States – as opposed to 26 years that John McCain has as a senator. Obama has never been in the service and even refused to go to see our injured troops while in the Middle East.
Shame on Obama. You will be taxed out of your house if he gets elected.
This is in regard to Forest Supervisor Terri Marceron’s Guest View on Sept. 23 (“Fire plays a critical role in Lake Tahoe’s past, present and future”).
I’m right with Ms. Marceron until one of the last paragraphs, where she says, “The burns are not staffed unless conditions change, in which case crews will return to monitor the situation and may extinguish the piles.”
That sounds like she is willing to bet her reputation, her career and maybe her personal liability, along with our behinds, on the fire not getting out of control and running wild, all for the sake of saving money.
For God’s sake, staff them!
It seems to me chipping should be the first choice whenever possible, saving the prescribed burns for places that are inaccessible to the machinery.
Ms. Marceron is knowledgeable, but the column’s ending suggests a questionable sense of responsibility in her job. The Tahoe Fire Commission determined that protection of life, property and the environment be served in that order of priority. This is an opportunity for Ms. Marceron to apply that edict.
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