The financial crisis created today by our State Legislature are the same as they were in 2015. The same people were voted for in June as were voted in 2015. The problem is the people we have elected to run California's government.
Gov. Jerry Brown said: "Californians must make what they have done work."
What we have done is vote in bond after bond after bond, and voted into office over and over, people who are not fiscally prudent with our tax money. The length of bonds can be 20-40 years or more with enormous interest. Are the schools improving? Is the infrastructure improving? What happened to all that bond money?
In 2015, the state was $330 billion-plus in debt. The legislature and Gov. Brown have created a huge bucket of unfunded burdens. Gov. Brown borrowed billions of dollars from schools and community colleges and millions from local governments.
The state owes billions, yet spends money the state doesn't have on a train to nowhere and a Delta tunnel. The legislature raised gas and auto registration taxes, then gives salary raises to state employees involved in the use of this money.
A responsible legislature would: curtail borrowing, allow the healthy supply and demand process to function in the medical-insurance field, accomplish Tort reform, cease borrowing money, and all 7,000+ state agencies cut annual budgets.
We must know the issues, elect fiscally responsible people, research candidates and check incumbent voting records.
-- Phyllis Couper
I just finished reading a book titled, "How Democracies Die" by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt. It gives a quick history of how other democracies have died and how even we have experienced presidential overreach in our past.
Of course democracies have been overthrown by foreign powers, but they also crumble from within. Our democracy is not invincible. Despite the Constitution, we are vulnerable to corruption, extremism, overreach of power and the weakening of longstanding norms that have kept our institutions working.
Has the "unraveling" of our system of government already begun? We must find a way to bring our divided country back together again ... at least to respecting our differences.
You are familiar with a saying attributed to Thomas Jefferson (but not a direct quote), "a democracy requires an informed citizenry." I would add a citizenry that participates. We must vote.
We can also make phone calls and write letters to our representatives. We can even attend town hall meetings to find out what is going on and to voice our opinions. The worst things you can say are "it can never happen here" or "nothing I can do will make a difference."
To that I give you this quote by Margaret Mead, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it's the only thing that ever has."
-- Trudi Hartley
No water rate increases
Zone 7 must stop with the hikes or give us a choice of another company such as EBMUD!
Our H2O bill is more than our PG&E bill, and we aren't even in a drought situation. Zone 7 is unfairly taking advantage of the Tri-Valley residents.
-- Trish Levitin
Water rate increase? Again?
Water rates in Zone 7 are already high and should not be increased at all. If Zone 7 board has no choice but to increase it, then they should own up to their responsibility and act like any private organization to stay fiscally afloat -- that is, consider ways to reduce expenditures.
As for example, if the board chooses to increase the water rate by 20%, then they should cut the expenditures accordingly, such as reduce contracts by 20%, reduce salaries by 20% etc.
-- Chandra Khandvalli
Water rate hike
We pay way too much for our water as it is now. To increase the Zone 7 rate up to 42% would be exorbitant and irresponsible. Residents on a tight budget, retirees, etc., would be hit hardest by this increase.
I oppose any rate increase!
-- Evelyn Murphy
Residents oppose rate hikes
Dear Zone 7 Board of Directors: I'm writing to provide you with a document that includes 171 signatures of those who oppose any further Zone 7 water rate increases.
We're submitting this ahead of the scheduled special meeting (Sept. 5) on the wholesale water rate study.
We hope that you will read through the feedback that we've provided in a consolidated manner. The community is urging Zone 7 to reject these proposed increases.
-- Eryka Wetherall
Streng for City Council
I recently graduated from Foothill High School and will be starting at UCLA this fall. As a former Parks and Recreation Commission youth commissioner, I fully support Joe Streng's campaign for City Council.
I witnessed firsthand his leadership as commission chair on major community projects such as Cubby's Dog Park, the Bernal Community Park and the Alviso Adobe. Whether directly or indirectly, his work for the city has positively affected a large percentage of residents in Pleasanton. While serving as a role model for me on the commission, he taught me how to give back to the community in any way I can.
His desire to identify problems and speak to their solutions is unmatched, and I have no doubt that this would translate perfectly to decisions made at the City Council level. As a result, I implore others to vote Joe Streng for City Council and follow his lead in contributing to the Pleasanton community in any capacity.
-- Arman Abrishamchian
Narum wants what's best for Pleasanton families
One of my children will attend Hart Middle School next year, so the school capacity issue in north Pleasanton schools is very concerning to me.
Maintaining small class size is important, and that requires adequate numbers of classrooms. I'm glad to see PUSD thoughtfully considering options to address school capacity issues in a way that targets the areas of Pleasanton that are most impacted.
My children currently attend Lydiksen, and it is wonderful to see evidence that the campus will get the upgrades that were formerly planned under the last bond measure passed in 1997. It is my hope that the latest bond measure will include creative options to address north Pleasanton capacity issues, as well.
I recently had coffee with Councilwoman Kathy Narum who serves on the City/School District Liaison Committee to ask her how the city is supporting PUSD's efforts on capacity. I was happy to hear that the city is collaborating with PUSD, and that Kathy in particular is committed to championing a solution that encompasses every local resource available.
I can see why all five school board members have endorsed Kathy Narum for re-election to city council. She is a reliable partner in the pursuit of what is best for Pleasanton kids and families.
-- Amit Raman
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