Letters to the Editor for May 22, 2003
Thursday, May 22, 2003
Put the Money Where It's Needed
I was amused by the comments made by P.G. City Manager Ross Hubbard in the recent Coast Weekly article about Councilmember Goldbeck's efforts to obtain records about employee expenses ["One Woman War," April 24-30].
Hubbard's statement that our city's personnel costs have been reduced from 82 percent as reported in City budget documents in June 2000, to a paltry 50 percent despite massive pay increases and significant staff increases is laughable. Hubbard took a 10 percent raise last year alone and hired himself yet another assistant.
Why do we not have a clear idea of the current percentage? The City-generated pie chart (once provided to the public in city budget documents) was eliminated after it was referred to frequently by citizens who questioned the priorities of the Mayor and City council.
Ironically, this same pie chart contains no slice for infrastructure whatsoever in the year P.G. dumped some 70,000 gallons of raw sewage into the bay. Things have not improved. Hubbard said just a few weeks ago in the April 20 budget meeting that "we want to address infrastructure but we always run out of money."
In fact, not one foot of sewer pipe was laid last year. Goldbeck has stumbled upon a fundamental problem in P.G.: the public health and safety of our citizens and visitors is being sacrificed to feed the ever-hungry staff.
M.D. Smith | Pacific Grove
Goldbeck Should Know Better
Councilwoman Susan Goldbeck was seated right next to me at a Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce meeting when I asked police chief, Scott Miller if anything was being done to reduce police brutality. He replied, "Yes, if it exists." In the 5/17 Herald article about Miller's early retirement, Ms. Goldbeck dramatically defends Miller saying, "This just stinks because a good man is being offered up on the altar of political cronyism...It's a fact." As an attorney, Ms. Goldbeck should know better than trying to pass off her opinion as fact. Her support for a former police chief who questions the existence of police brutality is a very troubling fact.
Kelita Smith | Carmel Valley
No Oil for Humans
There is a well documented website, www.dieoff.org. (Click on "Synopsis"), which shows how the world's supply of petroleum will be effectively used up in 35 to 50 years. I am highly concerned that our leadership is not orienting us to the massive problems ahead, which would include a collapse of civilization as we know it. I urge readers to go to the website and reach their own conclusions.
CHARLES WILSON | MONTEREY
Vive la France!
A friend in the restaurant business tells me that several valued customers are still advising him to stop selling French wines and cheeses. I find this thinking dull, wrong-headed and short-sighted in the extreme. What's next? Why limit our protest to pouring wine into gutters? Why not go for a full-on kristlallnacht and paint fleur-de-lis on offending storefronts? Let's set fire to piles of French books and white-out Lafayette in our history books.
Is an American economy that shed yet another 108,000 jobs in the last month really ready for a global boycott of American goods? And regarding Normandy, my father was in the first wave at Omaha Beach and were he still alive, I've no doubt he would co-sign this letter.
J. Allston James | Salinas