http://danvillesanramon.com/print/story/print/2008/05/30/letters-to-the-editor


Danville Express

Perspective - May 30, 2008

Letters to the editor

Vote for Houston

Dear Editor:

Guy Houston is the best candidate for County Supervisor.

In stark contrast to Guy's proven performance over many years in elected office, is the first elected term of Mary Piepho. Simply put, her term in office has been characterized by relentless actions to silent opposition and related efforts to break the voter-approved Urban Limit Line keeping Tassajara Valley rural.

Piepho is championing the 200-home New Farm Tassajara Valley development, which would break the Urban Limit Line. If approved, thousands more homes will follow.

Piepho turned all the elected Municipal Advisory Councils in the County into ones appointed by her and the other Supervisors.

Piepho attempted to disband the San Ramon Valley Planning Commission. Opposition forced her to allow a minimal one-year renewal, which still allows her to kill it in fall 2008 before the commission can hold a public hearing on New Farm.

Mary asks for your vote to "finish the job she has started." Heaven help us if she is allowed to continue with the destruction! Let's not give her the chance. We are lucky to have a candidate of Guy Houston's experience and respect for the voters in the race.

Maryann Cella, Diablo

Piepho above the law

Dear Editor:

At election time candidates display their names and nothing else around the county promoting themselves. In Danville it is illegal to place such signs in the public places and rights of way. At least it is illegal for ordinary mortals or opponents of new taxes such as Measure D, which by no stretch of imagination has anything to do with improved education. It will remain so until we weave our way through the federal courts and have this invidious ordinance restricting our First Amendment rights rescinded.

In the meantime, movers and shakers like Mary Piepho pay no attention to the law. Her election signs can be found at the intersection of Sycamore Valley Road and the cross streets in the public right of way. A sign opposing Measure D would not last two hours.

Vlado Bevc, Danville

No on D

Dear Editor:

Measure D would "reduce class sizes," and "restore ... library programs..., elementary music..., and ... other essential programs."

Those were among the San Ramon Valley Unified School District's false-alarm pretenses during the district's first parcel-tax campaign, in 1991. The measure failed - but SRVUSD finished that year with a $3.6 million surplus anyway, and implemented the programs besides.

Since then, the district's salary-and-benefit spending has grown 231 percent, contrasting with compounded inflation and enrollment increases totaling only 137 percent. Meanwhile, SRVUSD did finally pass a $90 parcel tax, in 2004 - with arguments virtually identical to in 1991.

District administrators combined huge under-projections of student enrollments (and resultant state revenues) with more realistic spending projections - resulting in substantial but phony deficit predictions.

They claimed "no salary increases" were involved. But in fact, the 2004-05 retroactive raise which followed, atop scheduled annual increases, was just the first of four district raises since 2004's parcel-tax passage.

Their salary-increase percentages increases have doubled the Bay Area consumer price index inflation rate, just since 2004.

Meanwhile, SRVUSD's Measure D tax promoters have initiated yet another sky-is-falling campaign, now for a 84 percent increase in 2004's parcel tax, a year before it expires.

And they're back with the same old diversions: class sizes, libraries, music programs....

Maybe that's because their expensive tax-election consultant, the same one they hired in 1991, coauthored a 2004 book advising school administrators to "create cognitive dissonance" and to consider "the 'theater' associated with media contact" when pushing tax increases.

More information is available at www.NOonD.info.

Michael Arata, Danville

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