Mountain View Voice

Opinion - January 29, 2010

Letters to the Editor

Fishy figures on Minton's study

Editor:

Your headline last week trumpets the conclusion from the Aecom study that the Minton's project would actually reduce traffic in the area ("Report: Minton's project would decrease traffic"). But the conclusion is based on an estimate, from ITE handbook values, for a building materials store, of 1,503 car trips per day into the Minton's lumberyard.

Those of us who have actually shopped at Minton's have typically found ourselves the only customers in the place, or one of very few. I would guess that the actual number of car trips into Minton's each day is more of the order of 100; the number of 1,500 might even be too high for Lowe's in Sunnyvale.

If you use a number of 100 per day for Minton's, the estimate then is that the project would increase traffic by a factor of 400 percent, a lot different from the decrease of 33 percent as claimed in your article for the hypothetical estimate.

One significant caveat here — if Minton's were replaced by a thriving commercial business as probably allowed by current zoning, there might also be a large increase in traffic over what local residents see now. Thus a more appropriate comparison for traffic might be between the various possible future uses of this property, and not the current situation.

David Lewis

Oak Street

Home loan perk is just too much

Editor:

I am outraged!

The $2 million allotted by the City Council to fund low interest home loans for city employees should have been used to improve services such as police protection, more firefighters, and better parks and recreation ("City workers get home loan perk," Jan. 22).

We overpay city employees, give them benefits that industry cannot afford, give them pensions so they can double dip, and then the city manager complains about budget problems. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see what the real problem is.

If Mountain View has so much money, why don't you send some my way?

Konrad M. Sosnow

Trophy Drive

What's wrong with city workers renting?

Editor:

I'm disappointed that the City Council decided to reward city workers with housing "loans" of up to $100,000 despite overwhelming evidence that they should be doing just the opposite. What's wrong with city workers renting? Why is it the city's responsibility to provide homes to city workers?

Kudos to John Inks for having enough fiscal sense to realize that this is a bad idea and vote against the measure.

I think that it's time for the council to realize that the direct and indirect costs of city workers is bankrupting Mountain View. It's time for some courage to say "no" to the police and firefighters unions with respect to salary and pension increases — they're already consuming over half the city's budget.

Dan Waylonis

Stierlin Road

Budget approval process is not the problem

Editor:

I support the measure to block the state's efforts to grab funds from local communities. But I could not disagree more with your assertion that the state's problem is the two-thirds rule to approve a budget ("Cities should stop next money grab," Jan. 22).

The problem, simply put, is that Sacramento is addicted to spending. Instead of feeding the state's spending habit, we need to cut off its drug supply. The measure to keep the state from robbing cities will help, but so will the two-thirds rule that keeps the state from robbing taxpayers.

When I moved here 40 years ago, California was the greatest state in the union — the best jobs, the best schools, and the best roads. Since then, all Sacramento has built is a monstrous bureaucracy, while services have largely gone down the drain.

Our tax rates are already among the highest in the land, and employers and wealthy retirees are fleeing the state. Raising the tax rate will only feed the spending habit. California needs to go cold turkey for there to be any hope of reform.

Maarten Korringa

Eldora Drive

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