All the City Council could come up with to balance their ballooning budget was to cut about 2 percent from the spending? You'd be hard pressed to find someone living in Mountain View who only cut back 2 percent on their spending over the past year ("City Council sets the stage for major budget cuts," Feb. 26).
It's time for some real cuts in the city budget. Not in weed abatement or library hours (total savings: 0.2 percent of the budget), but in the costs of public employees. Mountain View spends over half its budget (more than $46 million) on the police and fire departments. And Mountain View's public employee compensation costs are growing $4 million every year.
When county assessor Larry Stone recently wrote that the public sector compensation and pensions are bankrupting cities, you don't have to look any further for proof than the city of Mountain View.
Huge volunteer effort benefits Deer Hollow
Thank you for your coverage of the potential closing of Deer Hollow Farm. I was misquoted in your article.
For clarification: The 80 Deer Hollow Farm volunteers do not conduct tours of the Farm, but rather teach 5,000 children on field trips that support the state curriculum in science, history and social studies.
These volunteers also perform most of the farm animal maintenance and garden care, working under the direction of just 2.5 city employees. These volunteers donated 6,400 hours of labor to the city last year.
Sue Gale, President
Friends of Deer Hollow Farm
Tax help available at St. Joseph
Claim your family tax benefits with the free help of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program at your nearby St. Joseph School on Saturday mornings in March.
Families earning less than $49,000 with dependents can get a big boost on their return. The trained volunteers will help e-file the return, including earned income credit and child tax credit and other benefits that often go unclaimed.
The service is open on Saturdays this month — March 6, 13, 20 and 27 — from 9 a.m. until noon at St. Joseph Catholic School, 1120 Miramonte Ave., Mountain View. Bring ID cards, Social Security cards, W2's and other income and expenditure documents.