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September 28, 2022

Letters: Measure Q, energy costs, transportation taxes

Vote Yes on Measure Q

On Aug. 23, the San Benito County Board of Supervisors (BOS) publicly convened. It was amazing to witness how aggressively the supervisors were pushing the Landfill Expansion process forward, openly attempting to make the decision by Election Day, to finalize before the newly elected board takes office.

Maureen Nelson, Co-Chair of Don’t Dump on San Benito, asked the BOS to extend the deadline for community response to the Environmental Impact Report (dEIR), based upon complexity of data and missing data that had not yet been provided. The supervisors never addressed her concerns, but instead spent time haggling over whether to give “no extension” over the minimum 45 days, finally settling on an eight-day extension.

Why the rush? This is a monumental decision for our county. If passed by the supervisors, San Benito County will become the recipient of garbage from a total of six counties and 5.39 million people. Saddled with more traffic of large waste trucks, worsening road conditions, impacting water issues that are already dire, more water pollution concerns, air pollution, noise pollution, light pollution from security lighting at night. It doesn’t stop there. The dEIR is not good.

They claim it’s their duty to make a decision before the end of the year. Seems they are very concerned with the Vote Yes on Measure Q. Which puts the “decision making power” into the hands of the voters of San Benito County. This Measure Q gets criticism because the supervisors and developers will lose power to the voting people of San Benito. 

Yes! The people will get to decide how San Benito Grows. If Measure Q passes, the voters will be given final decision on residential, commercial and landfill development proposals. The argument that San Benito will be ruined is fear mongering by well financed backers. 

Why are the supervisors operating in a bubble outside of public sentiment? You have to wonder what motivates them? Clearly, the BOS is not listening to the deafening noise of their constituents who largely do not want to move forward on the Landfill Expansion.

Currently, there is no Cost Benefit Analysis. The numbers provided on the county website Landfill Expansion FAQ and agreements add up to a big loss for this county. 

From day one, there are negatives that never go positive—with a $14.1 million deficit in damaged roads and $40,000 in road litter cleanup that will rise with the proposal. Even with positive revenue of a one-time payout of $7 million, plus an agreement to receive a payment of $2.3 million to repair roads and an estimated $900,000 per year in revenue, we will never get past the $14.1 million and other expenses, plus the continual need to repair future road damage. That is not considering the cost of remediation of pollution. All with no consideration given to a lower standard of living.

Vote Yes on Measure Q 

Write the Planning Department and BOS expressing: 

Let the People of SB Decide Their Future. 

Karl Broussard

Hollister

Reduce energy costs and bill fluctuations

We understand no one likes energy bills that are higher than expected. Heat waves are causing customers to crank up their AC, which can lead to higher energy bills. 

PG&E does not add any mark up on the energy we buy for customers, neither gas nor electric. What we pay, you pay. Yet, the market prices for energy supply costs are expected to be 75% higher this summer compared to last year. 

Customers can take simple steps to reduce energy usage and lower costs. 

• Pre-cool the home: Use the AC in the morning or overnight. 

• Set thermostat at 78 degrees or higher, health permitting when home. 

• Change air filters regularly: A dirty air filter makes the AC system work harder, using more energy. •

 Close window coverings: Keep blinds and curtains closed to prevent the sun’s rays from heating the home. 

• Enroll in free programs including Bill Forecast Alerts, and Budget Billing to spread energy costs evenly throughout the year. 

For more tips on how to save this summer, visit pge.com/summer

Teresa Alvarado

Vice President of PG&E’s South Bay/Central Coast Region

Gas taxes wasted on public sector transit

How much sooner would we have highway improvements if we didn’t waste gas taxes and vehicle fees on boondoggle public sector transit? If we didn’t run all those empty buses around? If we didn’t pretend that public sector transit was beneficial, and cover up the truth about the actual insolvency of public sector transit?

How many fewer accidents, injuries and deaths would we have if gas taxes were spent on highways, not diverted to unsound, unsustainable, unfair public sector transit?

How much money could we save if we just bought every transit rider his own BMW or Mercedes? Or, if we required them to take private sector carriers, such as Uber, Lyft, shuttles, taxis? How much of our gas taxes and other taxes go to pay the accumulated pension obligations of public sector unions who feast off the taxpayers and motorists moving those empty buses around?

Caveat viator.

Joe Thompson

Charter Member, SBCCOG Citizens Transit Task Force, SBCCOG Citizens Rail Advisory Committee

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