Your ViewsLetters to the Editor

William Barkman: Lost opportunity

June 17, 2014 

The hope was that Atwater’s City Council meeting of June 9 would signal some consensus and common-sense leadership from the full council through the leasing of a new firetruck; but disinformation and histrionic speechmaking continued.

First, Measure H is for “police, fire and 911 emergency response.” The Oversight Committee is “to monitor the expenditures.”

Chiefs Frank Pietro and Mark Pimentel cooperated on fund use and prioritized police needs in year one and fire needs in year two. Years 3-10 would address existing leases and future expenditures. The chiefs first presented their budget to the Measure H Committee as a courtesy. It was then approved by City Council with full knowledge that fire equipment procurement was coming in year two.

The 2014-15 budget year starts July 1, but about $12 million in Measure H funds accrue over 10 years. The new firetruck, including lease costs, is about $900,000 over 10 years, or 7.5 percent of designated revenues.

Cal Fire’s size provides client municipalities best pricing and packaging on equipment. “Economies of scale” means the big guys get the best deals.

What detractors don’t want the public to know is that their delays and brinkmanship cost Atwater the loss of a demonstrator version of the truck approved June 9 that had $140,000 in extra, specialized equipment.

William Barkman, Atwater

Livingston High deserves better

After reading the June 7 paper and looking back on the June 6 paper, I would like to know why Livingston High School did not get the coverage the other high schools received.

Livingston High School has been a part of Merced County since the first graduating class of 1924. Our students deserve the same coverage as the other schools.

We have had great kids that ... have gone on to make our town proud.

Please consider, in the future, Livingston High School as being a part of Merced Union High School District.

Babs Ratzlaff, Class of ’56, Livingston

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