Letters to the Editor

UC tuition, political boundaries, vote by mail, etc.

UC finanical incompetence

Re “Pension costs fueling UC plan to hike tuition” (Page A1, Nov. 17): Because of incompetence by the UC Board of Regents, students apparently will be required to pay even higher costs for tuition, on top of increases that have historically exceeded the rate of inflation. The UC is obligated to pay retirees at least $7.2 billion more than what UC will have to pay retirees.

The regents decided years ago to significantly reduce what it set aside each year for pensions. If you quit setting aside funds for retirees, you will not have enough money to pay retirees. The Sacramento Bee’s article notes that Gary Schlimgen, executive director of UC’s retirement programs, stated that UC has been responsible stewards of the system. Given the enormous unfunded pension obligation to UC employees, I am very fortunate that he was not the steward of my retirement plan. If UC had been responsible stewards, then students might not have to bear continual large increases in tuition.

Ed Kaempf, Granite Bay

We deserve UC tuition hikes

I read with delight the plan for the University of California to raise tuition to cover pension costs. The same people who put Democrats and their union allies in power are the ones getting stuck with the bill, as are countless hardworking families.

Does anyone find this surprising? Democrats have always prioritized unions over the taxpayers. Do you think the union members care about UC students? Government unions are the No. 1 threat to American prosperity. Billions of unfunded mandates continue to be kicked down the road by Democratic politicians. Armageddon is coming, California, and the only ones who suffer are the students and taxpayers. Keep working harder, California, because the Democrats need your money.

Rob Dobson, Granite Bay

What about professors’ benefits

Re “Higher tuition won’t aid UC” (Viewpoints, Nov. 16): James Vernon lists the increase in tuition and fees at UC for the past few decades and mentions that, along with the cuts in state funding, that UC’s administrators “have ensured that they are very well paid.” It’s interesting that Vernon did not choose to list the increases in pay and benefits for the UC professors during that same period.

Is it fair to assume that they kept pace with the rising cost of living, or possibly exceeded it? And as co-chair of the Faculty Association, was Vernon party to the negotiations for those benefit increases? He may want to look in the mirror before assigning blame elsewhere.

Scott Davis, Rocklin

Why rehash old battles?

Re “Mayor challenges district boundary” (Our Region, Nov. 15): Why is Mayor Kevin Johnson again stirring up emotions and a turf war over which City Council district UC Davis Medical Center belongs in? He says he’s “righting a wrong.” What’s the “wrong”?

This is about representation. The City Council reached a fair compromise in 2011 by dividing the disputed area between Districts 5 and 6 using Stockton Boulevard as a natural boundary. The Medical Center is bordered on the other three sides by Tahoe Park and Elmhurst in District 6, but the mayor is committed to moving it back to District 5 for its symbolism. Those of us who live next to the Medical Center are concerned about the endless expansion, noise and traffic into our neighborhood.

Who will be more vigilant with ensuring limits on growth: a councilman from Curtis Park that touts the campus as a symbol, or a councilman representing the people who live right next to the Medical Center?

Let’s move on.

Glen Korengold, Sacramento

Once up, never down

Re “Army’s unconscionable act” (Letters, Nov. 15): The recent letter to the editor says the Army should give the captain what he has honorably earned instead of retiring the officer as a sergeant. The Department of Defense should create a new policy that it would never retire an officer as a sergeant – Once Up, Never Down.

If funds do not exist to retire an officer who has served 20 years of active duty, they should be retired at less than 50 percent instead of retiring them as sergeants. Officers should be informed that once they attain officer rank, they will never be retired as an enlisted person.

Col. Richard M. Meyer, Lincoln

All-mail-in voting ill-advised

Re “State urged to go to all-mail voting” (Page A1, Nov. 15): Voting by mail is clearly needed for voters who are disabled, without transportation, or who will be out of town on Election Day. Beyond that the need is questionable and increases the chance of voter fraud. The registration process alone is inadequate to prevent fraud. Requiring the appearance at a poll discourages voter fraud, but not the increasing need for recounts such as the Ose-Bera recount. All-mail voting would overwhelm manual recount procedures and could be subject to widespread fraud.

Robert Reark, Granite Bay

Deceased still gets ballots

My late husband was an absentee voter. When he died 41/2 years ago, Sacramento County issued a death certificate, and his demise was published in The Sacramento Bee. Nevertheless, the Registrar of Voters continues to send him an absentee ballot. In the six general elections since he died, someone could easily have used his ballot to vote. Until our (apparently overworked) Registrar of Voters develops a system to remove the dead from the voting rolls, requiring everyone to vote by mail is nothing more than a foolish invitation for voter fraud.

Anita Ravenscroft, Elverta

Big money stealing democracy

Re “Bera still leads Ose; 11,000 ballots left” (Page A4, Nov 15): The money spent in the Bera-Ose congressional election effort was a public disgrace. The American Crossroads super PAC, with consultant Karl Rove, is a shameful, free-spending enterprise.

Our early American leaders were greatly worried about unfettered power. And now we have Karl Rove and American Crossroads representing the top 1 percent and wanting to dictate the rules to the remaining 99 percent under the disguise of a democracy and free elections.

Felix E. Smith, Carmichael

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