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Shocked to see councilman’s support for tax hike

I was shocked to see Madera City Councilman Will Oliver’s photo in the Business Journal March 29, standing with others in support of increased gas taxes and vehicle license fees. This, on top of a previous announcement by Gov. Jerry Brown, touting a hike in vehicle license fees to prop up the failing Highway Patrol Retirement Fund. We already have the highest gas taxes and vehicle license fees in the nation.

Councilman Oliver, explain where that money has gone, instead of being used to repair our roads and bridges as it was originally intended to.

Can you say “High Speed Rail” and “failing pension funds?” Do you have any idea what the unfunded pension liability is for all of the state, county and city governments? We don’t need more money for government, we need wiser use of the fees and taxes that are currently being charged, and we need elimination of costly programs that do not benefit the public as a whole, only select groups. We need honest politicians who do not make promises to government employees that they cannot keep without digging deeper into the public’s pocket to fund those promises when those politicians realize they erred.

Have you seen the sign on Highway 99 proudly proclaiming that 45 percent of Madera County is on Medicaid? That speaks volumes to the poverty that already exists in Madera County alone. How do you think that these increased vehicle license fees and higher gas taxes will affect the working poor in our community?

Do you really believe that taking more of our money will solve our road and infrastructure problems? The state is already diverting millions in funds from other programs to prop up the High-Speed Rail boondoggle that will never happen without ultimately diverting billions of dollars from those programs. This additional tax will also ultimately be diverted. On top of that, High-Speed rail will require subsidies forever, as it will never be self-supporting. If in fact it would be self-supporting you would have seen the private sector climb onto the bandwagon long ago. It has not happened and never will.

I know that you work for the government and I am not sure if you have ever had any private sector experience. If you have not, you would do well to ask people in the private sector how they feel about this hidden tax that is being call a “fee.” I would welcome a sit-down discussion with you at any time in the future regarding these items and I would hope that you will see the damage to our citizens this will cause.

Every dollar you take out of the public’s pocket is a dollar less that they will have to spend to have roofs over their heads, put food on their tables, buy clothes, gas, health insurance, send their children to college or care for themselves in their old age.

Ultimately this will affect our overall economy in Madera County, as well as the entire state.

I sincerely hope that you will recognize the hardship that this will cause everyone, especially those who can least afford it and publicly withdraw your support.

— Michael Pistoresi,

DMP Development Corp.,

Madera Torch run coming soon

The annual Law Enforcement Torch run for Special Olympics will be held on Tuesday, June 13. We will be meeting at the Madera Sheriff’s Office on Falcon Drive at 6:30 a.m. At that time we will be doing the Special Olympics oath with the athletes. We will also be taking a group picture of all the runners.

This year we have broken up the 24+ mile route into legs. (Our meeting point is the sheriff’s department but PD will start their leg back at the Courthouse.)

Madera Probation’s leg will be the fourth one, and we will hand the Torch off to the prisons. It is a five-mile leg.

I am looking for runners to sign up for our run, as well as volunteers for the event. Depending how fast the runners run, it will last from 6:30 to 1 p.m. If you are not a runner, and would like to sponsor a Madera High School track/football player to run for you, please contact deputy probation officer Sylvia Garcia. We have teamed up with MHS track and football coaches who would like their students to participate in the run, if possible. Also this is an open event, anyone can run as long as they register, so please invite your friends and family to participate with us.

Runners are more than welcome to run some of the leg, the entire leg, or multiple legs as well!

Here are some web site links for the run:

Map of the run:

Link to register:

Please register by June 1 to insure you have your Torch Run dri-fit shirt in time for the run!

— Mary Ann Dawkins,

deputy probation officer,

Madera County Probation Department

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