Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor | Friday, May 10, 2019: Unreasonable rent, taxes and Harder

Homelessness comes from high rent

People who work in Stanislaus County cannot afford current rents, which rose 9.7 percent in one year.

According to RentJungle.com, our current average (monthly) rent is $1,218 while (yearly) wages are $32,130. After taxes that leaves a monthly wage of $2,676. There is no way a person can spend 54 percent of that on rent and have enough to pay bills or buy food. Buying a house isn’t any cheaper since home prices are up to an average of more than $300,000.

No one should be forced to get a roommate or move in with family in order to survive. Something has to be done to get this under control, even if it means rent control.

Our homeless rate is astronomical and will only go higher if this continues.

Terri Coleman, Modesto

Don’t they want our money?

I made my tax payment before it was due last month using the drop box on the second floor in the county administration building. A few days ago, I received a notice that my payment hadn’t been received and now included an additional penalty and cost. Both the tax office and my bank verified that my payment had not been processed.

Without a receipt I had no recourse, so I made the payment including $80 in extra charges. At the counter, I asked the cashier if any other customers had experienced the same issue with the drop box; the answer was “yes.”

I’m semiretired with low income, so the extra penalties are a burden. If this was my fault, I’d have no problem, but the bill was paid at their payment box and on time. It had to have been lost or mishandled between the box and processing . The county has security at entrances and a police guard a few yards away. Mishandling of the payment was the county’s fault.

Bob Meyer, Modesto

Trying too hard to please everyone

Josh Harder ran a campaign of platitudes against Jeff Denham. His campaign centered around one thing: that he was not Denham. This allowed Harder to be vague about policy and speak in generalities. Harder didn’t win District 10 as much as Denham lost it.

Now Harder spends time courting right-leaning moderates and Republicans. After the state of the union address, Harder appeared with GOP Congressman Van Taylor to show “bipartisanship.” Taylor has a history in Texas as someone who voted against Women’s Equal Pay, against LGBTQ issues, and against workers’ rights to privacy. It’s a head-scratcher thinking about why Harder chose to align with Taylor.

The issues in Washington D.C. are a result of the GOP ramming policy through without bipartisan support. When Democrats like Harder are elected they seek to find “common ground” and compromise. This usually means they are going to lean right to hopefully gain GOP supporters. This never works. When given an option, District 10 Republican constituents will vote for a GOP candidate.

Harder needs to fight for the Democrats who elected him. He needs to push this Congress back to the left. I do not see the fight in Josh Harder.

Rudy De La Torre, Manteca

Water ideas are solid

Josh Harder, our freshman congressman, has unveiled his new SAVE (Securing Access for the Central Valley and Enhancing) Water Resources Act.

He consulted with other congressmen, county supervisors, the Del Puerto Water District and other districts such as the Central California Irrigation District. He met with representatives from the agriculture industry and various government officials to make sure the bill included ideas from all sectors on storage and innovations. It has provisions for flood irrigation to recharge groundwater, expands the San Luis Reservoir, adds water storage projects elsewhere in the valley, and vastly increases funding for reclamation and recycling for our very thirsty valley. We’ve had a good year for rain and snow , but after seven years of drought, we need to plan for the future of our agriculture economy as well as the needs of Central Valley residents for domestic uses.

In a short time in office, Rep. Harder has made it clear he is working for all the people of his district , is open to input and has made the effort to reach across party lines to accomplish goals . I’m impressed.

Susan Martin, Modesto