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Our Readers Write: Taxes and government workers; street conditions; trolley bus route; food waste

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Letters to the editor:

We’re not benefiting from our high tax payments

Here in California we pay the highest state income taxes in the country [according to World Population Review]. Here in La Jolla we pay among the highest property taxes per square foot in the United States.

Strangely, recent articles in the La Jolla Light include laments about the condition of the pavement of our La Jolla streets, the rising crime, the homeless and many, many other failures of our local and state governments to solve these problems. This is despite those massive tax inflows.

Alas, there is a lack of understanding on the part of our citizens as to how government works in California. Simply put, two of the main reasons our tax dollars fail to reach our problems are the overpayment of government employees and our absolute inability to terminate even the worst-performing government workers, unlike what can be done in the private sector.

State and local governments pay their employees nearly 50 percent more in compensation and benefits than they would receive in the private sector [according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics]. Why? Because according to statistical data, there are approximately 883,000 state and local government employees in California [according to Governing.com], and this number is often more than the margin of error in elections.

If you were getting 50 percent more than the market rate in your job, what public officials would you vote for? If you responded, “The officials currently in power,” you’d be right on the mark.

Good luck changing that system.

Tom McAndrews

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La Jolla Shores Drive also needs resurfacing

I applaud the resurfacing of La Jolla Parkway (“La Jolla Parkway to be resurfaced as part of ‘Sexy Streets’ initiative,” Jan. 13, La Jolla Light). It is sorely needed.

However, La Jolla Shores Drive is also in bad need of new pavement.

Francisco C. Fuentes

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Another bus route suggestion to connect La Jolla and trolley

A recent La Jolla Light article pointed to the low ridership on the new bus line (No. 140) running between the Balboa Avenue trolley stop and La Jolla Village (“La Jolla’s new bus route for Blue Line trolley sees low ridership early on,” Feb. 3).

In my opinion, one of the reasons for this low ridership is that this bus doesn’t travel through many neighborhoods where people live. If we had a bus route running from the Balboa trolley stop “over the hill” to La Jolla Village, I believe many more people would use it either to get to The Village or to the trolley stop. It would be within easy walking distance of many neighborhoods along the way.

The logical route from the trolley stop would be to travel on Balboa Avenue, up the hill on Soledad Mountain Road, down the other side on Nautilus Street, and then follow the No. 30 bus route to The Village via La Jolla Boulevard, Pearl Street and Girard Avenue.

Janet Harris

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Weigh worries about stench and bugs against concerns about the planet

Mike Stalsby understandably is concerned about the smells and insects that may be attracted to some of the new bins that the city must provide for collecting food waste (“Food-waste recycling system is a recipe for filth and stench,” Our Readers Write, La Jolla Light, Feb. 10).

He seems to suggest the city should provide a “new” bin for every collection. Of course, that would incredibly inflate the cost of the program and create a new problem of plastic recycling.

While there may be odors from these bins when opened, and insects associated with collection of food waste if lids are left off, the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHGs) will be huge if the waste is composted by the city and turned into rich soil.

Methane is a GHG 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide for the first 20 years it is in our atmosphere, and 25 percent of Earth’s warming is currently generated by methane, according to the Environmental Defense Fund.

Our family has collected our food waste for the last nine months because of the potency of methane emissions and the bleak future of life on our planet unless we drastically reduce worldwide GHG emissions. The legislation requiring statewide collection of food waste is a wise state response to our climate crisis.

Those of us concerned about the future we leave for our children and grandchildren will gladly put up with a few bugs and odors rather than continue to let our food waste rot in landfills and create powerful GHGs.

Jan Chatten-Brown

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What’s on YOUR mind?

Letters published in the La Jolla Light express views from readers about community matters. Submissions of related photos also are welcome. Letters reflect the writers’ opinions and not necessarily those of the newspaper staff or publisher. Letters are subject to editing. To share your thoughts in this public forum, email them with your first and last names and city or neighborhood of residence to robert.vardon@lajollalight.com. You also can submit a letter online at lajollalight.com/submit-a-letter-to-the-editor. The deadline is 10 a.m. Monday for publication in that week’s paper. Letters without the writer’s name cannot be published. Letters from the same person are limited to one in a 30-day period. ◆