Viewpoint - April 13, 2011

Letter: Terry Nagel for county supervisor

In the last two years working with pension reform I have learned more about budget deficits than anyone should want to. But it's our money, and San Mateo County has not been careful with it. Who would have thought that we are now deciding which county parks have to be closed. Closing parks?

Our county is in financial crisis — it has obligations that it cannot pay. And the largest single portion is employee costs, which have risen through the roof. We are out of cash because the supervisors have approved county employee pay and benefits that could not in fact be paid.

There is an election being held right now for one of the five county supervisor seats — mail in only. It closes May 3, and none too soon. We need a change in the decades-old power structure of county politics and the big money that funds campaigns.

Of the four major candidates, only Terry Nagel is free of union ties and union funding. That is a critical difference in a time when our leaders must disengage from the old power structure, to be free to make real change. One look at our gridlocked state government shows how critical it is to break that strangle hold. And there is the Grand Jury report, the Stanford report and the Little Hoover Commission report, as if we still need proof that the unsustainable public pensions are drowning out legitimate public services.

Only one candidate has committed to real change on pensions — and to not increase taxes or burn county reserve funds, either of which is only a stop gap to the mounting debt. Forget the glossy mailers from the big money candidates. Only Terry Nagel will "speak truth to power." I support Terry for supervisor.

Henry Riggs, Callie Lane, Menlo Park


Posted by Jack Hickey, a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Apr 15, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Henry, you do a disservice to Michael Stogner and Demetrios Nikas by referring to 4 major candidates. The last time I looked, Michael Stogner was the only candidate unencumbered by union OR radical environmentalist OR "good old boy club" endorsements. Michael is also very familiar with Grand Jury reports.

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