No one likes new taxes. But a SLO sales tax will directly improve local transportation | Opinion

Proven investment

New SLO County sales tax could raise $35 million a year. Will it be on the ballot?” (, April 9)

New taxes win few popularity contests. Your recent article is accurate, but more context is needed.

Since 2018, I’ve served as senior representative on the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments transportation advisory council. Each year, we monitor the allocation of millions of dollars for transportation-related projects that help every city and unincorporated area in the county. These dollars don’t fall from the sky; staff works hard to obtain and retain multiple external revenue streams.

It’s worth noting that citizens of 25 California counties — including Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara and Ventura — have already approved similar ½ cent sales taxes. In 2022, Santa Cruz used its new tax revenue to commit $32 million to county transportation. The state’s response? It chipped in $116 million in grant funding. By contrast, SLO could only find $12 million, to which Sacramento chipped in $36 million. That’s nice, but we left $70 million on the table.

Bottom line: Local transportation works mean good jobs and long-term, recession-proof construction projects. Yes, foregoing a ½ cent sales tax boost will save us some pennies, but the big bucks will go to our neighbors.

Todd Katz

San Luis Obispo

Unjust sentence

Families share tearful memories of SLO couple as driver is sentenced to prison,” (, April 9)

Daniel Angel Saligan Patricio kills two people and their dog with his car while texting and speeding under the influence yet he only gets sentenced to five years and four months in prison? Are you kidding me?

Is it any wonder with the botched SLO Police Department response? I have nothing but disappointment in the judge in this case and our police department. My condolences are with the families. May Matthew Chachere and Jennifer Besser rest in peace.

Mark Swain

San Luis Obispo


Transformative opportunity

Paso Robles Barney Schwartz Park to get bike pump track,” (, Aug. 23, 2021)

San Luis Obispo County stands at the forefront of a transformative opportunity to bolster community life and outdoor activities through the establishment of an all-inclusive asphalt pump track. Such tracks, which support cyclists of every age and skill level across a wide range of equipment — from BMX and mountain bikes to scooters and even wheelchairs — feature a seamless circuit of rollers and banked turns for continuous riding enjoyment.

Inspired by cities throughout the state, SLO County can create a recreational haven that draws visitors and supports local businesses. This initiative responds to the growing need for accessible and safe outdoor spaces, particularly critical in light of recent closures affecting recreational areas. Pump tracks not only offer a venue for physical activity and skill development, they foster community interaction and the efficient use of underutilized land.

Aligned with local measures aimed at enhancing public safety and city services, a pump track can contribute to improved park facilities and community aesthetics. By embracing this project, San Luis Obispo County can counteract the isolating effects of digital devices, encouraging a culture of inclusivity, health and community connectivity.

Let’s pave the way for a vibrant, active community in San Luis Obispo County.

Ian Journey

Pismo Beach

History repeats itself

GOP in San Luis Obispo and Placer counties endorse Trump,” (, Dec. 1, 2023)

Quick quiz: What man in history is described by the following statements: He was a skilled orator who rose to power by claiming he would make the country great again. He said immigrants were poisoning the blood of the country and called the free press the “enemy of the people.” He held huge rallies, allowing only those who supported his beliefs.

He changed the country’s conservative political party to a nationalist party and attacked the liberal party as being controlled by socialists and communists. He started his own media network and demanded total loyalty from everyone who worked with him.

He separated immigrant parents from their families and put them in camps, removed generals in the military who did not support his policies and built an armed militia who swore to fight for him.

He replaced judges with those who supported his right wing policies and removed his country from treaties with other nations. He also supported leaders in other countries who operated fascist dictatorships.

Who is it? These actions describe the actual history of Adolf Hitler during his rise to power in Germany in the 1930s. If another name occurred to you, it’s not surprising.

Everyone should watch the documentary series “Hitler: The Lost Tapes of the Third Reich.” It provides a great look at how dictators emerge and rise to power. Today, we might be just one election away from the same fate.

Alan Thomas

San Luis Obispo

Misleading comments

SLO writers condemns supervisor support of Diablo operations,” (, April 7)

At the March 26 Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Dawn Ortiz-Legg emphatically stated that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission issues licenses to operate nuclear power plants for 20 years: no more, and no less. She repeated that assertion several times. She was wrong.

I call your attention to NRC Code, Part 54.31 (b): “A renewed license will be issued for a fixed period of time, which is the sum of the additional amount of time beyond the expiration of the operating license or combined license (not to exceed 20 years) that is requested in a renewal application.... The term of any renewed license may not exceed 40 years.”

In other words, the applicant for the renewed license determines the time period for the license renewal; the NRC only determines the upper limit of the license term. PG&E could have applied for a five year license extension to operate Diablo Canyon beyond its scheduled shutdown dates of 2024/2025. It chose, instead, to apply for a 20-year extension.

SLO Mothers for Peace requests that Ortiz-Legg publicly retract and correct her assertion. Her misleading comments caused serious confusion among meeting attendees. Elected officials must state facts correctly when making assertions to the public. Otherwise, they lose the trust of their constituents.

Linda Seeley

San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace

Los Osos