Farmers should house H-2A workers on their land
In response to Hazel Davalos' recent guest commentary, I truly believe that the farmer should house the H-2A farmworkers on their own property since they have to be responsible for their housing, food and transportation during their stay. They could place large metal shop-type buildings with kitchens, and stack bunk beds.
The commentary talked about a sentiment harbored by an arsonist who burned down a framed house on a cul-de-sac in Nipomo, yet failed to inform the readers that San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Lynn Compton stated she had worked for over a year with the owners, but government and the owners failed to inform the nearby property owners what was going on.
This is no different here with the motel near IHOP. The city, the farmers involved and CAUSE did the same thing right here in Santa Maria. It was a done deal way before the two sessions for the community input, just to be on the up and up.
This isn't how our government should work. No one would have known this was going on until a recent letter to the editor appeared in the Santa Maria Times. Instead of displacing residents within the city, farmers should house their workers on their own property. I don't care how carefully they screen 120 men, there are bound to be problems.
'Sanctuary' status questioned
How is it possible that Santa Maria can be a sanctuary city and have residents complaining about housing for H-2A workers who are here legally to work?
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Measure U tax should be reconsidered
It's official. April 1 is the first day of the implementation of Measure U, our new 1 percent sales tax. This tax, which is just starting, can be overturned at any time by the will of the voters. Let me give you a couple reasons to overturn or amend this tax. As of April 1 the following will happen: Your gas price per gallon will increase three cents per gallon. The cost of buying a $40k new car went up $400. All tangible property that is sold is subject to this tax, according to the Board of Equalization.
Cars and gas are tangible property. The ripple through the retail/service area is undeniable, as all costs are passed along to the customer. The plumber costs more, the landscaper costs more, dinner out costs more. Hey, it's only a penny per dollar, but add it up. Buy a big ticket item and feel the sting. Why would I buy a car here when a few miles down the road saves me several hundred dollars?
Nobody disagrees with the money being used for fire and safety. What I'm disagreeing with is the 300 percent increase this tax represents over the previous measure. It raises the question about what happened to the Enos Ranch development taking up the slack with all the new sales taxes collected from new merchants and property taxes from the new housing.
I would encourage the city council to re-visit this measure and exempt gas, tires and car sales from this new tax. These are products everyone needs and uses. We really don't have a choice. These are not discretionary purchases, everyone from the stockbroker to the field worker has to get to work. And I don't think this new tax increase is hurting the stockbroker.
Call it a district tax, call it a sales tax, I call it your hand deeper in my pocket than it needs to be. An increase of the measure to 1/2 percent from the 1/4 percent would have been more palatable.