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Concerned about SLO

The city of San Luis Obispo might be ready for a changing of the guards

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A few years back, I remember, SLO was voted the best place to live on the West Coast. Today, I heard of a lady recently getting a $500 ticket for walking her dog on one of our local mountains. The citing officer/ranger (first off I would like to say shame on you!) told her she was not permitted to be on the mountain before and after a certain time! I have walked these trails in the past and I don’t remember a gate with a lock or a sign with allowable hours. 

Do the rangers/officers view the community as evil rather than caring citizens? Why are the officers/rangers so militaristic rather than like Andy Griffith in Mayberry with love and warnings? 

You catch more bees with honey rather than a heavy hand. I know we have a few bad eggs out there, but why the blanket give-a-ticket and cause-a-financial-hardship first? I get it: We would rather see a dog on a leash, no trash on the trail, and no dog bags full of dog waste. How about the city getting volunteers involved walking the mountains educating the public. Rather than sitting back, peeking out a window, and complaining about people, let’s put our lives were our mouth is. Empower the volunteers to take down the violators’ names and addresses, add them to a database, and if they violate again, double the ticket. Education is a far better tool than an embarrassing slap in the face to the good at heart. 

As for the Cal Poly students, when are we going to start holding the college responsible for its students’ behavior? When a student does something stupid in public, let a copy of the ticket go to the school as well to the student. However, let’s make the school responsible for paying the ticket. Thus, the college is responsible for the education and control of its own student’s infraction. Thus, reminding the student he or she is a guest in SLO and needs to respect us. 

I hear people talking about how heavy handed the police and park rangers are in SLO County. They state that they are always looking over their shoulder waiting to get ticketed for picking a flower. We are curious if the police even care for the tax-paying citizens in SLO at all. 

One couple told me that an officer was called out to their home because a homeless man was squatting on their property. After the officer came to investigate, he had the audacity to blame the homeowners rather than taking care of the homeless problem. The officer told the homeowners if they didn’t want the homeless around, then they shouldn’t have objects lying about on their property to encourage homeless people to come around. In the majority of cases, these are people in need of help. 

When I talk to business owners or have conversations with my contractor friends, they all complain about how the city is nickel-and-diming them at every angle. If you want to add a porch or deck to your private property, you have to pay an unbelievable permit fee. What are you paying for? For the city to come and help you build? Or are we lining the pockets of a certain few? If you want to expand your business, it’s the same thing: high permit fees! 

Utility bills are increasing with tighter city control. All of us are getting fed up with this. If you have a rental to help make ends meet, now the city wants to get its nose into that with increased fees and permits, when, in fact, it keeps passing laws to back its own illegal activities. 

We ask for windmills up and down Los Osos Valley Road and desalination plants, and we get ignored. The question is, is the city for the people or for its own interest? Is it time to change the guards?

Come on, people think our problems are easy to solve and bullying is not the answer. 

Kevin Matea is unhappy with the way the city of San Luis Obispo is progressing. What do you think? Send comments to the editor at clanham@newtimesslo.com. But, even better, you can send a letter to the editor to be published in our next edition: letters@newtimesslo.com.

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