Marin IJ Readers Forum for November 22, 2021 – Marin Independent Journal


Focus on the water district is not in the right place

I am disheartened by the recent letter from the Marin Municipal Water District to its clients encouraging water conservation and threatening the consequences.

When district management hits paying consumers who are not sufficiently “encouraged” to save water with draconian penalties, it looks like something from North Korea. MMWD does not have the right, as a public service, to charge consumption penalties. It is not a tax authority.

In a table showing rates and penalties, MMWD did not – ever – distinguish between properties of different sizes. What makes sense for small lots that have virtually no landscaping, doesn’t make sense for large properties. Some of us use our land for agriculture. I have a vineyard on my property. The “one size fits all” chart is not a fair and inclusive way to price the product.

MMWD officials sell water. It is common business practice that the more water you use, the less you have to pay (proportionally) per unit. If I sold you one shirt and you wanted two, would it make sense to double the price and charge you a penalty for the second shirt?

If MMWD fails to supply Marin’s customers with abundant water at reasonable prices, it is solely responsible for itself. Local districts should now see water as a finite resource. MMWD has surely noticed in its 110 years of monopoly existence that we have wetter and drier years. There are solutions: build more reservoirs, bring water from the Russian, Hood or Columbia rivers and build desalination plants.

MMWD must not pass on its breaches and penalties to customers, especially since it is a public service. What type of business asks its buyers to consume less of its products and punishes them if they buy more? MMWD should rethink its business philosophy.

– Tom Areton, San Anselme

Kaiser’s health care was a disappointment

I am disappointed with Kaiser Permanente health care. In a nutshell, I think there are too many bean count administrators. It is always recruiting more patients, even if there is clearly not enough medical staff to cover those already registered.

– Philip Hicks, San Anselme

Traffic problems must be solved in the Tam Valley

I have been a resident of Tam Valley for over 35 years.

Over the past few years, I have heard complaints about our local traffic. The worst times, I was told, are the weekdays when the school is open. Since I worked in Sonoma, I rarely dealt with traffic problems at noon. I was fortunate enough to only have to navigate in cars to get to parks and beaches on weekends. Those of you who have lived here for years have also noticed the increase in traffic during the weekends.

I retired several months ago, so I am now in town seven days a week. It is now obvious to me that bad traffic affects our lives. Traffic jams should be taken into account before venturing out of the house. A 10 minute trip can take over 30 minutes. It’s a road disaster.

I identified several issues and provided solutions as well. The traffic light at Tennessee Valley Road and Highway 1, as well as the light at Shoreline Highway and Flamingo Road, should remain green unless a pedestrian presses a “walk” button. The two lights were a disaster.

In addition, the traffic flow from Altamont Avenue to Tam Junction should be corrected. The turn lane on the right side at the junction has been virtually eliminated. There’s room for the track, but it looks like sloppy engineering took it out. This creates backups all the way to Tamalpais High School.

Mill Valley’s problems contribute to our environmental concerns. Traffic causes pollution, frustration and waste of time. It can be corrected. There are solutions.

– Norman Shore, Mill Valley


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