Oh Brian Eller, please improve

I write to you as a impassioned plea to improve your editorial skills: Research your topic and cite your sources. Your latest commentary complaining about unnecessary city fees lacked even the most basic assessment of the issue. For example I’m totally unclear why this fee is any worse for students than it is for other residents of San Luis Obispo because you provide no facts or argument to support that statement. Rudimentary research about the Fire Inspection fee would have revealed that San Luis Obispo city staff prepared a report for the city council analyzing the costs and benefits of the fee. In order to approve such an act, the city council had to prepare a document to be included in the accessible record implicitly stating how the services provided by the fee helped protect public health, safety and welfare. Note that by State law Section 66014, all “fees” imposed by a public agency must be spent on the provision of a specific service and cannot exceed the cost of providing said service. Instead of ranting about one fee increase, you could have rationally responded to the city’s assessment of the benefits and countered their argument in support of the fee.

Your argument for fiscal conservatism implies that all “fees” are unnecessary because they drive up the cost of living for students. Brian, if you don’t like paying for the services government in the United States provides (including your education), I suggest you move somewhere like Rwanda, Liberia or China. Their tax codes are very “conservative,” as are the services they provide.

Todd Fawley-King

City and regional planning senior

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