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Letters to the Editor: Beachfront housing for $215 per month? Only if you’re a state worker

A view of white cottages that border the beach.
Some cottages at Crystal Cove State Park in Newport Beach are rented to state employees for far below market rates.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Kudos to The Times for its exposé on yet another government scandal, the ability of some public employees to pay very low rent to live in state-owned homes in highly sought-after areas.

This may also explain the reason why it is nearly impossible to get a reservation on a cottage at Crystal Cove State Park in Newport Beach. I have tried multiple times during the past decade without success.

Thanks for keeping the fire underneath the heels of our state agencies. I suspect that there will be a treasure trove of yet more unethical behavior if you dig deep enough.

John T. Chiu, Newport Beach

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To the editor: A front-page story reports that employees of the California Department of Parks and Recreation enjoy low rents in state-owned houses. These houses rent for an average of $215 a month, which, “according to a Times analysis ... is not enough to cover the cost of maintaining them.”

I find it interesting that The Times, when exposing state malfeasance, accepts the proposition that it costs money to maintain rental housing. Yet it often writes as if, with the state’s COVID-19 mandates on rental housing, landlords can survive and continue to provide homes that are up to code even when tenants cease paying rent.

Michael Lawler, Rancho Mirage

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To the editor: I read your article on state parks employees’ housing perk. It seems we have a case of jealousy here.

Someone is getting something I’m not. Oh no.

With the low pay and long hours these public servants put in day after day, having discounted housing on site so they can watch over our spectacular scenic resources where they live should be considered part of their pay.

It would have been nice to have someone at the Mitchell Caverns in the Mojave Desert a few years ago. After the rangers who patrolled the area retired in 2010 and were not replaced, vandals carted off everything from electrical wiring to diesel generators.

When an emergency is in progress every second counts, and having someone on site to watch over everything is a necessity nowadays.

With all that is happening in the world right now, is someone getting an employee perk really this important? Do you think the people who work at auto parts stores pay the same price for equipment that you do?

Dannie Fox, Arizona City, Ariz.


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