Thursday, July 25, 2002
'Citizens' Committee' Is a Sham My most endearing memory of governance in Monterey County is a night in Seaside, when more than 100 citizens braved a torrential rain to participate in the County''s General Plan process. It was a vivid and wonderful example of democracy in action.
The Board of Supervisors is to be commended for putting this process into action. Now, having received more than two years of public input, and $2 million worth of dedicated work on the part of County employees, it is time to honor those who spent the time to craft the General Plan, and to respect the process established by the Board.
The request by a small, self-interested lobbying group to permit them to act as a quasi-supervisorial review board, and to supercede two years of hard work by the citizens of Monterey County, must be rejected ["Growers Try to Derail General Plan," July 18-24].
Such a committee would destroy the democratic process under which the General Plan was developed.
A so-called "citizens committee" assaults the very spirit of the massive citizen participation fostered by the Board. More than 1,000 citizens spent thousands of hours attending meetings, reading and writing.
We did not do this work so that it could be turned over to a private group of developers and their attorneys at the last moment.
JOHN DALESSIO/CARMEL VALLEY
War and Silence
Excellent story by Traci Hukill about plans to invade Iraq ["A Dangerous Game," [July 18-25]. Lately we''ve been hearing a lot of loose talk from the Bush Administration about a massive invasion of Iraq for what we think they might do in the future.
The rest of the world is understandably worried about the potential consequences of such an attack, as well as the arrogant disregard for international law.
Incredibly, here at home there is no outcry, hardly a dissenting voice.
Is it because we are at "war," and anything our leaders want to do is okay? The same leaders who have screwed up the economy, the environment, homeland security, Osama bin Laden and everything else? This is not good.
ARLEN GROSSMAN/DEL REY OAKS
Guns and Water
I don''t like guns. And under normal circumstances I cannot foresee any situation that would align me philosophically with a gun shop owner. Most gun shop owners, I would assume, feel similarly towards coffeehouse owners such as myself.
Monterey''s City Council and the city''s various department heads irritate folks at both extremes of the political spectrum. A local gun shop owner commented to me recently about the "exceptional arrogance," "heavy-handed tactics" and "threatening behavior" of the City Attorney''s office. But that is the sort of behavior encouraged and rewarded by the city''s elected officials.
Coincidentally, during the July 16th city council meeting, one councilmember whined that local residents referred to the council as "arrogant" and "inept." Here''s a bit of unsolicited advice for the entire council: be less arrogant and more competent.
Arrogance? Our firefighters and police officers are asking for binding arbitration against the apparent will of Monterey''s non-resident city manager, Fred Meurer. The city council looked down their collective noses and informed the city employees that they (the council) know what''s best for them.
Arrogance? The Monterey City Council is hoping to dissolve the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District that clearly speaks for the vast majority of voters who elected them to office, instead of representing the thinly-veiled self-interests of the minority. Dissolve the Water District? This is more like dissolving the voters. This is a brazen attempt to dismantle democracy.