Thursday, September 21, 2006
ALL WORK AND NO PLAY… Squid’s a hard worker, but Squid does not believe wasting time in doing unnecessary work. Do it once; do it right; go to the beach—that’s Squid’s motto. And by the looks of things, Monterey County officials could stand to take lessons from Squid.
Squid’s talking about the MONTEREY COUNTY GENERAL PLAN UPDATE. To date, Monterey County planners and consultants have drafted four versions of this huge and very wordy blueprint for future growth in the unincorporated county, which is (everybody sing along now): six years and 6 million dollars in the making. County staffers have held hundreds of workshops about the plan, and County Planning Commissioners and Supervisors have probably held almost as many public hearings debating the plan. (Sing!) Squid’s not gonna even get into all the hard work that the attorneys have put forward litigating, threatening to litigate and defending the growth document. It’s a mind-boggling lot of work, really.
And the work continues. On Thursday, Sept. 21, from 1-9pm, Planning Commissioners will hold another meeting to discuss various elements in the plan: land use, economic development, conservation and open space, safety, circulation, public services and housing. An eight-hour meeting?! Squid would rather be dead. No, really.
All of this adds up to way too much work. Lucky for all you land-use enthusiasts, Squid’s got a suggestion that will cut back everyone’s workload drastically.
As you know by now, earlier this week, a full-panel of the 9TH CIRCUIT COURT decided in Padilla v. Lever that recall petitions needn’t be translated into Spanish or another minority language to satisfy the VOTING RIGHTS ACT. Naturally, attorneys for the County are going to try to argue that this doesn’t apply to two local lawsuits, the GENERAL PLAN INITIATIVE and the BUTTERFLY VILLAGE REFERENDUM, because neither involve recall petitions. But that argument probably is not going to work, especially because the court specifically talks about rulings on other initiative petitions.
So, here’s Squid’s solution: County Supes, go ahead and throw GPU 4 into the trash. You’re good at that. You’ve had lots of practice with the other three drafts. Then, call a special election and put the General Plan Initiative on the ballot. Let voters decide whether or not they want a slow-growth plan. While you’re at it, stick the Butterfly Village referendum on the ballot, too, and let voters say no to a sprawling development in the Rancho San Juan area—again.
Cancel the rest of the General Plan workshops and hearings. Now, everybody go home. Go to the beach. It sure beats working.