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Other voices: Grass Valley City Council leads the way

Congratulations to the Grass Valley City councilors for their courageous stand against diversity. The five-to-zip vote this week to fire Ralph Silberstein from the Grass Valley Planning Commission consolidated the commission and paved the way for the unanimity that has been missing since Silberstein took his seat. This move will make the planning commission work much more efficiently in approving new projects.

Personally, I have feared that Silberstein’s protests against such ideas as uncontrolled growth might suggest to potential developers that Grass Valley does not want to become Roseville on the Hill. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was Silberstein’s questions about things like transportation planning that might have kept big development money out of Grass Valley. What was he thinking? Do we really need someone who thinks on the planning commission?

I especially commend the council for keeping a lid on the upcoming effort to remove Silberstein until the day before the meeting. We all know what an unruly and vocal rabble of liberals we have in this town, and hundreds might have shown up if word of the pending vote had been leaked earlier.



What those ex-hippies need to remember is that we live in a representative democracy – emphasis on “representative.” Don’t give me this stuff about Silberstein representing the opinions of a lot of people in this town. Participatory democracy may be all right for some places. But be honest – would you trust the average citizen of Grass Valley to make decisions that will determine the kind of community that we will live in for the next 30 years?

We elect those five council persons to lead our community. They are not interested in what ordinary people have to say. If they were, would they give you only one three-minute chance to say your piece? That’s not exactly a public “discussion,” is it? Our public servants know what’s best for us. I say, get out of the way and let them lead. If you want to be part of the democratic process in this town, fella, join the Rotary.




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Mike Thompson lives in Grass Valley.


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