Restore democracy on local level |

Restore democracy on local level

Regarding Eric Engles [Other Voices, “Grass Valley’s ticking time bomb,” Feb. 5), development will never stop because simpleminded civic leaders base “progress” only on if a development will “help” an existing community fiscally. (No mention is made of the “fiscal” costs such as the degradation of the quality of life including the concomitant increase in crime).

Engles naively supports getting involved, but in the face of powerful developers, representative democracy goes dead. I have been a professional ecologist for 20 years. I have been to over 100 “public hearings” against various types of developments, from Wal-Marts in Alaska to housing developments in San Diego County. Rooms are packed with residents overwhelmingly against these developments, and over and over “public servants” vote in favor of the development.

The word “no” is absent from the vocabulary of environmental groups. In one abomination, the Sierra Club of San Diego County actually endorsed two housing developments (while John Muir rolled in his grave). I don’t even know what an “environmental” group is anymore. They used to be a group of people that defend the environment.

If we don’t restore representative democracy on the local level, we won’t see ever see it at higher levels of government, as we all know by now.

V. S. Moran

North San Juan

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