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On Feb. 3, the Mountain Democrat contained a full-page ad taken out by the Chamber of Commerce that makes me wonder if the members have a collective reading comprehension disability. Or maybe they failed eighth grade civics.
The ad warns folks not to “sign the petition” because doing so would ensure state control of land-use policy in El Dorado County. Huh? They are referring to the “Fix Highway 50 First/Keep Us Rural” initiative. If approved by the voters, this initiative would actually ensure continuing, and stronger, local control of land use.
In the last few years, big out-of-county developers have been trying, and sometimes succeeding, to subvert the voter-approved General Plan by pushing for rezones and land-use redesignations. Passage of the initiative would make it much harder for them to do that.
I will assume that Mountain Democrat readers are both more literate, more honest and more rational than the Chamber of Commerce members appear to be. I urge all of you to go to the Rural Communities United Website, RuralCommunitiesUnited.com, and read the initiative for yourself. I guarantee that you will find nothing in it that is any threat to local control of land use.
Now for the civics lesson. When an initiative petition is being circulated, your signature on the petition merely says, “OK, you can put this on the ballot.” It is the result of the ensuing election that determines whether the initiative actually becomes a law. Even if you disagree with the folks who support the “Fix Highway 50 First/Keep Us Rural” initiative, be brave and sign the petition. Let the voters of the county say yea or nay to sprawl and gridlock. It’s called democracy.
MARY LOU GILES