Will the City of Santa Cruz opt to live within the natural limits of its water resources, or will it decide to embark on “manufacturing water” through a desalination process, thus escaping the need to conform future growth to resource constraints? Will Monterey County preserve or pave over its productive farmlands, and will it protect or develop the wild lands of the former Fort Ord? How these questions are answered will determine the economic, and environmental future of our region.
Unless concerned citizens and residents get actively involved in the decision-making process, these fundamental decisions will be made by our currently serving elected officials. That may be fine, if these officials are accurately in touch with what the majority of the community wants, but I do wonder if that is true. Step one for those who want to be engaged in the decision-making process is to “get organized.” Step two is to “get the facts.” The third step seems obvious: “make a plan.”
As it works out, these decisions are most often made by unelected staff, rather than elected officials. True, the officials must approve recommendations from their staff, and citizens have the power to vote officials out of office, periodically.ReplyDelete
Nevertheless, many, if not the majority of municipal projects are conceived, planned and implemented outside the political process and beyond the reach of the citizenry.
Voting is an limited means of democratic participation in government. Yes, we do vote for our representatives buit our involvement cannot stop there.
"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance." John Philpot Curran, 1790