A number of organizations and interests have coalesced around an effort to toss all of the work which has been done over the past 10 years into the bin and start over for what they say has been a lack of public input prior to the framework drafts (certainly everyone must agree that there has been an abundance of input since). Heraldo has a post with an extensive thread on tomorrow’s BOS meeting where that proposal will be discussed.
Dennis has covered the issue over the past couple of week’s on KMUD’s Monday Morning Magazine. Last week he had Peter Childs on to discuss the public participation requirements of the old General Plan, which he helped draft. This week he had Healthy Humboldt representatives. Both shows are available online.
I have some thoughts on the issue, which I’ll share tonight. It does appear that the County dropped the ball in failing to create Citizens Advisory Committees early on as required by local law, but I given that the framework for the GPU remains fluid (is constantly being updated) I don’t see any reason to start over, and I don’t think we can wait another ten years as I believe the old plan to be seriously outdated.
The cynical view is that developers want to delay as much as possible to slip through proposals under the old plan, and perhaps to change the make-up of the Board as Clif Clendenen, Jimmy Smith, and Mark Lovelace (all currently perceived by some as beholden to environmental and smart growth advocates – I mean really, Jimmy Smith?) all come up for re-election this next cycle. I doubt Mark and Jimmy are going to be vulnerable, but I am told that a great deal of money is going to be put into defeating Clif. I have heard rumors of three potential challengers, but I don’t expect anyone to formally declare until this summer or fall.
In the last campaign all three candidates ran exceptionally positive campaigns, even if some of the supporters crossed lines here and there. I’m wondering if this race will be as cordial. I will expect a much more detailed debate over the General Plan Update, both in terms of process and substance. I expect the rails-to-trails issue will be big again. Since all three candidates last time around supported the Richardson Grove project, I’m wondering if the opposition group will field its own candidate this time around. And soon the medical marijuana dispensary ordinance will be in place, and depending on the form it could be an issue as well.
More on the GPU issue and tomorrow’s BOS meeting later.