The upcoming election on the county general plan has really reached the point of ridiculousness. How did we get into this mess in the first place? The general plan update process was started seven years ago with the best of intentions, getting everyone involved so that a consensus could be developed. Instead we've ended up with two competing plans and a divided citizenry.
Even trying to explain the situation makes my head spin. We've got three ways to vote on two plans. Yes, three.
1. Measure A: Voting yes means you want the General Plan Initiative, the "slow growth" plan, to pass.
2. Measure B: Voting yes means you want to repeal General Plan Update 4, the "developers" plan which was enacted by the county supervisors several months ago.
3. Measure C: Voting yes means you want to enact General Plan Update 4.
Just so we're clear, Yes on A means yes. Yes on B means no, and yes on C means yes. I think.
You can thank the county supervisors for the confusion. They let it go on the ballot that way. To me, that's reason enough to vote against GPU4, which is their baby.
Measure A actually comes closer to my vision for the county, but its opponents do make a valid point that it may be too rigid.
There are a lot of issues involved here, of course, and I don't have time to get into them all. Let me just say that there are actually elements of both plans that I like, and elements of both I don't like.
One thing is clear: This election has become so divisive that whichever side "wins" a substantial portion of the population is going to feel left out. That is no way to plan for a future that affects everyone.
Thus I am leaning towards voting against both plans. If both plans fail, we will revert to the 1982 plan, which doesn't seem so bad anymore. At least we were able to function under it without treating each other as evil personified. Maybe it would give both sides time to cool off, rethink their rigid positions, recognize that we're all in this together, and start to work together.