Readers Write: One fell swoop
July 8, 2008
We are baffled that it’s possible for elected and appointed officials to undermine the democratic process as Bruce Kranz and Tim Leslie have in one fell swoop. We understand not all government decisions are made by popular vote, but the Kings Beach Commercial Core Improvement Project process has been one of community involvement from the get-go. And after much public debate (years of it), the clear choice of the community has been three lanes. In fact, the hybrid concept (to include additional parking) came out of the public meeting process.
It is apparent that dread of change, the highly effective tactic of fear-mongering and political purse strings have blocked the much-needed Highway 28 corridor improvements from proceeding.
As residents of the Grid in Kings Beach who have been involved in this process for years, we’d like to note that until recently, the safety of Grid residents was never a concern of those opposed to the three-lane option. Most four-laners were worried about parking issues, snow removal from roundabouts and their ability to continue speeding through Kings Beach.
Once four-laners discovered none of these arguments were valid, it became their focus to play to people’s fears. At a four-lane support meeting we attended at Gar Woods, an influential local restaurateur told the entire room he’d be in favor of the three-lane option if he only owned his Kings Beach restaurant and didn’t also own a restaurant in Carnelian Bay. It was not the safety of local children he was concerned about; he was worried there would be too much traffic for people to get to his Carnelian Bay location.
At this same meeting we were repeatedly told to sign in, only to discover the “sign-in” sheet was a thinly veiled petition in support of four lanes. Thanks to these tactics, many residents and business owners have found their names in newspaper ads and on sign posts in support of four lanes, without intentionally signing a petition.
One thing is for sure, this process isn’t over. We will continue to support improvements in our community, and we hope our elected officials will eventually do the same.
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