Jason Rodriguez: Measure T is a Trojan Horse

First published in the Coastal View on August 17, 2022.

On this November’s ballot, there’s an initiative that is a Trojan Horse for Carpinteria voters. The initiative is being presented as one thing, “Save Downtown Open Space,” but in fact, it’s another thing altogether.

As written, this initiative changes the zoning on recreational properties throughout Carpinteria. For example, if there’s a proposal to upgrade or install parking lots to access the bluffs, skatepark or proposed bike path down to Rincon Point, the city could lose the power of oversight. Instead, taxpayers would be compelled to pay costly elections to make future decisions. Decision-by-voter-initiative would be a tangled mess and a horribly inefficient way to plan and operate a city.

Voters elect city council representatives; voters don’t review complicated planning documents and decide whether proposals honor the city’s General Plan and its stated objective to “preserve the general character of our small beach town.” As a comprehensive planning document, the General Plan guides consistent policy. Planning by voter initiative will create a whack-a-mole process resulting in patchwork decisions based on who shows up to vote in which election.

Vote No this November on the initiative, which might be better titled the “Unintended Consequences Initiative.” 

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