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Don't give up your right to vote

October 30, 2012

By BILL McCLELLAN

This whole 4A, 4B thing has me perplexed. I cannot for the life of me understand why people in this town who have railed on in the past about their right to vote are now standing in line to give up that right.

At least two of our recent letter-to-the-editor writers were vocally upset and angry when they did not get to vote on city council actions such as the smoking ordinance or water park. But today, those same folks are asking you to switch to a 4B EDC and give up your right to vote.

Amazing, isn’t it?

Here’s reality: If you have voted in favor of the Economic Development Corporation switching to a 4B corporation — in other words FOR Proposition 1 on the ballot — you have voted yourself out of an opportunity to vote on any and all 4B projects in the future. That’s because once the corporation is 4B, the board can do what it wants. There is no vote except by the seven board members. Yes, you’ll be able to speak your mind in a public forum, but that’s it. You’ve given up your right to vote on 4B projects.

However, if the corporation stays 4A, you’ll be able to vote on any and all 4B projects that come up, such as the one recently approved by voters that directs 40 percent of the EDC’s funds to water treatment for the next 20 years. Keep in mind, that was a 4A corporation taking on a 4B project with voter approval. How difficult was that?

Don’t left anyone tell you that a 4B corporation can do more than a 4A corporation. It’s not true. The difference is, that under a 4B corporation, the EDC board does not need your vote to begin a 4B project — any 4B project. Under a 4A corporation, your vote — not just board approval — is necessary.

If you haven’t voted yet, I encourage you not to give up the control you currently have. Don’t put your faith in government — any government. Frankly, that’s just silly. Make sure you still have more than a voice no one may listen to. Make sure you still have a vote.

Vote against Proposition 1.

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