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Thread: Planning in rural America - The 85 percenter rule

  1. #1

    Planning in rural America - The 85 percenter rule

    I would normally argue that public referendums and placing controversial issues on the ballot are the best way to go to resolve zoning issues. But if the voters are a bunch of clueless "eighty-five percenters" that won't help at all. (These same "Billy-Bobs," after all, are the ones that vote for the Wal-Marts and Home Depots to come to town so they can save 50 cents on drywall).

    If public opinion is swayed that easily, then its too bad that these individuals have the right to vote at all. Seems like the only thing you can do is give them tickets to a Shania Twain concert on election day and tell them to go away.

  2. #2
    I would normally argue that public referendums and placing controversial issues on the ballot are the best way to go to resolve zoning issues. But if the voters are a bunch of clueless "eighty-five percenters" that won't help at all. (These same "Billy-Bobs," after all, are the ones that vote for the Wal-Marts and Home Depots to come to town so they can save 50 cents on drywall).
    You call yourself a "ten percenter?!!" This sure smacks of elitism to me...

    If public opinion is swayed that easily, then its too bad that these individuals have the right to vote at all. Seems like the only thing you can do is give them tickets to a Shania Twain concert on election day and tell them to go away.
    More of the same. Wow, what frightening arrogance...

  3. #3
    No, no no! You've got me all wrong, man!

    I was merely trying to argue that - because of a certian type of voter - the same old good ol' boy bums keep getting elected year after year.
    Sure, everybody should have the right to vote, but voters don't always make the right decisions when it comes to planning and zoning issues and how it affects the quality of life of the community. When voters are as swayed as easily as the rural planner pointed out, then there's something very wrong.

    The politicians/developers (with their bottomless checking accounts for campaigning) know these gullable voters and use them to their to advantage to get whatever they damn well please, be it an accessory garage, a new Wal-Mart or a sprawling subdivision of pop-and-fresh tract houses. Certain blocks of voters, seduced by these talking heads and glitzy commercials, more often than not make the wrong decision. They want that Wal-Mart now! Never mind that when the place opens it will put 30 local merchants out of business.

    So my point is this. Accessory garages, big box stores and the like, should not be an issue for the voters unless absolutely necessary. It is up to an idealistic and creative planning commission to inform the public of the evils of these places and reject or mitigate them. After all, isn't what these people were elected/appointed for? Only if the plan commission itself is in the developers' pocket and approves of a bad zoning change should the issue be put on the ballot. Here's where refurendums are great!

    The Shania Twain comment was perhaps a little harsh, but if you're a frustrated voter as I am who keeps seeing the same good ol' boy bums get reelected and zoning issues and school levies that promote sprawl keep getting passed YEAR AFTER YEAR AFTER YEAR...you'd lash out too.

  4. #4
         
    Registered
    Feb 2002
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    I hate situations like this. When this happens to me I try to divorce my emotions from the issue and wear the hat of professional planner. I am not going to give myself a heart attack over something I utlimatly do not have the ability to control.

  5. #5
    I'm not ashamed to admit it, if they are seriously considering such a proposal, the place must already be a dump! Get Shania's booking agent on the phone, she'll sell the place out!

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