Conservation Northwest's (CNW) exhortation to stampede the masses was effective; they managed to motivate about a 75% pro crowd at the council's open session (there was no public hearing). If anyone thinks the Tea Party is a threat to local politics, this turnout will quell that concern.
As one commenter noted,
A bit of perspective came from actually attending the council meeting, in which several council members acknowledged that this wasn't about water purification or recreation. Which left no reason to do it at all, except because they could. I think somebody needs to follow the money. I'll bet it would lead us on a very interesting trail.
Either that, or a hidden agenda. Or both. Liberty, freedom and good government took it in the shorts tonight.
Here are some delicious quotes from the council meeting:
· Knudsen: “Let’s put it on the ballot for the general election for a vote of the people”
· Knudsen: “It won’t cost us anything to put it on the ballot and I’ll work with the
attorneys on the language”
· Mann: “I hate Citizen’s initiatives”
· Knudsen: “You’ve been sold a bill of goods”
· Knudsen: “Why do we have to decide tonight?”
· Brenner: “We just got this packet shoved into tonight’s agenda with very little notice”
· Brenner: “The DNR works with us on the public use of this land and have the best land
management practices for the watershed land”
· Weimer, Mann, Knutzen, Brenner, Crawford, Kershner : “It’s not really about water
· Kremen: “I’ve probably lost the respect of some good friends, but this was a hard
· Kremen: “It’s only going to cost us a drop in the bucket”
· Kershner: “Where can you buy land for $34.00?”
· Kremen: “It really only cost us $33.51”
· Weimer : “Some votes are really important and someday my grandchildren (if my girls
ever get going on this) will be proud of my vote”
· Crawford: “Will the Whatcom Land Trust be willing to compensate the other junior
· Rand Jack : “In too many words to write, but could’ve easily been condensed to “NO”.
· Crawford: “I guess the squeaky wheel gets greased”
· Crawford & Kershner: “We need to set-up a Forestry Commission Board to preserve
logging in Whatcom County”
I guess We the People need to start squealing like hammered cats. To be fair, Ken Mann qualified his remarks later, saying that he sees his job as being a representative of the people, and he doesn't like citizen's initiatives. WE don't like unbridled democracy either, and neither did the founders. The CNW dog-and-pony brigade claimed that they represent 74% of the citizens of Whatcom County, but when Bill Knudsen suggested that the issue be put to a vote of the people, their expressions, their body language, and their "down twinkles' betrayed serious doubt in their claim of majority support. They were horrified. If Ken Mann truly is going to represent the citizens of Whatcom County, he might need to verify CNW's claims.
To appease the forestry industry, under attack here and in many other scientifically dubious environmental initiatives, Crawford and Kershner proposed a Forestry Commission Board. Really? How does a Forestry Commission Board replace free markets and property rights? Self-determination is scary to illiberal control freaks, because there's a risk that things won't turn out the way they want them to. But the same thing applies in reverse with oppressive government control: Things only turn out the way the rulers want them to. We the People get hosed. Liberty equals diversity, in the real sense of the word.
"Bread and Circuses" (or bread and games) (from Latin: panem et circenses) is a metaphor for a superficial means of appeasement. It was the basic Roman formula for the well-being of the population, and hence a political strategy unto itself. In the case of politics, the phrase is used to describe the creation of public approval, not through exemplary or excellent public service or public policy, but through diversion, distraction, and/or the mere satisfaction of the immediate, shallow requirements of a populace. The phrase also implies the erosion or ignorance of civic duty amongst the concerns of the common man (l'homme moyen sensuel).
In modern usage, the phrase is taken to describe a populace that no longer values civic virtues and the public life. To many across the political spectrum, left and right, it connotes a supposed triviality and frivolity that characterized the Roman Republic prior to its decline into the autocratic monarchy characteristic of the later Roman Empire's transformation about 44 B.C."
The reconveyance had nothing to do with need, fact, or practicality. It was all about appeasement, power, and greed.