Damned if we do, Damned if we don’t.
This article is completely conjecture. It is based on hearsay, rumor about hearsay, what some have said about what they’ve heardsaid, and of course divination.
Suppose you’re a county supervisor. That’s like starting out with one boot stuck in a manure bog. Next, a local do gooder organization sues you for trying to allow building in the existing towns. That’s the other boot stuck. How are you going to get out without at least getting shit on your socks?
“Maybe,” you might think looking down at your stuck boots, “if we do as they ask they’ll drop the whole thing and we can back out.” On the list of people who almost never do that are:
3. Local environmental groups
What if the supervisors rescind the definition of high water line and HSRA modifies the suit to demand the implementation of the General Plan anyway?
If the judge agrees with the technical letter of the law, the county is left with a wirepile to sort, big attorney bills to pay for HSRA and perhaps an the inability to issue permits until the GP is well and thoroughly adopted.
You’re a supervisor. Even if you don’t want re-election (meaning you’re “in recovery”) you probably don’t want the ship to go down during your watch. If you do want to be re-elected, would voters be more pissed at you for getting the county deep in dept to feed the local “environmental” group, or more if no one can build a house?
But, wait, there’s more!
If you rescind the ordinance and as a result make it more difficult for someone to use their property, they might sue you, too, for not having the proper ordinances in place.
It might turn out that the “enviros” and the landowners both sue you for the same thing but from different sides.
You ran for supervisor, nobody made you do it. You also voted to add a definition to the setback ordinance, and you were advised by council that you might be sued for doing it. Or, you might be sued for not doing it.
There is a local property rights group. They might feel like suing someone.
The best, cheapest thing to do in the long run might be to come up with the money to have the general plan implemented.
Let’s rephrase that. The best thing to do might be to come up with the money to:
Get the junker car replaced.
Get that broken tooth fixed.
Have the strange mole looked into.
Find out what those little piles of sawdust near the foundation are about.
Those are all things a prudent person would do, but many people today simply can’t afford to do them.
The state is like a deadbeat dad who occasionally comes by to have us do his laundry. Even if cuts don’t get worse than expected, they’re going to get worse than they are. The state thrusts more responsibility with less money on the counties in every proposed budget. The Board and department heads have managed to keep within the county budget, but they’ve done everything short of busing employees to Reno to sell blood in order to do it. There isn’t much slack left.
In short, the county will have to deal with this emergency as many of us would have to do: either hock something or put it on Visa.
The Prospect has not been able to get a clear idea of what it would cost to have the GP implemented and all ordinances brought up to date. The figure “half a million dollars” comes up a lot.
Where will the money come from? Loans are for people who don’t need the money; what kind of increased fees and taxes would be we asked to pop for under a budget that is at least half a million in the hole to start with?
Sooner or later, you’ll have to pull a foot out and do something.