Limiting democracy – The Recorder
“Surprising” is my best word to the describe the idea of limiting democracy in Greenfield. Why is limiting democracy being proposed in Greenfield’s next election?
City Council members established a city Charter Review Committee. After consideration, the Charter Review Committee decided it is best if the citizen initiative process is restricted. The number of signatures required goes up and the time permitted citizens to gather signatures goes down.
As one Charter Review Committee member pointed out in committee writings; we have a representative form of government and having citizens constantly using their initiative to promote public votes on council decisions hinders the ability of the City Council to govern. This perspective sounds sensible on yet has faults. The first flaw is silent. There has not been a recurring problem. There are no repeated citizen initiatives creating headaches for city councilors. Thus, a false premise based on an imaginary problem is being used to limit democracy in Greenfield.
A draconian reduction of democracy was proposed based on the false foundation of a recurring nuisance generated by citizen initiatives thwarting good governance. Believing its own theoretically possible problem, the committee presented conclusions and suggestions so severe the City Council could not bring itself to approve them. The City Council instead decided that citizens should vote on limiting their own democracy themselves in the next election. Yes, reread the last sentence.
Ask yourself this question: Why should you limit your own rights to question City ouncil decisions or to propose actions the City Council may be ignoring? I cannot think of a good reason to limit Greenfield’s democracy and urge everyone to turn out Nov. 2 and vote No on Proposition 1. Talk to your friends and family about how to improve democracy so we can all live well in balance with Earth.
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