Dear Editor:

Thanks to Janet Brians and her desire to help the San Benito County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors with the proposed 1-Percent Growth Initiative. However, the system in place is effective. It ensures environmental impacts are taken into consideration and as of late has not allowed any development. This does adversely affect the economic climate of the community. The county needs to attract business and industry interests to increase the local job base instead of fostering a “Hell No, We Won’t Grow!” mantra.

The county has put in place tough growth control measures that are working – there is simply no evidence of “uncontrolled” growth in the unincorporated County. These existing measures were enacted after a thorough process of research, drafting, review, public hearings, and redrafting. This is the way our system works best for complex issues – as opposed to parking lot planning initiatives.

There is no doubt the state’s $35 billion dollar deficit will negatively impact San Benito County. Further reducing revenue by diminishing land value and its tax base would be catastrophic to education, health and human services, police and fire protection in the county. No business, profit or nonprofit, wants to operate at projected 1 percent growth; not even the Sierra Club or the Natural Resources Defense Council. Yet these types of organizations are the driving force behind this proposed growth initiative and it just doesn’t make sense in San Benito County.

Mike Smith


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