Public comment on the San Benito County Draft Economic Development Strategy:

Thank you for inviting members of the public to comment on the SBCEDC’s Draft Economic Development Strategy.

Identity: I have represented small and very small business owners before state and federal courts and agencies on the Central California Coast Region for more than 42 years. I am a Charter Member of SBCCOG’s Citizens Rail Advisory Committee, and SBCCOG’s Citizens Transit Task Force. I am a past-chair, Legislation Committee, Transportation Lawyers Assn., and a member of TLA. I am a past-president, 1999-2001, 2006, of the Gilroy-Morgan Hill Bar Assn. 

I offer this comment as my own personal opinion, and not on behalf of any client or professional organization to which I belong. I have done post-doc study of transport law and policy at Norman Y. Mineta International Institute for Surface Transportation Policy Studies, SJSU; Transportation Research Board, Georgetown U.; and at the Library of Congress.

Summary: Looking back the past 20 years on the governance abuses inflicted by local government on the small and very small business owners, I see no sign that we recognize our mistakes, but instead, we repeat them over and over, year in and year out, despite the change of persons in leadership positions.

The trend has been to inflict ever-greater government, with ever-greater taxes, fees, fines, assessments, mandates and constantly increasing ordinances, regulations, rules and laws that impinge on the freedom of the citizens, as seen in the constant expansion of the County Code, incorporation by reference to the Code of Federal Regulations, and to the California Code of Regulations, not to mention the Uniform Building Code.

This trend has been accompanied by the erosion of the civil and constitutional rights of the citizens of SBC, by the BoS abdication of its lawful mandate from the voters to the unelected (appointed) “directors” of the joint power authority COG. Furthermore, COG abdicates the rights of the taxpayers and citizens of SBC by making a “mobility partnership” with VTA, which has won the “Worst in the Nation” award from the MIT Study of all the nation’s transit agencies, and so governs transport policy in SBC without the consent of the voters, with unsound and unsustainable policies.

Consequently, the fraud, waste and abuse at SBCCOG has increased every year since its creation, and today, COG’s major achievement is empty bus seat transport, while paying above-market salaries, wages and benefits to the public sector employees who feast off the taxpayers. They sacrifice motorists’ safety to worship Emperor Transit First, and we suffer the consequences of their arrogance and ignorance.

To remind old timers of this 20-year decline in the quality of governance in SBC, I am attaching some of my previous letters to SBCEDC, SBCCOG, etc., and ask that they be included in the record of these proceedings so that future generations will know that we were warned.

Conclusion: Unless you object and instruct otherwise, I will be sending supplemental comment to voice the position of the small and very small business owners in SBC and all across the Central California Coast Region. Our current policy and leadership have us on the Road to Serfdom, the same route taken by the USSR. 

Joseph P. Thompson, Esq.

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