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December 9, 2022

Letter to the editor: Give people a voice

First, there was the unprecedented move by the board and county to authorize $50,000 in taxpayer dollars to “educate” the public on Measure Q. Why should the county waste these resources when the voter pamphlet already covers the initiative? 

And then it arrived, the fully personalized bi-folded, color brochure replete with veiled and biased information. The county (including any supervisor who supports such tomfoolery) wonders why the people are pushing forward with Measure Q. The people want a say in how the county grows because the supervisors and county planning disregard the people’s voice and votes.

Look back to Measures N and K in 2020 for a clear example. The people soundly voted down Strada Verde (Investor: Newport Pacific Land Company LLC) plus another 300 acre development on Highway 101, and in disregard of the people’s mandate, the supervisors moved forward on a review of the projects. 

Many people in San Benito County don’t want the expanded landfill, yet the supervisors pushed for a vote on election day (in a blatant attempt to preempt Measure Q results which could give the voters a say on the matter). This is akin to abuse and insult of the goodwill of the San Benito County people. It wouldn’t surprise me if a lawsuit were levied for knowingly acting in such disregard of the people and for misuse of public funds.

If the county sought to write a more balanced brochure, they should have written how the supervisors reduced impact fees, starting in 2010 as part of being poorly funded. Or that a county funded study showed past landfill agreements led to the determination that “the haul route was in ‘poor or failing’ condition and the out-of-county waste transport on roads necessitates significant costs for road repair.”

Then the county wants to celebrate a meaningless resolution to remove the “community study areas” from the General Plan. If the supervisors and planning department were really concerned this would have been done years ago.

Most critically, the brochure never mentions the expanded landfill as an element of Measure Q. If Measure Q passes, the landfill would require a vote of the people. An overt attempt to deceive the public.

It decries “discouraged investors” (developers) due to Measure Q, but no mention of the frustrated county residents who tire of bad county decisions and continuing influence from developers suggesting we cannot survive without them after 150 years of existence.

While quick to note the loss of revenue, the brochure neglects to mention the potentially biased report as a source, the impact of garbage being dumped on our hometown, traffic congestion, road damage, water, air and noise pollution (see dEIR) and degradation of our quality of lifestyle.

Listen to the people. Do not approve the expanded landfill in any form. And support Yes on Measure Q as it gives the people a voice.

Karl Broussard


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