Don Cacace: Forget the Mud, Vote YES in Right-to-Vote
April 20, 2009
Mudslinging is not new to the political process. But when it comes to the Friends of Frisco Open Spaces ballot initiative, we’re not going to throw any back. We’ll put it in the compost pile and let the people of Frisco speak for us on April’s mail-in ballot.
We trust the voters of Frisco to rise above the mud and angry words being thrown our way in the Summit Daily. The people of Frisco can read the ballot, weigh the pros and cons, and decide for themselves if the right-to-vote issue has merit for the people of Frisco.
All we are asking is to let the citizens of Frisco have a voice in what we do with our precious few remaining parcels of open land.
Simply, the Friends of Frisco Open Spaces advocates citizen participation through the ballot box. Does it get anymore democratic than that? This new initiative’s language is simple and clear, the pros and cons are clear, and thanks to our successful petition drive, our citizens will now be the ones to decide whether we should vote or not on major community land sales. This closes loopholes in the 2002 law we passed with 83 percent of voters, requiring a citizen vote prior to sale or lease of park or open space land.
A YES vote will ensure that the people of Frisco will get a say in things, a vote, prior to any large sale of community land.
A NO vote will allow these sales to go through without a vote, without our say in the matter.
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This initiative is not a vote on any particular project, but rather it is a change in the voting process for all large parcels. If we pass this initiative, each large land sale would then have its own vote. For example, the Peak One parcel would come up for its own separate vote, this summer, when the town’s plans are final and they are ready to donate the land. There would also be a required vote prior to selling the Home Depot land and any other town-owned parcel over 5 acres. This initiative will also strengthen the protections on the Peninsula Recreation Area. It will require a vote prior to subdivision or donation of this land.
The initiative will not stop affordable housing in Frisco, but will subject these and any other projects to a vote if it involves the sale of 5 or more acres of land. A vote could only stop a sale if a majority of Frisco citizens opposed it. In the past, Frisco voters have been very supportive of affordable housing, voting three times to raise their own taxes to fund it.
All we are asking for is a voice, a vote.
The town council argues differently. We muddy the waters, we get in the way. Town council feels they have the power and should be able to sell our land without a vote of the people. They were elected by us and we should trust them to get it right. They say vote NO on your right-to-vote.
Friends of Frisco Open Spaces believe strongly that we should continue our tradition of having votes on large community land sales, irreversible decisions that will affect us and our children forever. We feel such sales should only be made with strong consensus of the people. We say “Vote YES” on your right-to-vote on our community land.
Deciding between these two positions is what the Right-to-Vote ballot is all about. You get to decide if you want a say in how Frisco looks in the future or not.
If you do want a voice, vote YES in April on your right-to-vote, to create the kind of town we want for ourselves and for Frisco’s future.
Don Cacace represents Friends of Frisco Open Spaces.