Larry Sawyer: Vote ‘no’ to get something done on housing
April 6, 2009
I have been really listening to the opponents of the Frisco affordable housing at Peak One for a week or so, because that is what I am suppose to do. I observe that they are serving up to the citizens of Frisco two of the oldest political ploys known to man: “bait and switch” and “I will fix it tomorrow.”
In this case the “bait” is an idea which says, “This is not a vote about affordable housing.” To that end they have trashed the very public process by which the Peak One plan was developed, they have denigrated the countless hours invested in the plan by Frisco citizens and they promulgated the idea that, though they really support affordable housing, the Peak One site is not acceptable because of the process by which it was chosen.
The “switch” is ” this is really a vote about your rights as a citizen of Frisco. To this end the opponents of Peak One affordable housing have expended a great deal of effort to convince Frisco voters that they are public-minded citizens looking out for your civil rights. They make the case that in the two years the town has discussed Peak One affordable housing in a very public manner, you were not paying attention to the process and if you had, a better location for the project would have been chosen. To make this argument, they circle back to the first conclusion, the process by which we make decisions is broken and if you had better civil rights, the right to vote on all property decisions, we would have a better result.
Bait sets up the straw man with all its faults and switch pulls the sucker in. The first denigrates the target; the second changes the topic.
A jaded observer might note that you can fool part of us most of the time, some of us all of the time but not all of us all of the time. She might note there is only one piece of land in Frisco that has the size, location and amenities to make a great neighborhood ” and that is Peak One. That observer might also note that the heightened concern for the civic rights of the voters seems to be driven by those who oppose attainable housing at Peak One because it is in their backyard. Finally, our observer would note that if this charter amendment passes, the only people to gain from its passage would be those opposed to developing Peak One. So, after the vote, if they win, we could expect them to oppose any effort to build affordable homes at Peak One.
For the past 12 years affordable housing has been a top concern for Frisco’s voters. The town has moved on your wishes to develop the only property that has the size, location and amenities for this purpose. You the voter have the choice, accept the bait and switch and lose a real opportunity to build housing. Or reject the bait, and vote no to get something done about housing.