City Council was quick to punt on Brady Trucking zoning issue
Accountability and job performance are sort of moving targets in the political spectrum. If you’re not sure if that’s true, check out most campaign commercials, where the incumbent is stressing how he’s done his job and the challenger is stressing how he has not.
It’s clearly an area of poor definition. So, when you see a political entity that is obviously not performing its job function and there’s fairly widespread agreement on it, you know you have something special.
Such is the situation with the Grand Junction City Council’s free kick on the Brady Trucking zoning issue. After letting a large contingent of citizens from both sides of the topic apparently waste their time speaking out on the matter, the council decided to waste more of those citizens’ time and money by placing it on the ballot in April.
Those not familiar with the issue are fortunate, but suffice to say it involves a decision on zoning along a portion of the Colorado River that a prior council had zoned and permitted for industrial use. The land in question was purchased by Brady Trucking for what is known as — and I think this may be unfamiliar to the government community — a “business purpose.” To those folks cloistered in central planning, this involves the generation of what is known as “profit.”
Others in the community felt that this decision was not properly considered and interfered with the development of — that’s right, you know it, wait for it — a park. Because the top priority of municipal government is the construction of ornate building projects and parks, while the purchase of items actually necessary for the safety and comfort of the citizenry is considered at the micro-biotic level of priorities.
Also, another section of the Colorado Riverfront Trail would be considered in that location which, judging by its placement in the area, will also provide what passes for high-speed rail in the vagrant community.
There are really two issues central to this farce. The first is: Why is this council rehearing a decision made by prior representatives and relied upon, to the financial detriment by a private company?
In most instances of contract law, such a reasonable reliance upon an occurrence which the average person would believe to be a duly authorized act would, absent fraud, preclude the entity that made the decision that was relied upon from changing it.
But this, of course, is not law. This is politics. Therefore, the efforts of a company that engaged in a nonpolitically correct business, such as transporting goods through the use of internal-combustion engines, can be assaulted, and elected representatives will quail before the onslaught.
This doesn’t mean that there are not goodhearted people who would like to see a recreational use in that area, even though I and others may not think it an ideal placement. Nevertheless, there is an old-school method that might be tried where interested parties want to use a property in a particular way: buying it.
The other issue is: Why did the City Council decide not to make a simple stand on duly constituted precedent, especially on something that was not even addressed as a procedural appeal?
Instead, what occurred was that, when pressed by competing interests and actual citizens in the crowd, the decision ball went into the air and elected officials dove for the exits.
What is especially ironic is that when citizens are clamoring for the City Council to make a decision, council members refer it to voters. However, on a past issue of extreme expenditure, which citizens had rejected at one turn and clearly wished to be consulted on prior to any other plan being enacted, a financial magic act was put into place to preclude the necessity of hearing from taxpayers.
I refer, of course, to the necessary but bloated public safety complex. And, just to rub a little sodium chloride into the public’s wounds, city officials are already requesting authorization for items that troubled voters in their initial rejection of the project.
Funny how that works. No wait, it’s not funny at all, just transparent and not in a good way.
Rick Wagner writes more about politics at his blog, The War on Wrong.