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Re: SG-W:/ prop 2

   This has been a valuable discussion. It's clear that this is an issue on
which reasonable people can (and do) differ.

   I think that many of the folks praising the responsiveness and
progressiveness of local governments live in Ann Arbor, where the local
government is indeed responsive and progressive. Few Townships are like
that. Look at the enormous effort it has taken a large group of smart,
committed people in Pittsfield to move the Township about two inches toward
a smart growth policy.

   Also, I know of a rural Township, not a thousand miles from here, where
the 5 person board, 3 of whom were retiring farmers with large acreage,
voted to rezone their own property to residential, so they could sell it to
developers and retire. Local representative democracy is not always
effective in the way we would like. And it is not easy to replace these

   Conservative parties, as a rule, favor local control, as the national
Republicans generally do, because that forces the proponents of reform to
fight 50 battles rather than one. Similarly, the Township system forces
anti-sprawl forces to fight in every Township rather than in just one

   However, I see that the pro-Proposal 2 forces think that the present
State Legislature is such a danger that they are willing to concede future
efforts at regional planning. That's a defensible position.

   My sincere thanks to all for the education.

				 		- Bob Johnson

   >Vivienne Armentrout wrote:
>> [snip]
>> 3. This is not just about home rule on zoning.  It is an extremely broad
>> *amendment to the constitution* which would affect "any law which
>> addresses a matter which a county, city, township, village or municipal
>> authority could otherwise address under its governing powers...".  The
>> reverberations could be enormous.  Possibly any type of legislative
>> action could be affected.
>You wanna go with that?
>> 4. While it might be true that some local governments can be cradles of
>> innovation, others are and have been pits of corruption and
>> wrong-headedness.  There are examples right here in Washtenaw County
>> (some of them discussed on this very listserv) where power is closely
>> held by just a few people, who restrict public access to decisions and
>> make them on the basis of personal gain for themselves or their
>> associates.  State and federal oversight is important for good
>> government.  I grew up during the civil rights era in the South, when
>> many segregationists were using "states rights" arguments which sound
>> uncomfortably like some of those being expressed in favor of this
>> measure.
>True, but OTOH, couldn't state/fed oversight be accomplished while allowing
>the locals the ability to 'do' their gov't the way they want to without being
>forced to act according to the edict of some distant group of legislators?
>Seems to me it might be a little easier to change the face of local gov't than
>that of state gov't. Lots of effort but fewer dollars.
>Ron Torrella
>Pittsfield Twp
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