Whenever I hear an elected official tell me that something cannot get done in an election year, it is so disheartening, and a reminder of how badly we need to do everything we can to get money out of politics. That's why I find it refreshing to see a significant number of candidates this year, pledging not to take special interest funds. Now, obviously, they mean conflicted interests, for example, there are perfectly commendable "special" interests, like Education, Charitable works, Public services, etc.
I am proud that when I ran for Council in 2014, I promised not to take developer funds, when 'not taking developer funds' wasn't cool. It was not all that well-received. I was labeled a one-issue, fringe NIMBY. It was a viable campaign nonetheless. I know from experience, you can run a successful campaign without those funds.
Well, how times have changed. I truly believe the zoning referendum issues, and the focus they placed on development became important in 2014. Now, the looming need for redistricting and lengthy recent APFO (adequate public facilities ordinance that regulates timing of development to help with schools/roads), has done that again, but in an even stronger way.
I am hopeful for the day when problems that need solving, can be done anytime, and are not put off because after all, "it's an election year". This goes for all contentious issues, not just land use decisions, but taxing decisions, school safety, etc. Support your favorite candidates!
With a nod toward this date, it has come to my attention that since the State enabling legislation to allow our Council to increase development surcharges has been punted, developers have decided to give $50,000 to the County Capital Budget for Schools, for each candidate that pledges not to take their money.
Happy April Fools! We can dream. :)