Your Views: Shame on the City of Gilroy

SHAME ON THE CITY

Local government leaders reached a new low when downtown Gilroy property owners were arrested and booked at Gilroy Police Department on the City Council’s criminal complaint. When our local government leaders can have business owners arrested for not kowtowing to the council members’ wishes, then a fatal erosion of liberty and freedom is opening.

What next? Who will be next? For violating the will of council, we get City Council’s attorneys to file a criminal complaint? Well, I thought that local government leaders served the public, and at the will of the voters. We are now at the stage of local government which is “of the government, by the government, and for the government” in Gilroy.

I urge local small business leaders to join with me in condemning this violation of our civil and constitutional rights, and the spirit of democracy. It’s bad enough that local government aids and abets the joint power authorities in violating our civil and constitutional rights, but when we have our local elected leaders having their city attorney file criminal complaints against business owners, then we have reached the point where the voters need to restore the proper government, i.e., “of the people, by the people, and

for the people.”

Joe Thompson, Gilroy
 

CAREFUL CITY PLANNING NEEDED

I would like to express my appreciation to both David Lima and Ronald Kirkish for their thoughtful columns about planning and the growth of our community recently published in the Dispatch. David wondered if Gilroy’s small town feel is “doomed” and Ronald right at the outset proclaims that growth is “unstoppable.”

My sentiments are with David, but Ronald has the numbers on his side. The big gorilla in the room is that more than 500,000 new residents may call Santa Clara County home within the next 20 years. And South County has the affordable land that is rapidly becoming coveted for future residential and commercial development.

Imagine if only 20 percent of the newcomers by 2035 settle in South County, that’s a potential for 100,000 new neighbors. Factor in the High Speed Rail Project coming on line in the next decade or so, and Gilroy is slated to be a regional hub, so watch things take off!

All this suggests to me that our more rural environs are going to go the way of Blossom Valley. It is not my place to purposefully exclude people who would like to move here but we need to take Ronald’s admonition about careful planning for the future. And there’s the rub: I am unsure of our ability to plan and fund the needed infrastructure and protect some semblance of our Pleasant Valley. For example, the “Day Road/Santa Teresa mess” was a combination of questionable planning and/or underfunding.

Do we have the assurances that our “planned” growth will build a better community or will market economics trump our lifestyle hopes?

The reality is that the economic dynamo of Silicon Valley is gaining momentum and will overwhelm us in only a few decades. Agriculture will be limited to the most southern end of the valley as today’s patchwork of farming parcels will become unsustainable. Traffic gridlock will demand new transportation corridors. To me, this growth model is disheartening when combined with the rapid pace of all the changes looming ahead. The growth spiral is really a treadmill that is all about consumption of irreplaceable resources and landscapes that were once cherished but have become disposable in pursuit of a questionable quality of life.

Mike Monroe, Gilroy

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