December 28, 1996 in City

Letters To The Editor

 
Tags:Letters

GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

GMA will cost people now, later

I can’t believe that you don’t find it peculiar in your article on the Growth Management Act that Thurston County planners are aware that the cost of housing has increased because of impact fees and regulations but add that population growth and demand are also causing rising prices.

When I took basic economics in high school, I learned that there is a relationship between supply and demand, that when supply decreases in the face of constant or increasing demand then prices will rise.

Also part of this law is that when supply increases and demand stays the same or increases at a slower rate, prices stay the same or may actually decrease. I don’t think the law of supply and demand has changed to adapt to the Growth Management Act.

In King County a lot that sold for approximately $20,000 before GMA is now selling for over $100,000. I believe this does have a significant impact on housing costs that has been ignored by most planners and GMA advocates.

GMA will allow us to pass on significantly higher housing costs to our children and grandchildren. It also flies in the face of our state and federal constitutions because it promotes loss of our private property rights without due process or compensation.

I believe most people want to have local control over their land use decisions and don’t believe that Olympia knows best. When you consider the good and bad of GMA, remember that it will cost all of us plenty.

Mike Hume Spokane

One way or another, the people lose

I have attended three meetings on the Growth Management Act. The purpose of these meetings was to receive community input as to people’s feelings on rural and urban land use.

Individual homeowners gave their desires and the builders and contractors gave theirs. The vote on these plans was split and the builders’ plan was defeated.

Attendance at these meeting was about 40; 30 homeowners and 10 builders. The vote held these lines. Other meetings had the same voting results.

I am sure the builders and contractors and their lawyers were worried. The people had spoken to their elected representatives, who should be the voice of the people. Now, the lawyers have delayed the land use decision until the commissioner who worked for them is in office - the executive director of Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.

Now that we have lawyers and politics running wild, I wonder how a decision compatible with both sides can be made. I wonder if reason will be drowned out by the din of lawyers.

I wonder who will speak for me. Wilson K. Conaway Liberty Lake

GMA more bureaucratic meddling

“If the GMA had passed in 1970 …” (News, Dec. 22) presents speculations about how Spokane might have developed over the past 25 years had the Growth Management Act been in effect.

One thing is certain: at least 100,000 people would not be living where they presently live. They would be living in homes and neighborhoods that represented their second or third - or tenth - choice. Or they wouldn’t be residents of Spokane County at all.

For most of us, the character of our homes and neighborhoods - not a bustling central business district or a spiffy public transportation system - represent the major determinants of our quality of life. By being forced to choose from among much less desirable options with respect to the former, the quality of those 100,000 lives would have been significantly poorer. A thriving downtown wouldn’t have made up for for the loss.

Growth management represents merely the latest incarnation of what Nobel Prize-winning economist F.A. Hayek called the “fatal conceit” - that peculiar arrogance that so frequently leads bureaucrats and politicians to suppose they can “manage” some important economic activity. It led Lenin’s commissars to dictate how much wheat farmers should plant, and how much, and in which industries citizens should invest their capital. It presumes that bureaucrats can know better what is in people’s best interests than the people themselves, which is impossible. Such thinking misunderstands economics at the most basic level and leaves everyone worse off. Except the bureaucrats themselves, of course - for a while. G.E. Morton Spokane

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

Regulate campaign ad spending

Re: Russ Moritz letter of Dec. 23 (“Time to put people first”).

I hope he’s not a university professor, instilling his stated vision of “participatory, people-empowered democracy” in students. Our elected representative republic by the people may need some fine tuning but not in a way Moritz has in mind.

Campaign finance reform can be solved by regulating how the contributions for campaign advertising are spent. Do not allow any election campaign advertising on television. TV cigarette advertising is not allowed so why not disallow TV campaign advertising? This would at least rid us of all the false negative labor union advertising Moritz so conveniently neglected to condemn as being just as evil as corporation-bought advertising. Rex Lyle Ritzville, Wash.

Something’s fishy in U.S. policy

The Dec. 23 Spokesman-Review included another article about salmon recovery. Nowhere in the papers or on TV have I ever seen the real problem addressed. Everything we get is smoke and mirrors.

I have a very close friend who fished off the Oregon coast for several years. He told me that while they had to fish with hook and line, Japanese and Russian ships were always out there netting the salmon before the fish could go upstream to spawn.

Why is this? Because we don’t have a 200-mile limit off our shores like every little South American country has. And why is this? Because over the years our congressmen have had their hands out back taking money from foreign lobbyists.

Until we can stop this, we are fighting a losing battle. Milt Seefeldt Spokane

WASHINGTON STATE

Mariners can afford own bailout

The Dec. 21 headline, “M’s owners back off threat,” almost sounds like blackmail.

I don’t understand. If the Mariners are claiming they lose $20 million a year, how is a new ball park going to fix that? They can’t fill the seats at the Kingdome. Neither can the Seahawks, but that is another story. If private enterprise needs to repair overhead costs, that is up to them and not up to any taxpayer.

Don’t get me wrong - I love to watch sports. I do believe professional sport teams are out of control in their salaries. There are not many people who make a multimillion-dollars-a-year salary.

Let’s think about that. Maybe it’s the answer. Craig Noleroth Spokane


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