Together they did: affordable housing moves forward

What do the following people have in common?

Paula Authier, Mark Banks, Beetle Barbour, Ron Kopf, Jim O’Neil, George Segarini, and Jim Todd.

Give up?

Not only are they friends of mine, but they put aside a long history of contention and came to agreement so that the county could begin to address a major issue – the creation of more affordable housing here. They are the “interested parties” – housing advocates and building industry representatives – that hammered out the Ordinance approved by the BOS yesterday.

Giving credit where credit is due, without both sides’ ultimate cooperation, we wouldn’t have had 3 votes yesterday to approve the Ordinance. You see, there were at least several on the Board who want affordable housing, but wouldn’t vote for an Ordinance that everyone couldn’t live with. So they worked together and got it done for us… and our kids… and our future.

***

Laura Cianci wrote (http://www.uniondemocrat.com/news/story.cfm?story_no=25836):

“The controversy surrounding the Tuolumne County Inclusionary Ordinance has had developers, real estate agents and affordable-housing advocates arguing for years about what should be included in the ordinance and what constitutes market affordability.

Last month, the two sides together drafted three versions of the ordinance, finally agreeing on the terms of one, and leaving the three remaining contentious issues for the board to resolve. More than a dozen people showed up at the board meeting to present their sides of the debate and persuade the supervisors to vote for their position.”

***

Is the Ordinance perfect? Certainly not. Over time we may learn it needs to be tweaked in one way or another. We will deal with that as we go forward.

But let there be no doubt. Both sides definitely gave. And in the process, contributed to a new degree of public participation in government!

Credit and accolades for compromises and hard work is well-deserved by both sides. Thanks to Mike Laird who facilitiated, and Dick Pland for participating, as well.

Together they did! I’m proud and you should be too.

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I like going places: out West, west of the West, and all the way around the back of the globe to the East. I like to go by train, plane, automobile, horseback. Whatever. And I like writing about what I see, feel, hear, smell, and touch all along the way and once I get there.

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