Alternative approval process should be stopped

Web Lead

To the Editor:

(Re: This is the Life: “Democracy isn’t supposed to be easy”)

Lorne Eckersley describes how the alternative approval process (AAP) is a valid and less expensive way of what could alternatively be an expensive referendum to gauge public opinion on putting some tax dollars to work toward the Pet Adoption and Welfare Society.

I get a lot of people communicating with me on many issues, but on this particular issue I have received a huge amount of communication! All of the communication has been negative toward the AAP and tax dollars going towards PAWS — and I agree with the communication I have received. Nothing against PAWS — I think it is a great organization — but so are the numerous other non-profit, worthy organizations in our community, and the majority of them are run by donations and grants.

So what if the Community Charter allows the APP? So what if it is cheaper than a referendum? Why do either?

As one woman said to me, “Why didn’t areas B and C and the Town of Creston hold town meetings discussing this issue?” Good question! A couple of hundred dollars for the use of a hall, a hundred dollars or so for a couple weeks of ads in the Creston Valley Advance — notifying the public that areas B and C, and the Town of Creston would like to increase taxes slightly to give money towards PAWS, and asking the electorate in to please come to the meeting to discuss this matter, and then let them know what they think — and maybe another hundred dollars in signage around the town. For less than $500 you would probably have a huge crowd letting you know, “No, we do not want our tax dollars increased at all.”

This is all perfectly legal, very easy and it gives the people of this valley a voice and a true picture of transparency in governance. It is not too late to do this. If I were from PAWS I would absolutely insist on this, because what this present fiasco is doing is giving PAWS a bad name. And if PAWS does insist on this, they might get a lot more donations in the future for their willingness to see how convoluted the present APP process is and how jilted the electorate is feeling. Claw back the APP, apologize — it is OK, people make mistakes — and try the straightforward approach of just talking to people.

Rhonda Barter