Government is a large, powerful force, we all have fears of its abuse, and we all rely on it for a variety of services. The balance between the abuse of its power and the benefits of its services rests in no small part on good process and our ability to understand and plan – or certainty.
Arbitrary use of power is the opposite of both process and certainty. Equal justice is based on justice that is blind to whom it is dealing with, therefore we are all treated equally. Certainty is good for business: You can choose to invest if you know the rules.
Kellie Hotter was a county commissioner when the comprehensive plan process began; she was leading the government that asked people to invest time and energy creating a platform to provide certainty for the residents of the county. People responded, and a menu of options for the commissioners to choose from was created. Hotter then dumped the whole thing in the trash – an arbitrary move. There was no winnowing of the good from the bad, just a flat-out dumping. No more trust in process, no more certainty for landowners, business owners or anyone. Government without a plan is government by arbitrary decision followed by arbitrary decision.
We can have, and deserve, a responsible county government – one that is not arbitrary. If we are asked to give input, we should feel confident it will be considered. If we go before the county with a proposal, we should understand how and why the proposal will be approved or denied, and in an equal and fair manner.
Gwen Lachelt has worked for decades, primarily on making governmental processes less arbitrary and more receptive to people’s input.
The issue has been oil and gas development, but the core theme has been governmental responsibility. A vote for Lachelt will be a vote for fair process and clear rules. The result will be a less dangerous and more beneficial government.