The last blogpost suggested that the elections were a repudiation of all things County. As Nick Power points out, the overwhelming passage of Prop 3 is a strong indicator of public sentiment regarding the CAPR lawsuit against the County ... because that is exactly what the lawsuit is about.
The three Councilors involved in that lawsuit (Pratt, Miller, and Fralick) have had particularly disastrous terms as Council members. Aside from the multitude of troubles Miller has experienced on the CAOs, the solid waste solution (and tax) she promoted went down in scorching defeat last year.
Long ago, Fralick began his term with robust support for his own solid waste fiasco: to set up a needlessly pricey John-Shannon solid-waste wonderland at Beaverton Valley. In the Council vote on that measure, Fralick was the only member to support it to its death. On the CAOs, Fralick has been the main advocate of Adamus as the way forward, which has not worked out particularly well. In addition, Fralick was a strong anti-CRC backer. Right or wrong on those issues, much of what Fralick stood for, politically, is in tatters. His legacy as a retiring Councilman is empty.
Pratt was involved in the Brickworks failure, but more importantly, Pratt seems to share Shireene Hale's view that she's never met a parcel that didn't need more "protection." Moreover, Pratt also seems to have never met a tax and spending proposal she didn't like either. Put those two tendencies together, and you end up with faux environmentalism that is utterly detached from economic reality. That pretty well approximates the position of Pratt, who has been an endless fount of vacuous tautologies about the CAOs and their impacts.
Below is the article by Nick Power titled "Lame Ducks" which also can be read in the Guardian.
My head is spinning thinking of what Tuesday’s local election results mean for the future of the Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO), and I fear that we are now at the point of no return where a misstep by the County will lead to untold economic waste.
First, the The Council races. Simply the defeat of Howie Rosenfeld and Lovel Pratt were in effect a vote of “no confidence” in Howie's and Lovel's support of the proposed CAO. Here are two self-identified incumbent Democrats, supported by the endorsement of the Democratic Party, in a County which voted 2 to 1 for Obama over Romney, and they both lose. Telling since both Howie and Lovel have been two of the proponents of the most extreme portions of the revision of the CAO.
Second, the absolute landslide passage of Charter Amendment No. 3 was, a complete repudiation of how the proposed CAO was engineered and drafted -- largely in secret and without meaningful public comment.
I fear that the "we're going to pass this thing come hell or high water" mentality which seems to be the mantra of a majority of the Council will be fulfilled, and the fundamentally flawed CAO will become law at the behest of what is now a gaggle of lame ducks.
But it gets worse, much worse.
Because after Flock of Lame Ducks #1 passes the CAO, Flock of Lame Ducks #2, the newly elected short-term County Council, takes over.
Here is where it gets sticky. Currently there is a very serious lawsuit against the County alleging various substantive and procedural flaws which invalidate the current draft CAO. Just because Flock #2 is lame, does not mean that they cannot bind the County and settle the suit and enter into a consent judgment with the plaintiff, Citizen's Alliance for Property Rights (CAPR).
Why would they do that? Fundamentally, because CAPR's allegations are substantially correct and it would be the right thing to do. But moreover, imagine that some ducks from Flock #2 want to experience life as a healthy and vigorous duck so they decide to run in this Spring's special election. Lame-duck-cum-candidate says to himself, “how the heck do I win an election in San Juan County?” Well, being skeptical of the CAO seemed to work for Bob and Marc, maybe, just maybe, they were onto something.
So here we are, at the last juncture for the current Council to do what is right and to revisit and repair the fundamental flaws in the proposed CAO. If this opportunity is not taken, the Council has just bought us all some very expensive tickets to Kabuki theater.
Save me the aisle seat.