I am an Arizonan who loves the urban, rural and natural landscapes in equal measure. However, I am concerned that the balance is shifting unfairly toward the urban as developers cash in on cheap government land deals and lawmakers encourage it under the guise of progress and economic prosperity.
It's difficult not to feel helpless as this partnership continues to pave over the landscape in a manner that enhances neither the people, the environment nor the gift of society that we will leave to the hundreds of generations that will follow.
I support the Citizen's Growth Management Initiative because it puts the planning of neighborhoods in the hands of local communities and voters. I support it because it is endorsed by citizen groups, like the League of Women Voters of Arizona, the Arizona Public Health Association and the Sierra Club.
This initiative not only gives voters more say in local planning, but it requires that developers pay for roads, schools and fire protection facilities needed by new developments. It's hard not to be concerned with how much more it costs taxpayers to service leapfrog developments as various municipal studies have shown. Until now, the taxpayers have been picking up the tab of what can only be described as government subsidies.
Developers and politicians have shown that they are not going to fix this problem. In fact, they are attempting to muddle the issue and cut voters out of the process. We need this initiative for voters to have a say in local planning, and to ensure taxpayer money is not subsidizing development.
I encourage everyone to join me in voting yes on the Citizen's Growth Management Initiative this November.
Scott Mittelsteadt, Phoenix