Trying to vote responsibly on Prop. 202, I, like many Americans, believe we have growth issues that we need to focus on and deal with here in the Valley and in the state in general.
However, after discussing Prop. 202 with many other residents and actually reading the Proposition myself and spending countless additional hours reading the arguments for and against, and attending meetings for and against, I've come to the decision Prop. 202 isn't the cure-all that the Sierra Club would have us believe.
In fact, I now believe it would actually hurt us more than benefit us. If Prop. 202 passes, the interim growth freeze would send a shock wave ripping through our economy.
I asked a speaker from the Sierra Club if their organization had any realistic projections of the actual impact it will have on our economy because he claims the opposition's projections are very exaggerated. He answered by saying it would be to difficult to determine.
I asked him where the provisions were in the proposition to pay for all these additional elections that will have to take place in each city to establish and agree on these boundaries. He had no answer. Elections are expensive and each time this proposition needed to be amended, there would have to be another election. Who pays for it?
An economic downturn threatens the livelihood of thousands of small business owners like myself. But it's not just about business owners, it's also about the people we employ and the families that count on them. It's about real people. Make no mistake, thousand of families will be hurt by this initiative.
If you're thinking you might vote for this Proposition and you own a home, ask yourself, "who built this home I'm living in, and why should I be one of the privileged few?
When I read that all of the local fire departments are against Prop. 202 because they feel it will significantly delay their ability to respond to emergencies because of the high density living situation we'll be forced to live with, and the inevitable increase in traffic that goes with it, that really scared me.
The more I learn about Prop. 202, the more it scares me. I've read through this initiative and can't believe all the stuff the Sierra Club has thrown in there. It's like a smorgasbord of favors for special interest groups.
For example, one provision takes $220 million in tax dollars that voters set aside for preserving open space and diverts it to certain environmental groups. The provision would allow these groups to use our tax dollars to buy land and then isn't even required to make this land open for public use.
Another provision would allow lawyers and special interest groups from anywhere to sue any of our citizens who don't conform to their idea of how Arizona should look and they get to collect legal fees.
I can only hope that my fellow Arizonans will educate themselves on the consequences of Prop. 202 and find out what it's impact on their life could be before voting Nov. 7.