Cher Gilmore: Government for those who can afford it

Supporters in bright green and opponents in various shades of red attended a meeting at Rancho Pico Junior High March 1 to voice their support or concerns about the proposed expansion at the Chiquita Canyon landfill for county commissioners who were to decide on the fate of the project March 1, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

In her column “Proud to Be an American?” published Wednesday in The Signal, Laurel Taylor expressed my sentiments exactly regarding the recent Board of Supervisors hearing on expansion of the Chiquita Canyon Landfill.

For our supervisor, Kathryn Barger, to have prepared and printed her seven-page motion to accept the landfill expansion proposal – even before hearing a single word of testimony from constituents who had come from long distances on a work day to speak – demonstrates clearly the disregard she has for the non-corporate citizens of her district.

I was only surprised that the board was so obvious about its lack of concern for ordinary people (not to mention our ground water and environment), and that the decision was unanimous!

What exactly is the purpose of holding a public hearing on an issue if the decision has already been made? And why was the applicant (Chiquita Canyon Landfill) given four minutes to speak while those appealing were given three and constituents only one minute?

Was it because the supervisors didn’t want to take the time for a full, robust hearing because they’d already made a decision? The whole performance was a charade and an embarrassment for anyone who values our so-called democracy.

Until we get money out of politics, as this unfortunate and ill-conceived decision illustrates, I’m afraid we’ll get only what we can pay for.

Cher Gilmore

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