What’s in it for Me?

Town Councils: The Residents’ Voice in Government

 

The town council is a technology that other communities in San Diego have found to be effective in regaining control over development in and around their neighborhoods.

Point Loma Town Council adds greater access to the benefits of town council organization by using an online format.

Town Councils traditionally organize political will within relatively small community areas, providing a voice for the needs of families, children, businesses within their boundaries.

Without a pro-active Town Council to preserve communities and ensure the quality of life for residents, we fall prey to the priorities of City and County (SANDAG) land use planning that is focused on raising the tax base by encouraging development that ignores the impact on quality of life for current residents because the profit for the public agency is less when such costs are included .

Those who fund the campaigns of elected officials, including both public agency employees and members of the development industry, obligate the elected officials who accept their contributions to adopt land use plans in support of the tax-base expansion priority and real estate investors, who buy homes to profit by reselling them, thus increasing the cost of housing and at the same time, replacing long time residents, who are then priced out of a community, where their families have lived for generations. Meanwhile, “In-fill” development also replaces single family communities with condos sold to investors.

Added to the disruption of communal values, the cost of neglected infrastructure and new costs as populations grow and increased costs of housing, health, schools and public safety increase, spurs on more expansion of the tax base to pay costs of unfunded public employee entitlements, have public agencies and developers cutting costs at every opportunity, which leads to catastrophes as we’ve seen recently in Houston, Texas and Santa Rosa, California

The worst result for communities of the tax-base expansion priority of governing bodies isn’t the highly visible grid-locked freeways or unsafe neighborhoods or airport flight path violations, it’s in the diminishing quality of life for residents who feel powerless to oppose changing landscape of neighborhoods.