Prop. 420 Is a Challenge to Democratic Principles
November 1, 2018 by BJ Heggli
The ballot language in Proposition 420 is broad-based without a lot of detail.
Somewhat hidden in Prop. 420 is a change to the city charter which gives the McDowell Sonoran Preserve Commission veto rights on new trail construction in the preserve. So what is MSPC? It is an advisory board to City of Scottsdale Council and is made up of volunteers. These volunteers are not responsible to the voters in Scottsdale and if Prop. 420 passes they will have more power than the elected council.
Translating this practice to the state level it would mean the governor would have a volunteer body with more power than the elected governor.
This is a challenge to long-term democratic principles and opens the door for other special interest groups.
I served on the McDowell Sonoran Preserve Commission and saw first hand how the commission was hijacked by people with extremist opinions and agendas. Back-door meetings and collaboration among certain members made it possible for them to gain plurality. This could happen again as Prop. 420 increases the power of the non-elected commission.
We have a democratic process where we elect our representatives, i.e. city council. Giving additional power to an advisory group does not follow democratic principles and sets precedence for other special interest groups.
Therefore, I am voting NO on Prop. 420.
BJ Heggli is a resident of Scottsdale.