Lets get past the polarizing rhetoric | RecordCourier.com

Lets get past the polarizing rhetoric

Staff Editorial

In wine parlance, 2003 was not a very good year for Douglas County.

Sure, the economic conditions took a soaring leap with the opening of Carson Valley Plaza and Park Place Plaza developments as well as the entry of the Starbucks coffee roasting and shipping plant.

And, yes, life is still good here with clean air, low taxes and neighborliness you can only get in a small community.

But if there is one thing that dominated the news of the county, it was the Strategic Growth Initiative and its repercussions.

County officials spent a lot of time in court over lawsuits and counter lawsuits regarding the voter-approved initiative with questions hovering over its constitutionality. More than a year after the Nov. 2002 election and repeated court hearings at many levels throughout 2003, the fate of the initiative is still in question.

What is certain is that the animosity on both sides of the issue has polluted the atmosphere of the Valley — not with a brown haze in the air, but with attitudes that taint public discourse.

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Throughout the year, SIG rippled through county issues as diverse as trails and as obvious as new development. Red herrings such as “good ole boys” and “Californicators” were hurled back and forth across the political isles leaving more stink than solutions.

Solutions are what we need, not accusations; civil debate, not ascerbic finger-pointing.

Is that too much to ask for in 2004?