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In The News

Officials sign Cargill petition without data

by Ken Garcia

SF Examiner, 4/9/10

In life, the general rule suggests that people are best served when they think before they act. And in politics, the applied law says that you should read before you sign.

That, in a strangely circular way, is exactly why the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission sent out a public letter this week explaining why it would be imprudent for its many members and alternates to take a position on a controversial Redwood City development before all the facts are in.

Unfortunately, that was already the case, since at least 92 former or current public officials in the Bay Area signed a petition stating that the city should not go ahead with an environmental review of the project.

Environmental studies are considered standard operating procedure on major developments, let alone those that border our precious bay. And that’s why it’s particularly egregious that so many “officials” signed a petition to stop the review — since the impacts of the project cannot be known until they’re studied.

Save the Bay has been pushing to stop the Redwood City Saltworks project for several years now and somehow — we can assume arm-twisting was involved — got dozens of officials to sign the petition, even though the state has declared that the Cargill salt ponds where the 10,000-plus homes would be built are not actually part of San Francisco Bay.

The letter states the commission will “use its judgment” — like it has for 45 years. I’m glad somebody is.


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