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Change of Mind

October 28, 1990

I was one of the listed sponsors in the filing of the Traffic Control and Comprehensive Growth Management Initiative now on the November ballot as Propositions D (county) and M (city). I have decided to withdraw my support and urge a No vote on both D and M.

At the time the initiatives were first proposed, I felt that they served as a means of focusing public attention on a number of growth-related issues. I also was attracted by the transportation improvements the initiatives promised to fund, which I felt were badly needed.

However, with the passage of time, I have come to recognize that D and M have drawbacks, which has caused me to reconsider my position.

In discussions with county officials, I am persuaded that county government has already acted on many of the concerns manifested in Proposition D. They have convinced me that passage of the initiative could actually be counterproductive to their continuing efforts to balance the pressures of economic development and population growth with the need to maintain a satisfactory quality of life for our citizens. I therefore would urge a No vote on Proposition D.

The San Diego City Council has recently acted in a way which signals a less extreme position on growth management than some on the council have previously advocated. While I may not be in full agreement with all their actions thus far, I am encouraged by a sense that the council action represents the results of a meaningful dialogue with both the environmental and business community interests. I believe a No vote on M will have a positive effect on continuing this process.

My decision to recommend voting no on both D and M does not mean that I support the tactics of some who would polarize our community in order to promote their agendas. For instance, I believe any future efforts to resurrect the PLAN initiative or any clones should be strongly resisted.

It's time for the battle of the growth initiatives to end. Instead, we should place the responsibility for resolving these issues where it belongs--squarely in the laps of those we have elected to represent us.

I hope for their part, our council members will rise above their differences and move away from some of the confrontational, self serving politics which have too long divided us and wasted our energies. HARRY MATHIS, San Diego

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