“The Town Council of Eatonville asked voters to provide direction with a thumbs up or down on retail pot sales,” writes the editorial board (eb) of the Tacoma News Tribune (TNT) in its November 28 edition.
The eb of the TNT didn’t think much of the result.
Eatonville residents recommended a ban. By, what the eb implies is, a measly 10 votes.
“Ten people? That’s more like happy hour at the Pourhouse Grub & Pub,” opined whoever wrote this piece.
Yes, 10 votes.
No, it’s not a mandate, but check the score. Those opposing marijuana had more.
Matters not, to hear the eb tell it. For the Town Council of Eatonville to ask the voters to decide is to “dawdle, duck and delegate.”
“Weighing the pros and cons of marijuana is not easy,” writes the eb. And then suggests the voters are not up to the task.
Of the complexities of the issue writes the eb of the TNT, “Public officials are best suited to evaluate them all. Isn’t that what we elect them for?”
No, it’s not what we elect them for.
Granted it was 17 years ago – and the lessons of history sometimes get lost in the fog of forgetfulness – but way back then the eb of the TNT weighed in on the City of Lakewood’s advisory vote that would give voters a say on whether they wanted the powers of Initiative and Referendum.
Throughout Lakewood debates were held.
The Tillicum Woodbrook Neighborhood Association hosted a pro-and-con panel at its monthly meeting on October 6, 2001.
Lakewood United – the public speaker’s forum on issues of city-wide impact – likewise debated the matter on October 13.
The Republican League of Women Voters hosted a similar presentation.
To ensure public officials did their job: not decide for the people, but rather represent the people.
Voters, after all, are not “mouth-breathing zombies,” wrote TNT Editorialist Peter Callaghan, February 6, 2001.
“According to the uninformed voter theory, Washington voters undergo a strange and disturbing transformation in the midst of voting. They are lucid and brilliant when they decide which candidate . . . but when they begin acting on the initiatives, they become mouth-breathing zombies.
“How can that be? Voters learn about initiative campaigns the same way they learn about candidates.”
If voters, wrote Callaghan, can make solid judgments about candidates, why can’t they do the same with other decisions?
Ascribing intelligence only to those carrying on the day-to-day complexities of city matters is an insult to the average citizen.
Public officials, who understand their job correctly, take seriously every opportunity to ensure those they represent are privy to – are saturated with – the information they – not the officials – elected or staff – need by which to direct the course of their – not the bureaucrats’ – government.
It is not, as the TNT opines here, ‘spinning their wheels,’ nor ‘muddling about’, for public officials to manage by walking around, listening with their ear to the ground, making every effort to determine that the sound they hear is the voice of the people.
Not their own.