A Paradigm Shift is on the Horizon
Guest Editorial by Diane Wheeler
Not too long ago, Lieutenant Governor Janice McGeachin traversed the state to drum up support for Regionalization, and recently Governor Brad Little unveiled his agenda for rural Idahoans. What is up with our elected representatives? Regrettably, the Western States Governors have plans to insert “city services” into the rural and agricultural areas of their respective counties.
The plan is to infuse little hubs of “employment, entertainment & healthcare”, then fund it with federal lucre. Just think, all those red areas on the election map will be serviced by people with blue ideas. In a nutshell, the most self-governed, historically literate people with common sense will be its “recipients”.
You may ask, what’s this paradigm shift going to look like? It’s going to look like city greenbelts encroaching into the county; trails that connect the city into the heart of the ranching community; tiny home developments sprawled across the countryside; a regional bus service with stops along the trails; plus, little hubs on the Planning Maps declared Rural Service Centers and Rural Recreational Communities.
The outcome of this scheme is completely predictable. All those who are dedicated to the rural lifestyle and have paid for their own infrastructure will be taxed for the new sewers, pavement and water systems. In the end, the agricultural lands will be gone, along with the rural people and their values.
As Churches and Granges decline, there will be a rise in these so-called Rural Service Centers. In effect, the voluntary associations will be replaced by ones with the outstretched arms of the Federal Government, telling the self-governed what they can and cannot do. Ever compounding the federal debt and making a seamless transition from County Governance to Regional Governance.
So, what can be done about this? Use every legal means to make sure that rural standards are represented at the county, state and federal levels. Pass declarations repelling these programs. Volunteer to sit on a planning subcommittee. Get to know the rules of the game. Don’t’ allow the Rural Service Centers a place on the planning map. Hold the Planning Department accountable.
Finally, don’t follow the naivete of some, who think that the elimination of the Planning Department will lead to a freer society, it won’t.
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