OC Political

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Craig Young: Choosing Battles: Local Control, State Mandate and Knowing the Difference

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on August 23, 2013

Craig YoungThis op-ed came across the wire from Yorba Linda Mayor Pro Tem Craig Young…

Choosing Battles: Local Control, State Mandate and Knowing the Difference

The wise leader considers both armies before going into battle.  It is said my NO vote against an Entitlement Program that gives free lunches as well as tens of thousands of dollars to a real estate investor should require that I also vote NO on any funding for the roads we all drive on. Really?? It is also said I should have voted NO on the Housing Element that was approved the night I lost the vote against returning Block Grants.  I am painted as being inconsistent.  The appropriate retort: apples and oranges.

While ideologically a NO vote on the Housing Element sends a message to Sacramento about objection to entitlements, unfortunately that vote bears consequences that would be overwhelmingly adverse to our city. The NO vote on Block Grants has consequences too (e.g. loss of community embraced programs and over $42,000 in general funding). However, we can afford the adverse consequences on Block Grants, we cannot afford those on the Housing Element.

Long before my time, we were painted into a corner with the Housing Element.  Thomas Jefferson said, “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.”

Disapproving the Housing Element could give the State the ability to freeze development in our city; we would no longer be able to issue building permits of any type. More importantly, a non-certified Housing Element could subject our city to scrutiny and significant legal claims from housing advocacy groups, which could be very costly to our general fund. And worse, the NO vote potentially even bestows Sacramento with control to step in and approve, without our input, construction of housing they seek.

A NO vote on Block Grants keeps us from receiving something we can choose to selectively fund on our own. A NO vote on the Housing Element has the adverse effect of taking sole local control away and giving it to the State. A glance at the balance sheet indicates to me that the negatives tremendously outweigh the positives.

Would I advocate for the State returning control to the local cities? Absolutely!  However, in so advocating, we must carefully craft decisions balancing ideology with pragmatism.

Craig Young is an attorney, active member in the Lincoln Club, and serves as Mayor Pro Tem in Yorba Linda, CA.


4 Responses to “Craig Young: Choosing Battles: Local Control, State Mandate and Knowing the Difference”

  1. Stuart Smally said

    Councilman Young should have mentioned the real reason for his NO vote on the Block Grant program and all the press he’s been trying to generate. Mr. Young announced his candidacy for the 55th Assembly District seat earlier this week.

    I disagree with Mr. Young’s rationalization for his YES vote on Yorba Linda’s Housing Element. The Housing Element vote was 4-0 to send it to Sacramento. Just like his NO vote on the Block Grant, Mr. Young could have still sent a message with a NO vote knowing that the 3-1 vote would still send the Element to Sacramento.

    I would like to support Mr. Young’s candidacy for Assembly, but the first thing he needs to be is honest about his voting record and honest with the voters about Craig Young.

  2. OCInsider#33 said

    Wasn’t Craig Young just elected to the Yorba Linda City Council less then a year ago? And he is already running for higher office?

  3. For some reason my comments are not posting to this blog. Anyone else experiencing similar issues?

  4. The real criticism is that Young’s idea is a meaningless and ineffective grandstanding gesture that literally takes food out of the mouths of our most vulnerable residents – our seniors – and gives Yorba Linda taxpayer money to other communities. The other impacts include continued dilapidated housing affecting the individual owners’ well being (and all of our property values) and the continued erosion of our few remaining historical structures. It takes a cold heart to harm the needy by refusing available resources. Go to Washington DC Mr. Young if you prefer a different approach to returning our taxes to our community and spearhead a different idea.

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