Recall may keep Blackwater out of our community
Union Tribune (2007-12-07) Barbara Chamberlain
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A community's call on an international issue
By Barbara Chamberlain
December 7, 2007
When an elected body stops listening to the people who elected them – it is time for them to go.
Potrero is a small, very rural community with an elected nine-member Planning Group. Our Planning Group voted to approve a proposal by the large mercenary training company Blackwater USA to build a paramilitary base on farmland in the heart of our quiet town. When the residents discovered what the Planning Group had done, a petition opposing Blackwater was quickly signed by half the adults in Potrero. In spite of the serious objections by the community, our Planning Group voted a second time to approve the Blackwater training base.
The residents of Potrero object to the proposed Blackwater base because it is so incompatible with our peaceful lifestyle.
Blackwater is proposing and 18,000-square-foot armory full of weapons and ammunition, multiple firing ranges over a half-mile long, a two-mile driving track, numerous shoot houses, several barracks, mess halls, helipad and a simulated town for urban warfare.
Residents are concerned with the noise, traffic, high water use and pollution that this base would bring. We choose to live in the country and put up with a lot of inconveniences so that we could enjoy our peaceful lifestyle. Blackwater would change our community forever.
Allowing this paramilitary base to be built on agriculture land in Potrero would set a dangerous precedent for all land zoned for agriculture in San Diego County . . . if it is allowed here it can happen anywhere.
Because the voters have legitimate concerns with this paramilitary base we feel that our elected Planning Group has a moral obligation to listen to us, the voters who put its members into office. The Potrero Planning Group has shown a total disregard for the wishes of the community and are no longer representing the voters.
We feel that the only solution for our “deaf” politicians is to recall them and replace them with a new Planning Group that will listen to the wishes of the voters instead of to a wealthy company like Blackwater.
Chamberlain is a Potrero resident.