Thursday, October 12, 2006

Solano EDC Details Why It's Opposed to Prop. 90

Solano EDC Details Why It's Opposed to Prop. 90
By Amanda Janis/Business Editor

At least one statewide initiative on the November ballot is a wolf in sheep's clothing, a group of local business leaders were told Wednesday in Vacaville.
At a breakfast meeting sponsored by the Solano Economic Development Corporation, a public-private partnership of businesses and local governments devoted to attracting and retaining businesses, roughly 60 people listened to reasons why they should oppose Proposition 90.

The proposition entails "the prohibition of eminent domain being used unless the property's owned and occupied by the government," said Chris McKenzie, executive director of the League of California Cities. "But they've included a couple of provisions that require taxpayer payments whenever government takes action that a property owner claims devalues their property."

McKenzie offered examples of how a similar measure passed in Oregon adversely affects local and state governments as well as citizens. Should it pass in California, he said, it will block infrastructure projects, paralyze land-use decisions, increase energy costs and clog courtrooms with costly lawsuits costing billions in taxpayer dollars.

Representatives from the campaign in favor of Proposition 90 were not invited to address the group.

Like the coalition of California city officials McKenzie represents, the Solano EDC officially opposes Proposition 90. It is the only initiative on which it will take a position, said Mike Ammann, president of the EDC.

Ammann characterized Proposition 90 as "scary," noting it would directly impact Solano County in numerous ways. Should it pass, he said, "it could set back the fixing of (Interstates) 80, 680 and 12, and that would be disastrous for us."

Basic information - as well as both supporting and opposing arguments - about the other state ballot initiatives was presented at the meeting by Dan Sharp, principal of Sharp Public Affairs and governmental affairs director for the Vacaville Chamber of Commerce.

Amanda Janis can be reached

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