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Growth v. charm debate misses mark

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The never-ending superficial debate on development vs. charm is laughable. And telling fellow citizens to move out if they want shopping convenience is the height of self-righteousness. Nobody is innocent. The droves of us who moved here to enjoy the charm and escape congestion are exactly why Auburn is more congested and less charming. The fact is there are two main causes of overdevelopment and they are independent of our lifestyle preferences. 1) Our idiotic tax structure coupled with greedy developers drive the process. Local government uses local sales and property tax revenue for funding. There is a natural temptation to compete with other communities to entice business into our territory which creates the need for more infrastructure and services which creates the need for more funding, etc., ad infinitum. The fat developers are in a position to accelerate the process by influencing political decision makers with this incentive or flat-out bribery. 2) Population growth drives the need for the above process. Get a clue: More bodies and finite land mean busier streets, bigger schools, dirtier air, more government services and less open space. Failure to revise 1 and control 2 is the crux of the problem and should be the focus of the debate. Jim Beall, Sr., Weimar