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Let Auburn draft a first-class charter

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Big government has evolved to be an elected aristocracy that has more than just disillusioned us commoners. Symptoms of the disillusionment include: vast sums are appropriated for pet projects such as the $300 million “bridge to nowhere;” wrongdoing has been disguised in framing situations as “I didn’t do anything illegal, but I won’t do it (an immoral action) again;” spending is trivialized such as “it only cost a million dollars;” polarized ideological infighting with problems deferred to future generations and perennial cash cow crusades for campaign funds by pandering to interests on dead issues such as the Auburn dam and the annual mock-review of exempting volunteers from prevailing wage legislation. In their defense, when dealing with trillions of dollars, at the edge of outer space for us commoners, how could big government possibly show us they are accountable? And how could they possibly effectively communicate in this “sound bite” era? While almost 50 percent of congress are millionaires, more than 50 percent are of means like us commoners. Without changes, disillusionment will persist. So, what’s the answer to this Gordian Knot? It does little to manifest our disillusionment with federal and state governments in the form of complaining about taxes and spending. More could be accomplished by bringing things back down to the local level. The closer we get to one-on-one interactions, the more effective the communication, the more we will be accountable and the more we control our destiny. “Home rule” is a step in that direction. The words “charter city” may mean changes to those who don’t want Auburn to change, or that it is merely “fixing something that isn’t broken.” However, the concept harkens back to our origins and rationale of being a city. In effect, adopting an appropriate charter would be getting back to where we should have been all along by getting rid of extraneous issues of power brokers in Los Angeles, San Francisco and big agriculture. Thirty-one years ago, in 1980, Placer County became a charter county for many of the same issues as Auburn is facing today. Let’s get onboard and help draft a charter that deserves to be considered by voters. Jim Bennett, Auburn