Measure may have too many surprises

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Councilman Michael Holmes (AJ May 24) offered a timely reminder of Auburn?s disincorporation in 1868. The story deserves a few more details. With the enthusiastic support of both business and community leaders in 1860 the citizens of Auburn voted by a majority to support the subscription of $50,000 for the construction of a railroad to run between Folsom and Nevada City. In four years the railroad was still six miles from Auburn, but as a result of inept planning and unanticipated events, their mortgage was foreclosed and the railroad went bankrupt. At this point Auburn stiffed it?s investors for the $50,000 (plus interest) it had issued in bonds. To prevent investors from trying to recover their investment, the city disincorporated in 1868. It wasn?t for another 20 years, until 1888, when many of those responsible for this fiasco had left Auburn, that the issue of the $50,000 indebtedness was resolved and the city was reincorporated and began to prosper. The voters in 1860 were sure of what they were voting for. The situation with regard to Measure A is less clear. Our history suggests caution. You may not get what you vote for, and a lot that you didn?t. Altering our form of government may provide a few too many surprises. Vote No on Measure A. John Knox, Auburn