Protect the Common Good

Protect the Common Good

Statement to Planning Commission, County of Napa, November 19, 2015

Thank you for this time of public comment. Not all counties allow this kind of participation by the public. I think it is only through processes which include the public that we are going to come to agreements which protect the common good, which includes business, agriculture, and our environment.

We are in a time like no other in recorded history. Profit and business have trumped decisions that in turn have had the unintended consequence of the catastrophic environmental mess that we are in. Genuine scientific research has been skewed by industrial interests to the point people no longer trust science— or government.

That is true in our county as well. Each of us in this room, regardless our economic base, is faced with the conundrum of thinking of our personal interests in context of the common good, which above all, includes the environment in its breadth: the forests, the oak woodlands, the watersheds.

Every decision we make is a kind of hologram of the whole. In each decision, we impact the whole. That is true for each individual in the room, and it is true for you as Planning Commissioners.

As government officials, it is your job to champion the Common Good. When you do not let special interests bend the rules that supposedly protect the social and environmental fabric of our county, you restore trust.

Please be a part of restoring trust in the government of the County of Napa.