Prop 416 & 417

By: Scott Skinner a Gold Canyon Resident

Gold Canyon resident, Scott Skinner, shares his thoughts on

Prop 416 and 417

An open letter to Pinal County Supervisor, Todd House, regarding Prop 416/417:

Did you know that the largest church in America has no doors, no walls, and no geographical limit? It’s the Church of Infinite Growth, and you are a member of it. You believe that growth is good, that it’s inevitable, and that it’s your job to plan for it. You believe the only way to encourage economic activity is to subsidize land developers and big corporations. You hope: “maybe if we build new roads, Amazon will come and build a factory”.

And if you don’t believe these things, you’ve done a poor job communicating it.

The snazzy pro-416/417 flier that we all received disingenuously uses a cowboy font. It’s disingenuous because the flier promotes a measure that seeks to stomp out cowboy culture from Pinal. Cowboy culture isn’t about subsidizing land developers by building roads to promote sprawl and urbanization. It’s about respecting our rural culture and values. Let me remind you what those values are, and why we choose to live here and not in Maricopa.

Undeveloped land is GOOD.

Wild and open spaces are GOOD.

Clear, vast, open skies are GOOD.

Low population density is GOOD.

Small government is GOOD.

If you don’t share these values, then you’re really not representing the interests of our county. If we want urbanization, then it’s right next door. Mesa’s leadership makes no secret regarding their vision for the future. It involves as many skyscrapers as they can encourage. They want nothing less than a megalopolis, and they’re banking on Mesa-Gateway airport to make it happen. They envision the entire city is an airport, and we all live inside, somewhere. And it all starts with infrastructure; “if you build it, they will come…”

So let’s not build it.

If Prop 416/417 was about Pinal buying up desert land to preserve it for future generations, I would vote yes. That’s the kind of leadership Pinal voters want to see. If we wanted an Old Boys’ Club in flagrante delicto with land developers, we’d have moved to Mesa.

Take a drive through Maricopa and you will see the detritus of failed commercial development. Indeed, new shopping centers are routinely built right next to the blighted remains of previous efforts. If you want to find some trace of the desert in Maricopa nowadays, you’ll have to go to places like the Desert Museum.

Museums are of course places where we warehouse things of historical interest or curiosity. That’s what the desert has become to Maricopa: a historical oddity. And all thanks to “growth” and “progress” subsidized by votes like 416/417. Perhaps Pinal should be planning a desert museum of its own, (to quote 416/417 proponents) “BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!” When your children or grandchildren ask you where the wild and open spaces went, you can take them to the museum and point at the cowboy diorama. Or you can tell them the truth: “It’s buried beneath this asphalt we’re parked on, and I voted for it.

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