When local, state priorities collide, nobody is happy
No one expects big infrastructure projects to drop in smoothly. From runways to sewer plants, these things often have negative spillover effects - traffic, noise or appearance. No one wants them. And while the nuisances may not be trivial, neither should they be determinative.
While the downside impacts tend to be extremely local, the benefits generally extend well beyond the region. Politically, that creates a difficult dynamic. Local politicians have little to gain by supporting projects opposed by their constituents. And the diffuse benefit rarely translates to the kind of political pressure generated by those who are affected adversely.
August 28, 2007
by Richard S. Davis
in The Herald Net
Few things rile local politicians more than when state government interferes with how they do things. It's called preemption and, like water, it flows downhill. The feds trump the state. The state trumps cities and counties. The closer you are to the bottom, the less you like it. Where there's preemption, there's always political fallout.
Knowing this and recognizing the minefield they enter when they presume too much, state officials typically tread lightly when invited to bigfoot purely local affairs. Sometimes, though, state intervention is required.
We're seeing this play out in Kittitas County, where a wind energy project is... [continue via Web link]