Midpen’s mission is to acquire and preserve a regional greenbelt of open space land in perpetuity, protect and restore the natural environment, and provide opportunities for ecologically sensitive public enjoyment and education. On the Coast, Midpen has an expanded mission to acquire and preserve agricultural land of regional significance, preserve rural character and encourage viable agricultural uses of land resources.
I fully support this mission. In my opinion, when making decisions, we should keep in mind not only these words that Midpen has crafted on its own, but also those that the people have voted for: Midpen’s original founding statement, and the text of Measure AA. I believe these three are self-consistent, but by understanding the intent of the voters as well as Midpen’s own words, we can make the best decisions.
Measure R: The founding language of Midpen from 1972
Measure R will preserve open space by creating the Midpeninsula Regional Park District. Open space is our green backdrop of hills. It is rolling grasslands, cool forests in the Coast Range, orchards and vineyards in the sun. It is the patch of grass between communities where children can run. It is uncluttered baylands where water birds wheel and soar, where blowing cordgrass yields its blessings of oxygen, where the din of urban life gives way to the soft sounds of nature. It is the serene, unbuilt, unspoiled earth that awakens all our senses and makes us whole again…it is room to breathe.
Measure AA: Midpen’s shift toward more and better access from 2014
To improve access to hiking and biking opportunities, protect and preserve redwood forests, natural open spaces, the scenic beauty of our region and coastline, critical wildlife habitat, restore creeks to protect water quality, and reduce forest fire risk; shall Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District be authorized to issue up to $300 million in bonds, at a tax rate not to exceed $3.18 per $100,000 of assessed value of property owned, with expenditures verified by an independent citizen oversight committee?