[Vision2020] Worried about Spence

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Sun Jul 30 05:33:24 PDT 2017

Those were the days, my friend . . . 

Courtesy of today's (July 30, 2017) Lewiston Tribune with thanks to Shirley Ringo.


Worried about Spence

I worry about William Spence. During several of my years in Idaho's Legislature, I enjoyed interacting with this reporter from the Lewiston Tribune. He seemed somewhat progressive. But an individual who works around Idaho's Legislature too long must be careful lest the extremely conservative rhetoric begins to sound sensible.

Spence's June 29 Up Front commentary signals that he may have reached the point of no return.

Centered around a discussion of land use planning, he cautions people to be wary of "sweet old ladies" who brandish sharp knives. Spence claims these little old ladies are perfectly willing to trample on someone's property rights to defend the future of the valley where they live. His conclusion is that government should not be "aspirational." Rather, government should handle basic services such as public safety and national defense.

For example, Spence finds guidelines objectionable that prevent a farmer from subdividing his (sic) land into 1- to 5-acre parcels. This is an unfortunate oversimplification of a complex issue. Land ownership is a responsibility. Land an individual owns will not always be in his or her possession.

People have no right to trash land they own. Water they foul travels downstream. Land is necessary for food production. A certain amount of open space must be preserved for the enjoyment of people and habitat for nature's creatures.

Spence equates land-use planning with sticking a knife in somebody's back. Sad. In fact, our aspirations for land stewardship are an investment in the common good.

Shirley Ringo


Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .

"Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)
Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho
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