Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Secret developer access exposed

The Pinnacle newspaper in south Santa Clara County did an in-depth article about the issue CGF exposed - developers are given access to draft environmental documents to review those documents and argue for changes while environmentalists are excluded.

Two points we can add here - County staff said giving equal access to environmentalists would be a bureaucratic nightmare. It would not - all the County would have to do is to respond to requests for the same documents the County was already giving to developers.

Second, Supervisor Gage compared the process to the County reviewing financial audit reports before they became public, and said there's nothing wrong the developers doing the same thing with environmental documents. The difference is between who's in charge of the process - the County commissions audit reports which belong to the County, but environmental documents do not belong to developers. They belong to the people of the County, and if one member of the public - a developer - can get to see them, then so should anyone else who requests the opportunity.


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