Cannon Beach Mayor Sam Steidel

Cannon Beach Mayor Sam Steidel

"A story that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.”

Ever play monopoly? Group of folks get together to see who might be Mr. Bigbucks. The play money and cute figurines, Boardwalk, Park Place and Marvin Gardens. Players begin with an equal purse. The throw of the dice imparts random situations where wheeling and dealing ensues. One or two players ‘get-lucky’ and land on the best spots. Others can never get a break.

Here comes the story. Player ‘X’ realizes they have come to a point where a hotel may benefit his property. A fluke of the dice and he’s in the dough. Every one else can barely get around the board with their two hundred. Suddenly they, the other players, decide that hotels are not allowed. Only houses, and a limited number of houses at that, and only on every other space not counting the railroads (which should become publicly subsidized, but that is another story).

Seems the majority want to change the rules. Midstream. Not really cheating, perhaps colluding. Thing is the rules were and are set. They’re on the back of the box. Easy thing to set unordinary rules before the start. Like no trading house chores for free stays, or corporation forming in order to purchase joint properties.

It is all about what is on the box at the onset. Pay the pink money get the hotel as the rule says.

So you’re beginning to wonder what is my point. Take a guess. Changing the rules? What rules? Rules and regulations, codes and permits sound familiar? Seems that as a community which must work within the rule of law, vague as some ordinances may be, the rules are on the back of the box. Such as Ordinances.

If some ‘players’ want to change the rules. It is only proper though that those who are in a process get the right to use the rules in place when the game begun. Same rules that every one had at the beginning.

If the community wished to change the rules, as many do, is it not only fair that the changes apply to future permits and not present asks? If the rule says hotels, is it morally proper to say no, nope, not for you cause we do not like what you’re doing. Or, oops, we got too many of those. Damned shame we did not fix the rule before we knew there was a problem, but…

Ok, so then there is a bad rule. Duty comes for us all to change it as quickly as possible. There is the rub, the difference between a game and the real world. A game might be called and begun all over with a new rule. No harm done, except on the ego of the winner.

Hard to do in the philosophical discussion of a transparent and legal municipal process and property rights, let alone property values and time limitations. Permits are allowed within the reasoning of the written code. The established code.

So what is this twisted allegory about?

Seems some time ago when the city ordinances were written we, the residents, talked about many concerns. And we supposed that all our concerns were written down on the back of the box. Then Mr. Big bucks caught up, found or is finding the ordinances strongly support the rights of the property holder. Not so much the desires of the community.

Time is upon us, the residents, to strengthen the rules. Use our collective voice and mold the rules into the community we understand it is. Focus the energy into sculpting the rules from this moment forward.

Yes, morally we must allow things we thought were protected from abuse, views, trees, wet lands, traffic and home ownership. The current rules have allowed to be snuck thru some understandable errors. The sooner we get at the comprehensive Audit and fix those errors the sooner we will be on the track we thought we were on.

Does that mean we may take some hits and let pass some less desirable outcomes? It has, will and does. Because the rule are on the box. All the more reason to act on clarifying the goals of our community as quickly as possible. It hurts to see trees cut and wetlands filled. Of that I can attest numerable instances, all of which were disturbing changes. Some though have become qualified community resources, over time. Some not so much.

Thing is we need all our community energy to focus on how do we get it right, together. Amidst all our differing opinions. There is little help with assuming the City Council can simply say no to a thing. Not as possible when the rules on the back of the box belong to the game we play today. We need to secure new rules for everything we wish and need the future to bring.


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