This charter revision now before voters is not a so-called dropped ball, but a flattened one.




In an effort to clarify the city's charter, an ad hoc committee developed changes to improve city government, shore up inconsistencies and make the document more efficient.




However, in all the editing, the committee's recommendation went at least one line too far. They struck language that provided an absolute prohibition against the sale of Lithia Park.




In so doing, they doomed the charter revisions.




It should not have passed city council in its current form. As such, the true merit of the charter revision will not be properly evaluated.




Anything that opens the possibility of a future developer securing enough political clout so as to gain approval for developing any part of Lithia Park is not worth the price. Not at any price.




The arguments set forth by city leaders and charter review committee members have proven to be lacking. Yes, we know the sale of any part of Lithia Park is not likely under any circumstance. Yes, it would remain very difficult even if this charter revision is approved. Yes, political leaders even suggesting such a thing would be less popular than American Idol's Sanjaya. All true. But what doesn't appear to be true is the assertion that state law absolutely protects against the sale of Lithia Park.




Any loophole on this issue, no matter how small, is too big.




Of course, this is not a new opinion. It is not earth shattering. It is, in fact, common sense. But it does leave us wondering why this redaction &

clearly a poison pill for this vote &

passed through both the committee and the council? Some have suggested a grand conspiracy making way for an eventual blockbuster deal that would invade Lithia Park. Such theories are hard to fathom, but are inevitable when one searches for an answer as to why this language was removed in the first place.




It all seems so unnecessary. We doubt a conspiratorial plan to develop Lithia Park exists. We are pretty sure this is not a payoff or dirty deal. It is, most likely, simple stubbornness born of a polarized political community that has given up listening to each other. Because the "other" side raised the objection, "this" side is forced to defend an unwinnable argument. What is plain silly is that it made it to the voters.




Reject the change, but also reject the politics that lead to entrenched opposition to all things that might come from this or that side.