You see, this is what I was talking about.

From today’s Oregonian:

The Clackamas County Board of Commissioners decided Tuesday to speed the processing of claims made under Oregon’s Measure 37 property rights law by preventing residents from testifying about filings. The commissioners will approve valid Measure 37 claims without question or public comment.

The commissioners’ callousness to public sentiment is not because they’re die-hard “property rights” activists. It’s because they simply cannot afford the time and money even to allow hearings for all the changes to land-use laws that have been proposed. And the they’re worried that if they don’t get busy waiving the laws — laws created by democratic means — taxpayers will get stuck having to compensate tens of millions of dollars worth of claims.

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Pay or waive schemes like Measure 37 are a dagger at the heart of basic democratic institutions like local government. They are much less about property and planning than they are about silencing communities.

Residents of California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Washington — states that rejected or legally invalidated Measure 37 copycats last fall — should breath a deep sigh of relief. Residents of Arizona should hire lawyers.

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