The more I think about it, the fishier the attempt by the state of California to usurp the Vallejo ferry smells.
I want to believe that our state officials want what�s best for all its cities and the people who live in them. I don�t want to believe there are personal and professional agendas driving decisions of this magnitude.
It must be remembered that the ferry is one of Vallejo�s few positive attributes. It�s a source of pride and of historical significance to the city. It�s a centerpiece in the city�s redevelopment plans, and some of the assets the state hopes to seize are privately owned or were built with funds that make the legality of a takeover questionable.
And there are other glaring problems with this thing, which bears all the earmarks of a coup or hostile corporate takeover.
For one thing, my experience and common sense tells me that nothing that�s on the up-and-up needs to be snuck in without warning when no one is looking in the middle of the night, which is how this takeover bid was presented.
Disbelief must also be suspended to swallow the explanation given for the state�s need to confiscate a ferry system that�s working just fine, along with all its assets, thank you very much.
We�re told the state needs to take control of the ferry just in case there�s ever a major catastrophe in the region, so there can be a coordinated response. And of course there should be contingency plans in place and practiced in case of such a thing.
But if this were really about possible future disaster response in the region, one would think officials might also like to include the San Francisco ferry, but this bill doesn�t. We�re told it�s too hard legally for the state to grab the San Francisco ferry, so they�re not. If it were really a matter of public safety, though, you�d think they�d insist, or at least try.
But they�re not, and that�s fishy.
Also, there�s something frighteningly Soviet about the state being able to just snatch stuff from cities without asking them. Like those eminent domain laws, which, though they make some sense in theory, are being too often misused in practice. Eminent domain says the state can take someone�s property if it�s needed for the common good, like building a school or a freeway.
However, too often I�ve heard of people�s property being taken and transferred to private corporations to build malls or some other profit-making enterprise.
If this is allowed to stand, the concept of private ownership in the United States is a fallacy; a belief constructed of vapor.
Also, as has been pointed out by others, the proponents of this takeover are in such a rush, they want to pass it into law first and then go back and hammer out the details later.
This also is really fishy.
Usually, stuff takes weeks, months or even years of wrangling before our Legislators will approve it. The state�s budget for instance. The Legislators want every word examined for nuance before signing off on it. But here, they want to work it out later.
Fishy. In fact, the whole thing stinks.
I�m no soothsayer, but I�m going to stick my neck out here and predict that if the governor signs this bill, the city of Vallejo has years of expensive litigation in its future.
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