05/30/08 — Not quiet here: Walnut Creek officials get full-blown reaction on ETJ

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Not quiet here: Walnut Creek officials get full-blown reaction on ETJ

Whoops. That sure wasn’t a quiet meeting, was it?

There’s good news and bad news in the community reaction to Walnut Creek’s consideration of creating an extra-territorial jurisdiction.

First, isn’t it nice to see that people care what is going on in their community? It must have been quite a shock to see so many so interested in anything a governing body is considering, let alone being willing to leave their homes and attend a meeting to discuss it.

Second, isn’t it nice— kind of — that when you ask for public feedback — you get it?

It isn’t really all that surprising that Walnut Creek officials would start to talk about the future of the village’s borders. After all, with all the development that seems to be springing up along U.S. 70 as well as future plans for the highway, being proactive is much smarter than sitting around waiting for something to happen.

So, there is nothing wrong with talking about how to handle the situation.

But property owners in the area have a right, too, to express their opinions on where they want to live and whom they want to make decisions about their futures.

So, it also isn’t surprising that some of them would be bound and determined to make sure they had their say about the Walnut Creek officials’ consideration of the jurisdiction addition.

But as the process continues, there are some real questions that need to be addressed — not just about the wishes of the residents who own property around the village, but also about how this will factor into the county’s overall plans for the future.

For now, since the proposal isn’t even out of infancy yet, county officials really aren’t spending too much time on it. There have been other municipalities before that have tried to make changes — and those requests have been given due diligence and rejected or allowed to move forward based on the county’s research and analysis.

There is little doubt that any effort made by Walnut Creek would be given the same attention.

But the whole question points to a real need in this county for continued attention to where were are going next as well as where we are right now.

Development and possibilities for growth have become realities for this community. Knowing the rules before we have to face the questions is critical.

Walnut Creek’s discussions are fortuitous in one sense — there are a whole lot of people talking about what the future will bring — and who is going to be in charge of guiding it. Those are critical questions in the process of preparing for Wayne County’s next steps.

Published in Editorials on May 30, 2008 11:08 AM