By a five-four vote, Northampton County Council last night lent its support to a proposed state law that will allow home rule charter counties to allow the voters to weigh in by referendum when debt is proposed. I oppose these kinds of measures because most of us are, after all, pretty ignorant about government matters, and will be naturally inclined to vote against anything that might result in a tax hike.
That's why we elect others, so we can toss them out for making an uninformed decision to borrow on a matter about which we know nothing anyway.
Most of us simply don't know what the hell is going on.
My 12-year grandson, for example, can name every player at unranked Ohio State, but thinks the country located immediately south of the United States is New Jersey.
Maybe it is.
Executive John Stoffa pointed out that in the event of a sudden crisis like an earthquake, the County might have to borrow quickly, but would be unable to do that if it needed the approval of "We, the People."
Peg Ferraro agreed with Stoffa, but had a strange way of expressing herself.
"It's putting, it's tying our hands at a time when we might - it's putting us under some restrictions that maybe there might be some circumstances sometimes. I'm feeling like California a little bit with Proposition 13. And why just home rule counties? And I understand we're in a different group of people, but it just - hopefully we'll have people here who won't vote for huge bond issues."
Although I agree with her argument, her last sentence may have persuaded dubious Council members to support this Angle-sponsored measure. Northampton County has yet to spend all of the $111 million it borrowed in 2001.