Letters to the Editor

Viewpoint: An autoimmune analogy for Paso

Phil Dirkx’s March 5 column (“Water-rate dispute is like an illness”) attempts to liken the actions of Concerned Citizens for Paso Robles to an “autoimmune disorder.”

His analogy appears to have some rhetorical merit, yet he wrongly concludes for the group when he says, “I’m afraid some rate-increase opponents see the ‘city’ as a threat to fight, not as the body that they are members of.”

Actually, autoimmunity can be defined as “the failure of an organism to recognize its own constituent parts as self, which allows an immune response against its own cells and tissues.”

Or put differently, it’s “a condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue.”

To extend Dirkx’s analogy more aptly to Paso Robles governance, in reality it’s the failure of our City Council and senior city staff (the “brain” of the organism) to own up to responsibility for the organism’s disorder (Nacimiento Lake debt and related legal problem blunders) that is the “threat.”

The brain’s repeated failure over the years to recognize a healthy and even majority dissenting opinion in our community and failure to place right above might, substance above slogan and trust above fear has brought on the “fight.” *

Indeed, the brain’s now cancerous pro-growth cells and anti-democratic tissues compromise the very integrity and health of the organism, necessarily threatening a community and body politic that prides itself on liberty and justice for all. City Council and staff have shown by their actions they would well lead attacks on the organism’s constituents and be quite willing to devour ordinary citizens’ individual liberties and economic security.

On all matters related to dipping into ratepayers’ pockets, city representatives have time after time willfully skirted citizen’s participatory rights set forth in our Golden State’s Constitution and have had no second thoughts about city residents paying for capital costs that should rightfully be born by new developments.

A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corp. national poll found that a majority of Americans think the federal government poses a threat to rights of ordinary citizens. The same can be true for local government, maybe even more so.

In either instance, whether it be the “brain” of an organism at the national or a local level, when governance rides roughshod over people’s “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” Dirkx and others of his persuasion need to be reminded that “... whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government ... ” (Declaration of Independence).

I’m voting “no” on Paso’s proposed rate increase. I encourage others to do the same. And after that, perhaps we in Paso Robles can find ourselves a better brain!

John Borst is a member of Concerned Citizens for Paso Robles.

Correction: Due to an error in the editing process, this sentence was originally published with some words incorrectly transposed. Click here to return to the corrected sentence.