Christy’s Predicament Points to a Larger Issue

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Only the cold hearted could read Mark Christy’s plan for his special property without feeling extra sympathy for him. (“Laying Out Ranch Plans,” July 17, 2014).

What is most striking, beyond his unquestionable sincerity and optimism, is the tangled web of boards and commissions that have a say in the way he sees fit to manage and enjoy his property. At the moment, the California Coastal Commission ensnares him. His predicament serves as an inescapable reminder that a byzantine structure of unelected appointees wields far too much power to frustrate our choices today. Because those who sit on California’s Coastal Commission are not elected, there is no way for Christy, or any of us, to “un-elect” them directly when they act in a way that displeases.

Christy’s situation is a stark reminder of how far we have detoured down the road to the “ruled,” rather than being “governed” with our consent.

Joan Mounteer, Laguna Beach

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