Business / Economy

COMMENTARY: Measure J takes its toll on the community

Here's to pyrrhic victories

Ten years ago, a member of the community made a statement about Measure G – the controversial land-use initiative that failed through voter referendum – which struck me as profound. He wrote to Measure G supporters that even if the measure passed it would be a Pyrrhic victory.

To be honest, I never heard the term before that and so I looked it up: def. A Pyrrhic victory is a victory with such a devastating cost that it is tantamount to defeat. Someone who wins a Pyrrhic victory has been victorious in some way; however, the heavy toll negates any sense of achievement or profit (another term for this would be "hollow victory".

And so it goes with Measure J. In my view, the controversey is tearing apart our community. Former friends and cordial acquaintances are now bitter enemies who cannot be trusted. Valued members of the local press are being silenced or quitting in disgust of a bully pulpit for ham-handed editorializing by the owner of The Free Lance newspaper.

Democracy is great, but covert agendas by the local press to manipulate its readers for the value of their vote is shameful, counterproductive and divisive. 

Either way Measure J is settled, the victory will be truly Pyrrhic indeed. 


Michael Smith

Pro-economic growth, pro-music, pro-science, pro-retirement.