“Governance: Invoke the efficacy of government and the achievement of consensus by democratic means (participation).” Well, that definition does not hold true in Riverside any longer, and that is what the people of our community should be outraged about.

Whichever side of the parks and recreation debate you fall on, it is deplorable that an elected government by the people and for the people would choose to simply dismiss the people.

One thousand twenty people and counting have petitioned to have a say on this question at the ballot box. This act of civic responsibility has been greeted with accusations of “politically motivated,” “lies,” “misrepresentation” and “bullying” the residents. Saving the best for last, Trustee Lonnie Sacchi has declared that the idea of having a referendum is “stupid.” Meanwhile his idea to needlessly reorganize our government has cost taxpayers over $6,000 in legal fees just through July.

The Gang of Four will have its say, while the gang of 1,000 is told to sit quietly. I propose we do not sit quietly, that we do have our say and that we loudly and respectfully demand our voices be heard.

We are planning ways to make this happen. If you are interested in restoring democracy to Riverside, please e-mail us at recyes@yahoo.com. We will add your name to our growing e-mail list and keep you posted on upcoming events.

Joe Ballerine

Joe Ballerine is a member of the Riverside Parks and Recreation board.