City of Lakeside? Sounds like a plan to me

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When I was at the Lakeside Chamber of Commerce’s Award Night this past week, in the midst of all of the celebration of its accomplishments and the people that make this unincorporated area a phenomenal place to live, there was a brief moment when someone said something that I have been thinking about for years. And as a former resident of Lakeside, my interest in this town is always personal.

When I was at the Lakeside Chamber of Commerce’s Award Night this past week, in the midst of all of the celebration of its accomplishments and the people that make this unincorporated area a phenomenal place to live, there was a brief moment when someone said something that I have been thinking about for years. And as a former resident of Lakeside, my interest in this town is always personal.

While handing over the gavel from now Past-Chair Frank Hilliker, someone said, “And perhaps the next mayor of Lakeside.” This brief sentence reinforced an idea that I have held for years. Lakeside needs to become its own entity, united, and with its own government. Many people in the County do not understand the rich history that Lakeside holds. They also do not realize the growth that Lakeside has seen over the past two decades. Many more people are calling Lakeside home, but in an unincorporated status, the people’s voice is not always on the top priority of being able to change what needs to be changed.

I believe it is time for this gem of a town on the outskirts of East County to have the opportunity to govern itself. It already has a strong leadership that could easily transition from community leaders to mayors, councilmembers, and city managers. They also need the ability to make its own laws and not be bound by County codes alone. It has the people and the resources to govern on its own.

I realize that this is a difficult process and there might be many out there that disagree, but with the expansion of housing and the continuous inflow of residents, it is a real possibility that Lakeside can survive on its own, attract more businesses, and with the increase in housing have the elements in place to be self funded and self governed. With this, Lakeside would be much more in charge of its own future of what the residents of Lakeside want when it comes to growth. As of now, anything that directly affects the residents of Lakeside can only be fought through grassroots efforts, but with a government of its own, the people would have a larger voice in the future of this historical town.

But that one short sentence, that many might have missed, has weighed on my mind since. I have never understood, even when living in Eucalyptus Hills, why Lakeside continues to stay unincorporated. And that one sentence also reaffirmed that I am not the only person looking at Lakeside’s future with change in mind.

I currently live in a city that is 7.5 square miles and it is independent, makes its own laws and the people are much more engaged with local officials representing them, whether they are doing it well or not. And that is what local government is all about. And it also proves that when it comes to creating your own local government, size does not matter. But the people that live there do.

Lakeside has a strong heartbeat in its people and the leaders of the community are strong enough to make this happen. Look at what they have done as an unincorporated area. So I am throwing this thought out there. Should Lakeside become its own city? I think so. Do you? I at least believe that this idea should be a subject of conversation, and not just about the here and now, but about Lakeside’s future and the people that decided to call it home.

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