The general public should be made aware that government often creates an illusion that the public has significant input into its decisions, when the reality is often the opposite -- whether intentionally or not.

To the Editor:

The general public should be made aware that government often creates an illusion that the public has significant input into its decisions, when the reality is often the opposite -- whether intentionally or not.

The Licking County Area Transportation Study has created a draft proposal for the route that more than 100 miles of bike trails may take through Licking County.

At the tail end of this process, a survey was created. This survey asked only questions to determine where you would like the paths to go, what amenities you would like along the paths, etc.

In other words, the building of bike paths was already decided with no input from the public as to whether residents even wanted bike paths. That key question should have been asked before the draft was created, unless the opinion of the public on this matter was of no importance, even though its tax dollars, at the least, will be used to maintain these paths.

This survey is being used to justify the building of these paths even though the number of responses was ridiculously small.

Licking County has a population of more than 160,000 but only 425 surveys were received. That means about 0.25 percent of the population responded. There is no way this small of a sample should be used to guide this process.

There is no guarantee that your tax dollars, directly or indirectly, are not going to go to the building and maintaining of these bike paths or that your property will not be taken through eminent domain. We are talking about millions of dollars here.

Shouldn't something this big and important, that will likely involve your tax dollars now and in the future, be put on the ballot?

Eileen DeRolf
Pataskala