Daily Editorial: Let voters vote on the land, Avon
Vail CO, Colorado
Speeding up development is among the arguments Avon is making as it urges residents to give up their right to vote on the sale of public land.
The town will hold a special election May 8 in which voters will be asked to change the Town Charter so officials don’t have to have an election every time they want to unload some property.
The mayor says the town needs this extra power because Avon is entering a period of redevelopment and going to the people each time a street needs to be realigned or a right-of-way adjusted would hold things up.
First of all, what’s wrong with holding things up a bit? The town, in asking to take some power from the people, assumes its proposed land sales will have overwhelming support. What if the people don’t want to give a particular parcel up to a developer?
The town reassures residents that any sale would still go through the public process.
That’s comforting, but no matter how many hearings were held and how much citizen input was gathered, the ultimate decision would still be made by the seven council members. And who’s to say they’d listen even of a majority of residents were against a particular deal? We have no reason to be suspicious of the Avon Town Council, but elected officials sometimes develop ulterior motives.
Plus, public land is the people’s land and they should have the final power over whether the town keeps it or its sold to a developer. The town is really the people’s town, and they should have some say beyond speaking at a council meeting in how it grows.
” Matt Zalaznick for the Editorial Board