Daily Editorial: Secret poll bad for community | VailDaily.com

Daily Editorial: Secret poll bad for community

Vail Daily Editorial Board
Vail CO, Colorado

Maybe a bonding company that does secret surveys and refuses to make the results public doesn’t deserve Eagle County’s business.

The sneak factor, the whiff of the smoke-filled backroom, is not the sort of redolence the county needs right now. After all, there’s always quite enough suspicion ” fair or not ” about how a government conducts business.

Much more significantly, though, the county and bonding company send the wrong signal to the public.

The clear message is that fully informing the community that will make an important decision about the pros and cons is less important than county leaders getting what they want and the company improving its chance to profit.

But shouldn’t a community have access to all the information when collectively making a decision about whether to raise taxes for a new justice center? We think so.

Somehow, we find withholding information because it could be used to argue against going into debt wrongheaded.

This isn’t supposed to be about a strategy to sell the community a bag of goods, after all.

If the company cannot understand that, well, the county’s public servants certainly should. The school district and town of Vail fortunately have been scrupulous about making sure their survey results are fully disclosed. They earn trust that way, and for good reason.

Frankly, there is no good reason to poll the community and then decline to tell the public openly, fully and honestly what residents said.

The county’s management ought to reconsider hiring companies that work in the dark. And the county commissioners need to make sure that this happens.

Secret surveys for public entities are simply unacceptable. That’s hardly open governance.

” Don Rogers for the Editorial Board

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