Encouraging their higher selves | VailDaily.com

Encouraging their higher selves

Don Rogers

And when they manage to reach inside to their higher selves, acting more in the realm of statesmen and women and not at all like cheap politicians, praise should be heaped on them whatever their party leanings, their past petty indescretions, or even some wrongheaded viewpoints.

So tartly pointing out foolishness over who gets to swing the gavel today at the county building is not inconsistent with kudos for the thankfully far larger share of good decisions among this and other bodies.

Of course, the partisans never know what to make of this style of criticism, which is half the fun. They don’t get it anyway, if “Democrats” and “liberals” and “Republicans” and “conservatives” have truly become heroes and demons by label alone. As if community leadership were of the Raiders vs. Bucs variety, team loyalty holding sway over best ideas or teamwork across ideological divides that can be pretty silly, especially at the local level.

These folks have just got to know: Friend or foe? Sorry, neither. That’s your game.

We – pundits and public – just want grownups big enough to share ideas and debate thoughtfully, fairly and always civilly while considering that host of public decisions that really do matter to all of us, whether we are clever enough to pay attention or not. So we tend to whistle foul when we see one.

Not jackasses but zebras, ever mindful that there’s not much genetic difference between the two. Both will kick up a fuss. May our politicians always be of a higher order, neither ducking nor playing games with the public trust.

Worthy effort

That nascent step toward integration of fire and ambulance services is heartening. Consol-idation of a handful of municipal services could save money, improve services, end redundancies, ease turf battles and generally benefit the communities involved.

Fire departments merging with ambulance services is the most obvious erasure of duplications. Police and recreation are two more opportunities out there.

For all the distance involved, the Vail-Eagle Valley is and will remain a small and connected community. It only makes sense to continue what was started with the Eagle River Fire Protection District, which coalesced an amalgam of districts into a better one.

Differences in boundaries, prickly questions about control and representation, and the past’s natural laws of inertia demand high energy and commitment if the county is to take that next evolutionary step in governance.

The effort is worthy, though.


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