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Ignoring voters … priceless

Marty Lich
Vail CO, Colorado

Voting in November … $0.

Voting no regarding tax increases … $0.

The right to force a costly second election because voters voted no in the first election … Priceless.

I see our public servants plan to move forward with a special election to let voters vote on home rule again. Why would they spend $30,000 to $50,000 more on an issue that is old news?

I suspect it is because we voters voted a solid no the first time regarding how we wish them to spend our tax money, and they think they know better than we do, so they want to spend it, despite our opinion.

We knew then and we know now that the home-rule proposal carries an estimated annual fee of $386,000 per year for salaries, benefits and administration. That was disclosed during the November election.

The “babysitting tax” also raised people’s hackles, not to mention it would have raised our taxes even higher. So we voted no on it, too! Despite our votes, that initiative is likely to be funded by our elected county officials to the tune of about $1.6 million.

Throwing stones

Now entered in the media fray, for whatever reason, is twice-elected and former County Commissioner Tom Stone. This is a public official who always responded to the people who had voted him into office. Even if he didn’t like our votes, he upheld them because he was, after all, our indentured public servant and we were his constituents. Meaning, we “hired” him via the election process to represent us.

So what gives with the seemingly endless Stone-throwing in the newspapers? Is it because he is not “P.C.,” meaning he is a naysayer to the loose spending of Other People’s Money? Commissioner Stone did not and still does not buy in to various self-serving projects. Perhaps Tom Stone still makes the news because he feels when the voters vote a “no” vote, they mean no and not “maybe.”

I believe, as Tom Stone appears to believe, that we voters did read the fine print, and the voting majority voted against home rule based upon what we educated ourselves with regards to this proposal, its fees and its benefits. For this, I say thank you, Tom Stone. Along with Tom Stone, I also wish to thank Mike Gallagher. You both represented the true ethical indentured public servant who upholds your constituent’s desires, regardless of your own personal desires.

The possibilities

As Mike Lederhause has said in the newspapers of late, if the voters were not informed enough to vote on the babysitting tax and the home rule, well then, we also were not informed enough on to vote on the school bond nor on the new county commissioner during the same election in November.

I agree. So let us have a re-vote on those two items as well. After all, it looks like taxpayers will fund this special election regardless, and adding two more to the ballot will not impact us by much.

In fact while we are at it, why not go back a few more years and get some new improved votes on other old election decisions of the past? Surely we voters didn’t know better then, either. Just think of the possibilities.

Priceless, indeed

Fee to poll voters after the fact … $4,500.

Cost to hold a special election on an issue you voted on back in November … $30,000 – $50,000.

Funding the babysitting tax anyway, despite it being voted down … $1.6 million.

Public officials ignoring the constituents they were elected to represent … Priceless.

Marty Lich is a Gypsum resident. She can be reached at Martyinco@juno.com.


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