Carnes: Election ballots have been mailed, marking a fresh round of death and taxes (column) |

Carnes: Election ballots have been mailed, marking a fresh round of death and taxes (column)

In two weeks, on Tuesday, Nov. 7, Happy Valley residents will once again be asked to perform their patriotic duty and stand for the national anthem before the first Birds of Prey ski race.

Or is it Birds of Pray? I’m easily confused at times; I just hope nobody dares to take a knee in the snow.

No, wait, that’s the first week in December, not November.

OK, now I got it.

The first Tuesday in the 11th month, Happy Valley residents will once again be asked to “color the bubbles” of their 2017 “Official Ballot for Coordinated Election.”

I shudder to think what an uncoordinated election would be like.

Anyway, as the idiom from the early 18th century proclaims, nothing is more certain in life than death and taxes (but in the reverse order, duh), and here in Eagle County, we certainly hate to go against cultural norms or perform any actions that would make us stand out from everybody else (Think: Aspen and their nuclear-free zone).

Unless you’re visiting our fine valley (and if you are, thanks, there’s only a few of you at the moment), you should have received your official ballot in the mail last week. If you haven’t already done so, open it now, please, as time is of the essence, and if you don’t hurry up, fill it out and send it back in, then your vote will not count.

And then you wouldn’t be legally allowed to complain about the results.

Upon inspection, you will see, as usual, there are a smattering of Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustee candidates and Eagle County school district Board Directors, and this time there are a few questions to answer “yay” or “no” toward giving entities the “right” to provide high-speed internet.

Although I had no idea such a thing was needed, Eagle County and the towns of Eagle and Gypsum are all asking for it. Oh, and Red Cliff is asking residents to eliminate term limits for their elected officials.

What could go wrong?

All of the above are simple, cut and dry, yes or no questions, none involving tax increases of any sort (as far as I can tell). But a ballot without tax increases is like a day without President Donald Trump saying something narcissistically idiotic — they don’t exist.

Yes sir, we have ’em, five to be exact, but your opportunity to vote for or against depends upon geography.

We all get to vote on a pot tax to raise money for mental health (1A) and a mill levy increase for CMC to help them overcome potential budget shortfalls (4B).

Those in the town of Eagle get to vote on another pot tax (2D) and one for cemetery maintenance (5A), and Red Cliff has their very own vote for a “Use Tax” (2F), whatever that means.

I am sure those for or against any of the above will be more than happy to point out my ignorance toward their hated or beloved issue as described, but please keep in mind that at least I am bringing up the issue, as the vast majority I’ve talked to recently have no idea there is a vote on the horizon.

Be thankful we’re only talking about taxes, and not death.

You’re welcome.

Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at

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