Vail Daily editorial: Keep looking locally
September 6, 2016
The next nine weeks or so will be tough, especially for those with an aversion to political advertising.
It's not bad enough that our country is faced with a choice between perhaps the two worst major-party presidential candidates in nearly 50 years (Hubert Humphrey and Richard Nixon set a pretty low bar in 1968). The sheer volume of political advertising has started to even seep into the world of basic cable TV. You know it's bad when you're seeing ads from Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on the History Channel. And let's not get started on the barrage of balderdash about to be unleashed regarding a host of state ballot issues.
It's all pretty unsettling, and it's tempting to tune out every message.
But the general sense of election-season blah shouldn't be allowed to creep into local races. Our valley has several of those this year, and they're pretty important.
Starting at the state level, county resident Michael Cacioppo is the Republican candidate for the Colorado House of Representatives, challenging an incumbent Democrat, Diane Mitsch Bush, of Steamboat Springs.
There's a three-way race for district attorney. Three of the district's four counties — Eagle, Clear Creek and Summit — have residents on the ballot.
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Just in Eagle County, two of the three seats on the county board of commissioners are contested this fall, as is the Eagle County treasurer's job.
In Avon, voters there will elect three people from five candidates to seats on that town's council.
All those elected jobs arguably have a greater impact on day-to-day life in the valley than the people sent to Washington D.C. It takes a bit of work, but it's important to listen to those candidates' ideas for the future of our area.
At a pocketbook level, Eagle County and Eagle County Schools are asking for more of our tax dollars. Are these worthy proposals — for a county housing fund and additional money for public schools?
The good news is that it's fairly easy to actually talk to candidates for local office, either in person, on the phone or via email. Again, though, voters have to make an effort.
It will also be relatively easy to seek out supporters or opponents of the tax issues on the fall ballot.
In short, just because our national political scene appears to be broken, your vote does matter close to home, and it's worth the effort to learn as much as possible about those candidates and issues.
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