12 September 2012: Voters must study candidates, issues

Voters must study candidates, issues

Letter writer Jim Leonard makes an excellent point when he states more emphasis needs to be put on local county issues by Courant columnists.  Admittedly, it’s hard not to dedicate all of my column space to national issues as the entail the very soul of our nation.  The future of Clear Creek, though, is also of vital concern.

For over nine years, I have explored various local issues: land use, transportation, human health and services, historical preservation, economic development among them.  Of course, I’m for all of them.

OK, that last line is a droll, tongue-in-cheek crack with intent.  My goal has been to promote and contribute to the conversation about them, and in so doing, I’ve managed to aggravate a few and edify others.

Mining has been a particularly tricky issue.  It’s the activity on which we hang our historical preservation hat yet is oftentimes seen by preservationists and environmentalists as the work of the devil, or at least of dwarves.

Wind energy development is another, and if you’re looking to be skewered, advocate for development atop Floyd Hill or Fall River Rd.

A good one of late is that of transportation enhancement, which contributes to our recreational economy.  Anti-guvmint purists see it as the hand of the devil at work, while the rest of us see frolicking white-water enthusiasts having the time of their lives and restaurants, motels, and other businesses enjoying an uptick in business.

We have two races for commissioner to replace Kevin O’Malley and Joan Drury: District 2 (east end) Democrat George Clark and Republican Tom Hayden; District 3 (west end), Democrat Randy Wheelock and Republican Phil Buckland.  (District 1, the central part of the county, is represented by Tim Mauck, who has two more years in his four-year term remaining.)

I’ve learned there is some confusion about whether every voter can vote for the commissioner candidates running in the other parts of the county.  The answer is YES!

The law simply requires commissioner candidates—or school board members for that matter—to live in the district they want to represent.  The election for those offices, however, is countywide, which means every Clear Creek voter—even those in District 2—enjoys the right and has the responsibility as a citizen to vote in both races.

All of the issues about which the winners will make decisions are complex with upsides and downsides.

Infrastructure—the roads we see every day and the sewers we don’t—is paramount when considering nearly every course of action.

While I won’t argue we have had a free ride when it comes to paying taxes, nonetheless when one entity—Henderson—contributes upwards of 70 percent of our taxes and within the lifetimes of most of us will most likely go out of business, a day of reckoning might not be far off.

As Bill Clinton so affably pointed out why he managed to tame the deficit while George Bush exploded it, it takes simple arithmetic.  But some officials are better at applying fifth-grade level math skills than others.

While the math isn’t rocket science, the political ramifications of any decision made can be exacting, for no matter what a legislator decides, he/she is going to tick off some constituents.  And those are the ones from whom he/she will likely hear, not the ones who like his/her call.

I frequently say there is only one person with whom you agree with 100 percent of the time—hopefully—and that is yourself.  Your choice, though, for whom to vote almost always comes down to one of two.  So the question: Which of the two more reflects my values and which do I trust more to make a good decision?

Finding that out and making up your mind is your obligation as a citizen.  The candidates for commissioner, district attorney (to replace Mark Hurlburt), state legislature, the state board of education, the University of Colorado Board of Regents, congress, and that other office—the presidency—are all out telling you what they believe in and will do.

Locally, candidates’ forums are being organized each of the county’s three primary geographical regions.  Further, I will be hosting candidates’ conversations on my KYGT show alternating Saturdays at 3:00 beginning this coming one, September 15th.

To find out times and places of the forums, you can email or call me.  To see who my guests will be, check the radio’s website, www.kygt.org.

If you like living in America, do your civic duty: Learn more about the candidates and issues and for Lady Liberty’s sake vote!

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