May 1, 2002
“Once again, a bill has been introduced and killed, to make all special districts and municipal elections partisan and move them to the November election.” – Special District Association News Letter. April, 2002.
If all elections were held in November we would be voting for a zoo full of federal, state, regional and local candidates. And many questions could be on the ballot, too.
Pitkin County, itself, would have a ballot with 105 or more local candidates representing 35 separate districts that levy property taxes. The idea of one election for all shows us that governments are not organized and their financial outcomes are left to a crapshoot competition.
It would be efficient to hold one election, but would a long and complicated ballot be effective? No.
Common sense says that one election would put voters into an overload mode. Government has grown beyond the people’s comprehension and control.
For example, take the situation in Pitkin County where voters would be electing over 100 money managers who run over 35 different taxing districts. Ask yourself how you would vote so that property tax revenues were kept high enough to be sure that growth pays its own way in public costs?
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Now picture one election for all the government offices in the Roaring Fork rural transit region. Don’t ask the responsible officials how to finance RFTA and finally get and keep a first class, expanded, rapid bus system running in the valley.
That’s because these old rail officials have appointed a citizens financial task force to pull this chestnut out of the fire for them. Our elected officials are too dumb to figure out how to fund RFTA and are too smart to admit it.
The idea of one election may have been killed again but the thought of it reveals that government elections are a zoo and that managing growth so that it pays its own way in public costs is a crock.
It’s astonishing that, for the past 25 years, every nice Smart Growth politician in Aspen has felt good about the way she or he has controlled the growth in public costs in Pitkin County.
Be Brave Comrades.