Some notes on the trolley petition |

Some notes on the trolley petition

As someone who has been involved in several petition drives in recent years, I don’t take too kindly to the abuse of this essential democratic process.

The plan for the trolley in Aspen has always been that it will be built with private funding. The fact that there is no trolley in Aspen bears no relationship to any governmental action or inaction, it is solely due to the lack of private funding for the system. No public vote of any kind can possibly have any effect on this equation.

The call for a public vote is, therefore, nothing more than a public relations sham, and an abuse of the petition process.

Note to the Aspen City Council: If you proceed with expenditures of $100,000 for the complete information necessary for voters to make an informed decision on the merits of a trolley system, you will be supplying public funds for private purposes.

If trolley proponents don’t have enough money to develop their own business plan, they certainly can’t be expected to fund construction of the trolley.

Note to petition signers: You should never sign a petition just to be polite to the person circulating, nor should you fall for the premise that it “just allows us to vote.” If the city does fund the study, it will be the equivalent of each and every petition signer taking a crisp $100 bill from their pocket and setting it on fire. Would you have agreed to that if asked?

Note to petition circulators: Try circulating a document which commits the signer to contribute a minimum of $20,000 for the construction of your trolley. That’s the only feasibility study with any relevance whatsoever.

Note to everyone regarding a great deal more than trolleys: I propose a simple mantra to repeat whenever you find yourself tempted by the urge to buy into yet another groovy sounding cause or project.

“If it won’t work, don’t do it; if it’s not working, stop doing it; and if we can’t afford it, don’t buy it.”

It will get you out of trouble every time.

Jeffrey Evans

Up the Crystal

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