Step by step through our long ballot, this is how I’m voting on the city/county questions.John Kerry for president because he is intelligent, is not a warmonger, is best able to stabilize our relationship with the rest of the world, is pro-choice, is the man I’d best trust to appoint future justices to the Supreme Court, and has, in John Edwards, a successor I’d far rather see in the Oval Office than Dick Cheney.For U.S. senator, Ken Salazar – Pete Coors is a right-wing conservative. For state representative, John Salazar for the same reason.University of Colorado regent and, skipping ahead, the judges up for retention: I don’t know anything about them so won’t vote on those. For state representative, Kathleen Curry, who fared well in a debate with Becky Rippy on the Andrew Kole show.The district attorney is, unfortunately, running unopposed.For county commissioner, a strong endorsement for Michael Owsley, a man of reason who isn’t in it for the ego trip.Default endorsements for Jack Hatfield and Dorothea Farris, whose opponents are, respectively, unknown and unimpressive. Amendment 34 seeks to extend the recovery of construction damages. Considering the excessive damages we’ve seen recently in the shoddy construction of the new schools, affordable housing projects such as the Aspen Highlands fiasco, and the Aspen Recreation Center, I’ll vote YES.Amendment 35, upping the tobacco tax by almost $1/pack, NO. We’ve stomped the smokers enough already.Amendment 36 – to make our electoral votes reflect the popular vote instead of winner take all. This one is very complicated and is already being challenged in court, but I’m voting YES because I hate the way the electoral college is set up.Amendment 37 – encouraging renewable energy standards. YES.Referendum A – modifying the merit system for state employees. Sorry, but I have no clue about this. Referendum B – eliminating obsolete provisions of the constitution: YES.Pitkin County Referendum 1A asks us to release tax money that has for years been designated into a slush fund for future transit dreams. Every time we’re asked to support RFTA, we’re told that if we just say YES it will solve all the immediate transit problems, but it never does. I’m not sure how I will vote on this. The blackmail is that the downvalley vote to tax themselves to keep RFTA afloat will be null and void unless we endorse this contribution on our end.City Referendum 2A, a trick vote for the visitor center on Main Street. No means you approve of the visitor center and Yes means you don’t. I’m not convinced that we need a visitor center or that it should be on Main Street, but I know that our vote won’t mean that nothing will be developed on that spot. On the other hand, a NO vote on the center (meaning YES) will give the developers a green light. I tend to look a gift horse in the mouth and, despite the altruistic claims that the developer has suddenly decided to give us this space free (knowing that if it were going to cost us the proposal would be dead in the water), and will probably vote YES (meaning NO) on principle.Referendum 5A – a minor tax increase for the library. I thought the library was sitting pretty and can think of organizations (such as the Aspen Historical Society) that could use a financial boost even more, but never let it be said I opposed anything the library asked for and I’ll vote YES.Su Lum is a longtime local who will see you at the polls. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times.
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