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Su Lum: Slumming

Su Lum
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

Since the mail-in ballots are already out, I’d better wind this up.

I am a vehement supporter of Barack Obama who is a competent, wise, compassionate man who may be able to lead us out of the hellhole left by the Bush administration. McCain is a fiery war person as well as the great deregulator, and he and Palin would give us four more years of worse.

For U.S. senator, Mark Udall has a proven environmental record (and comes from a long family of same), while Bob Schaffer is a Republican windbag drill-drill-driller who is running a boorish smear ad campaign against Udall.

U.S. Congressman John Salazar is doing a good job and should be retained in office. No one seems to know who Wayne Wolf, his Republican opponent, is; let’s hope that means a slam dunk for Salazar.

I don’t know who the candidates are for state board of education, but will probably vote for the Democrat, Jill Brake. Kathleen Curry is great as state representative, and district attorney Martin Beeson gets my vote, even if he is a Republican. These latter two are running unopposed.

For county commissioner, thumbs up to Michael Owsley (and thumbs down to Shellie Roy for her attack ads), Jack Hatfield and George Newman, who has some big shoes to fill with the loss of Dorothea Farris to term limits. Fie on term limits.

I’m not covering Snowmass or Basalt (enough is enough) and don’t think state voters should weigh in on local judges.

Mick Ireland said I should have recommended NO on Amendment 54, because local unions would be barred from contributing to candidates, while the corporations, PACs, etc. would be allowed. Sorry, NO on 54.

Locally, vote YES for referendum 1A, a sales tax for healthy rivers, and NO for 1B, a property tax for county roads. I’m not voting for any property tax increases, period. Spread the wealth.

The land swap referendum 1C deserves a YES vote, the best solution to a complicated situation.

Referendum 2E, to extend the existing sales tax for affordable housing and day care, through 2040: YES. Referendum 2F, to extend the existing real estate transfer tax through 2040, YES. I’ll be dead (or 103 and won’t care), but this will lock these taxes in for you so you won’t have to worry about them. Without them, there would be no real estate taxes at all.

Burlingame Ranch density: 236 units. This was the size all the designers recommended, is the size promised to the current owners, and the subsidy per unit, despite all the wildfire, is still lower than other affordable-housing projects.

School district referenda 3A and 3B: NO. No more property taxes, much less for special interest housing and more technology.

Referendum 4A, a sales and use tax for RFTA, a reluctant YES. I guess there is just no end to RFTA requests; hopefully this means it’s working. And again, it spreads the wealth from all the communities who use the service.

If you got a mail-in ballot, fill it out and bring it to the courthouse annex. Between Oct. 20 and 31 you can vote early, also at the annex. The ballot is huge, it’s going to be a zoo on election day (remember the caucus??).


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