Lum: Time to bone up on the ballot
One of the rewards of being old is not having to go to school anymore, and I’ve gotten increasingly tired of researching all the complicated state questions and less and less certain that I’ve picked the right answers to any of them except the choice of president. I will not be voting for Trump and will not waste my ammunition against him by voting for anyone other than Hillary Clinton. Think Supreme Court.
I haven’t seen or received a ballot, so I’ll jump in without consideration to the order of the questions.
On Friday, The Aspen Times ran its endorsements of the four city questions — yes on three of them and no to changing our charter to give the city council approval rights for the hiring of the chief of police and the community development director. I would stray from this and endorse all four questions.
2B would give local control over internet providers, a question that won handily in the county and should win again in the city. The more providers the better.
2D asks us to extend the .3 percent sales tax for schools. I do not necessarily agree that the school district is a “responsible steward of taxpayer dollars,” but this is just an extension of an existing tax and hence won’t be painful to absorb. And since it is a sales tax, it will be spread around more than onerous property taxes.
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2E asks us to continue the real estate transfer tax — again, a tax we are used to and if we let it slip past us this time it might be gone forever. I seriously doubt that the Wheeler itself needs all of that windfall money, but if we pass this tax now we can re-examine what we’re using it for later.
Question 2C is where I part company with the mothership. Given the mood of the town which has already resulted in the residents decisively taking control of their destiny on matters of referenda and exceptions to existing parameters, it should come as no surprise that they also would support having a voice (through their elected council) in the hiring of Aspen’s chief of police and community development director.
Calling it, “a knee-jerk reaction to last year’s drama” trivializes serious issues that some just refuse to acknowledge. We’re a charter town; we can change the charter.
I strongly feel that state citizens have no business electing judges who don’t even represent their districts. What do we know about Denver judges? What is the point when the informative blue book always recommends that all of the judges be retained?
Finally, because this is all I know for now, I am casting an enthusiastic vote for Greg Poschman for county commissioner. A new face, a bright mind, an old soul, real Aspen through and through.
Su Lum is a longtime local who hates homework. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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