Cheers for Our Home Community’s Farsighted Vision
Our homegrown ballot initiative 1A has broad support from government and organizations in our Arkansas River Valley - and deservedly so because this has been a forward-looking and well-planned effort. As disappointing as a few negative opinions in the media have been, they predictably left out some of the most important aspects of this community-wide effort. First, this year-long effort involved more than 1,500 members of our community, stakeholder input from the broadest spectrum and much more than ‘a few meetings.’ It’s a private/public partnership this community can be proud to sign on to to help preserve the natural assets that make Chaffee County the unique place we live in and desire to safeguard. Second, the community-wide surveys in this well-planned effort showed what the top concerns were, and where resources should be directed in order to conserve what we cherish in our community. Those include more efforts to protect the community from a catastrophic fire and the resulting flooding that often follows; doing more to protect our rural landscapes and clean water that sustain wildlife and supporting sustainable growth in recreational opportunities while maintaining our unique friendly, rural environment. All for a minimal one quarter of one percent increase in our sales tax - about the price of a cup of coffee per month, with a cap of five percent for administrative costs, and priorities recommended by a citizen committee advising the county board and standards for accountability. The funds can be combined with matching grants from statewide organizations to broaden the impact. The few conservative reactionaries in opposition somehow don’t want to look on those facts. But local voters will ignore the stale negative rhetoric and welcome our grass-roots campaign to preserve the community we are proud to call home.
Please join me in supporting 1A.
Daniel Smith Salida, CO