Salida Politics and Your Vote
As we enter another local election cycle, it seems like a good time to remind people that your vote is crucial. When viewed in terms of the national vote, each individual vote means much less. But in a local election, each individual vote carries much more weight. I think most would agree that nothing impacts our daily lives as much as that which goes on in our own community.
Which is why I feel so disappointed with the way that Salida politics are going. It seems that the last few years of bickering have brought us to the typical 'Washington' style of politics. Two distinct sides, each with its own distinct agenda. Although it can be very challenging to even discern what the agenda may be.
Lately, it seems that it is more like one side with a distinct agenda and the other side simply making a point of putting them in their place with a majority. The agenda of Side A seems to come across as 'whatever the City staff is for, we are against.' Believe me, I do not wholeheartedly support the City. I have a fair amount of issues on which I vehemently disagree with the City opinion. But I also do not wholeheartedly support 'Side B.' While some candidates believe in a conspiracy of 'gotcha' debates, other representatives feel compelled to shove their agenda through at any cost. It appears to me that what we have is more like a group of 6 year-olds running our City (my apologies to all of the six year-olds out there).
Believing all of the rhetoric being tossed around in this election is just like believing all of the rhetoric that is consistently thrown around in national campaigns. It only serves to divide the People. Red vs. Blue has not gotten the country much in the way of progress. It only serves to more deeply entrench each side. The more we are divided the more the ultimate outcome can only be frustration, either from those on the losing side, or more likely from everyone. At best, you may achieve grid lock. Look to Washington to see how that's working for us. I think that we can, as a community, be better than this.
As in life, no one ever gets what they want all the time. To believe that our local politics should be any different is to live in a fantasy world. There will be times when one will feel like great injustices have been done. There will be times when one will feel that the correct side has prevailed. In the end, progress will occur. The only difference is whether you will be a part of it, regardless of whether 'your' side prevails.
Each individual should vote based on their OWN opinion. I would suggest that each and every person vote for the best candidate, period. Don't base your vote on which side of the aisle (or Council) they represent. Simply vote for the person that you feel can best represent you and most importantly, will do what's best for our community. Maybe Side A has the best mayoral candidate, but Side B has the best Council candidate? I think that it would be incredibly beneficial to have a total mix of opinions on the Council on most every subject. Or (gasp!) perhaps all of the Council may even agree unanimously on some things.
The more local the politics, the more powerful each vote is. Be an independent voter! Don't let your vote go to serve one side of a meaningless pissing match between opposing sides. Don't follow the herd because your friends or neighbors believe one side or the other. Please make it represent you and what is best for our community.
Joe Judd Salida, CO