An early voter reveals his ballot question choices | SummitDaily.com
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An early voter reveals his ballot question choices

Gary Lindstrom

I voted on Monday. I always try to vote the first day of early voting. You never know when your car will break down, there will be a big snowstorm or you will be run over by a truck. You never know. You should vote early just in case.

You also can still get an absentee ballot by applying in person at the County Clerk’s Office at the Summit County Courthouse.

Go see Vicky and tell her that Gary sent you. You will be treated very well. Of course, they always treat everyone well.

If you can’t go in person you can download the request form online at http://www.co.summit.co.us/ and mail it to get a ballot returned to you.

The important thing is to vote, regardless. Sometimes, on these off-year elections, it is easy not to vote. But all elections are important and to be a responsible American you must vote.

Now, if you will keep a secret I will tell you how I voted. I voted yes for both county referred measures, 1A and 1B, and I voted against all three Colorado issues, Referendum A and Amendments 32 and 33.

I did not do this lightly and feel as though I did my homework.

Let me share my research.

First of all, Summit County Referred Measure 1A is a no-brainer. It is an extension of a property tax that has been in place since around 1995. It will not raise your taxes if it passes and if it does not, you will save about $10 per $100,000 on the assessed value of your house.

The tax revenues will be used for recycling, open space, a community care clinic and a local water storage project – lots of nice, warm and fuzzy things. How can you turn it down?

Second, Summit County Referred Question 1B: This one would direct the Board of County Commissioners to pass an ordinance prohibiting smoking in all public places including all restaurants and bars.

The ordinance would only be binding on the unincorporated parts of Summit County, but the vote would serve as a guide to the towns as an indicator of what their citizens want. It is more of a health issue for workers in bars and restaurants.

Some of us would not go into a place that allowed smoking but the workers do not have a choice.

Summit County is one of the most highly educated counties in the United States as well as one of the most health-oriented places to live.

It is inconsistent not to be one of the many communities in Colorado to prohibit smoking in public places.

Yes, we all have a choice not to go into a smelly, smoky bar or restaurant but why should we let a minority, fewer than 20 percent of the people, determine how clean the air is for us when we go out to eat or drink. After all this is America where the majority rules. Right?

Referendum A is another no-brainer. It is not a good deal for the Western Slope or the Front Range. It is a last-ditch effort on the part of Gov. Bill Owens to do something about the effects of the drought.

It is funny to watch because Owens and his supporters try to explain how great Amendment A is for Colorado but what they are saying does not make any sense. It does not pass the smell test. It is so political it stinks. There are some good answers out there but this is not one.

Amendment 32 is another strange one.

In the 1980s, voters added an amendment to the state Constitution saying that commercial property pays a higher percentage of property tax than residential property.

It makes a lot of sense that property making money each year for owners would be taxed at a higher rate than residential property.

This amendment would freeze the assessment percentage for residential property at 8 percent of the actual value for tax purposes. This would stop the burden being placed so heavily on commercial property.

 The question sounds good on its face but in time, it will put a greater burden on retired persons and those on fixed incomes. I think that something should be done about the way taxes are computed but this is not it.

 Amendment 33 is the one that everyone knows the most about. It would allow video lottery terminals (VLTs) at the four dog tracks and the one horse track in Colorado. It is another case of smoke and mirrors.

Neither side is telling the truth on this one, folks.

Again, in 1992, the voters said that no tax dollars should be spent on tourism. This was in response to our unprecedented growth up to that point.

Why invite more people here when we can’t take care of the people who are here already? I do not think that anyone will profit from this either way it goes other than those who get income from gambling.

The simple way to remember is: Vote yes on both the county measures and no on all three state measures. Cut this paragraph out of the paper and put it in your wallet so you will remember what to do.

Just kidding.

The most important thing is to vote. Remember, if you don’t vote you give up your right to complain.

County Commissioner Gary Lindstrom writes a Thursday column for the

Summit Daily News. He can be reached

at garyl@colorado.net.


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