Peggy Neville: Trust representative government
Re. editorial, SDN, Aug. 7
You state that the current Silverthorne ballot issue is “a question of property rights and eminent domain” and proceed to defend the property rights issue. I wish to submit that you appear to have a serious misunderstanding of representative government. In a balanced editorial you would also have mentioned the following:1. Silverthorne has an elected town council whose mission is “to provide a year round family community with economic, recreational and social opportunities for citizens to maintain a mountain way of life.” Consistent with this mission the town council long ago made comprehensive plans to extend the Blue River Bike Trail through Silverthorne. These plans have been thoroughly vetted by the community, and the council has worked hard with homeowners to make and maintain a beautiful path along the Blue River that provides both foot and bike access from the elementary school through town and to the bass of the dam. It is available to residents and tourists (the lifeblood of this town) alike.2. Importantly, the planning and building of this path has been in progress over the terms of office of all the present council members. If residents do not like the actions of the council, they are free to participate in elections to change the make-up of the council. This is the meaning of representative government.3. As members of a community the citizens of this town have, in my view, an obligation to support the decisions of the elected town council as they affect the well-being of the entire community. This means that the powers of eminent domain must remain a useful, if last resort tool, of the town council to carry out actions that benefit the community. Amendment 1 is designed to render this tool slow and virtually ineffective. It adds an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy to an effective and civic minded town government.4. Finally, it is not clear why the Realtors are supporting this amendment. Surely the availability of excellent public amenities as represented by the Blue River Trail make Silverthorne an attractive community to their prospective clients.I hope, in the future, you will take a more balanced view that takes into account both community values and the function of a representative government.
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