Opinion | Kim McGahey: Voters must demand transparency
Conservative Common Sense
The three-horned beast of politics is hypocrisy, dependency and transparency. Whenever you see those three faults together, you know you are being manipulated, indoctrinated or obligated. Unfortunately, we see these tactics all too often in today’s poisonous local political arena as the party in power uses them to retain power and control.
We’ve recently discussed hypocrisy as false goodness or falsely claiming positive attributes you don’t possess. And we examined dependency on local, state and federal governments for all our cradle to grave needs. Now, let’s consider transparency, or more accurately the lack thereof, in our local government entities.
Voting for a candidate comes with a minimal expectation of a return promise. Usually, that reciprocal relationship is simply that if you vote for them, they will be honest with you in return. Anything beyond that basic fair trade on today’s highly charged political stage is an unrealistic expectation from most political actors.
Previous generations of politicos would not only tell the truth, but would kiss your baby while telling it to you in broad daylight. The truth was something they wanted you to hear in a public forum so they could remind you in the next election cycle how transparent they were then and how much they deserve your vote now.
But today’s office-seekers use the opposite tactic. Whether out of fear of not being elected because of unpopular views, or not wanting to be held to a higher moral standard by telling the truth, they often obfuscate factual promises in favor of clouded half-truths. Then, once safely in office, they proceed to make contrary decisions behind closed doors, in executive sessions or otherwise out of public earshot with no transparency or public accountability.
The Breckenridge Town Council members are ignoring their fiduciary responsibility to their constituents, the taxpayers, in order to advance their own personal agendas. The behemoth parking structure on Park Avenue is paid for by the taxpayers for the benefit of Vail Resorts customers.
Why didn’t Vail Resorts pay for the ugly edifice? Why was the monstrosity placed right in the middle of town instead of out on Airport Road? Was the 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily addition of 500 cars to downtown streets considered? What unintended consequences will result from having all that polluting vehicular traffic in our way? Good luck getting into City Market any winter afternoon when the ski area lets out.
All these decisions were made without adequate public input or verification of which council members favored the parking ark and why. No transparency, no accountability. Just their way or the highway.
That same council conducted an illegal executive session to reject a new private developer transportation center and workforce housing at the base of the gondola on Park Avenue. Where was the public disclosure in this negotiation? Where was the transparency that taxpayers deserve? Why aren’t we receiving detailed explanations from council members about how they voted and why?
The Summit School District Board of Education has recently been operating in dark public silence regarding the imposition of the racist critical race theory upon the district. The events surrounding the non-renewal of the superintendent’s contract after only one year and a $100,000 taxpayer supported goodbye gift are equally mystifying.
What really went on there? Why hasn’t the public been given details? Why did the board members vote the way they did? Again, no public accountability, no transparency.
We can no longer give our elected officials free rein to make responsible decisions on our behalf. They have forfeited that right and duty by excluding us from the representative process that the founders sacrificed life and treasure to secure for future generations.
Now we must monitor the town councils and the school board with public watch groups in order to preserve accountability and transparency.
Kim McGahey’s column “Conservative Common Sense” publishes Tuesdays in the Summit Daily News. McGahey is a real estate broker, tea party activist and former Republican candidate. He has lived in Breckenridge since 1978. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.
Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.
Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.