Letter to the editor: I propose Keystone residents don’t approve the charter until these things are changed

Paula Paul

A town charter should provide a framework and guardrails for the elected town council. Keystone’s charter commission, when they could not find consensus, just punted decisions to the eventual town council. Vote no and send the charter back to add guardrails. The charter needs to include at least:

  • The Charter does not acknowledge that the Town of Keystone is a resort town as the county determined when applying short-term rental restrictions. In fact, the charter commission, based on community comments, considered adding to the preamble that Keystone is a resort community, but could not agree that we are a resort community. Therefore, this was not added to the charter. It is important to acknowledge this in the charter. The resort is the economic base of the town.
  • There is no voice in the charter for residents who do not have voting privileges. The charter commission considered codifying a “citizen’s advisory committee” in the charter to give some voice to seasonal workers and part-time residents who are the majority of the town and not allowed to vote. This proposal was rejected. The charter needs the guardrail of establishing a voice for the large non-voting population in the town.
  • The Charter is very strict on in-person attendance of monthly city council meetings. This is going to limit potential council membership. Many Keystone residents have retired in Keystone, and many residents spend shoulder seasons traveling away from Keystone. These individuals have much to offer the community in terms of experience and knowledge but will be reluctant to commit to a town council that requires in person attendance at monthly meeting. The charter needs to have flexibility on in person attendance at town meetings.
  • The charter should codify a “business advisory council.”

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