Letter to the Editor: Will second-home owners be represented by the town of Keystone | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the Editor: Will second-home owners be represented by the town of Keystone

Paula Paul

Is running a town with minority voting a democracy?

The decision to incorporate Keystone was passed with 400 votes of the roughly 1,000 registered voters. Keystone has over 3,000 residences, most of which are second and vacation homes, so the total voting population, if second homeowners are counted, is well over 6,000.

The charter commission, appointed by only full time residents, appears unwilling to allow second-home owners to have a voting voice in the community as can be allowed within the home rule town charter. There is apparently concern that this will interfere with their agenda and that somehow second-home owners do not share concern for employee housing or other features of the community.

I do not believe that this is true. Some second-home owners offer their homes for short-term rentals when they are not using their homes, and this creates an important tax base supporting the community. A town structure that is not inclusive of all homeowners and leaseholders is not going to lead to the kind of community spirit the many of us hoped might emerge in the new town but will result in the type of contention that we have seen in other towns in the county. Hmmm, is running a town at the whim of maybe 6% of the residents voting a democracy? I think not.

I believe it is clear that the cost of incorporation will exceed the estimates. Are we satisfied with a handful of the town residents making all of the decisions? Is the small pool of individuals a sufficient number from which to select the most talented town council? I think not. Did we elect a charter commission with a diversity of thought?

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