Buck: Breckenridge Town Council should take a stand on marijuana issue
How disappointing it was to see the Breckenridge Town Council duck its responsibility to take a leadership position on the issue of marijuana on Main Street. Instead of taking a stand in the best interest of Breckenridge, council has decided (kind of) to defer to the whim of the voting public. Unfortunately, the voting public is but a small subset of the stakeholders in the future of Breckenridge. The vast majority of property holders in Breckenridge are not registered to vote in town. A large percentage, if not a majority, of businesses are not owned by people who live within the city limits. The town’s workforce comes from many communities throughout Summit and Park counties. And, of course, our millions of visitors have no suffrage in Breckenridge. Yet, it is our property owners, businesses, workers and visitors who will incur the longer term consequences if Breckenridge loses its image as a family-friendly resort. When that happens, many of the transient voters to whom council has deferred this decision will be long gone.
I am sympathetic to the issue of fairness for existing businesses both in town and on Airport Road. Clearly the in-town shop has an advantage doing almost as much business as the other four licensees combined. But the answer isn’t tainting our downtown core with more shops but rather eliminating them from downtown all together. Nothing positive comes from them being on Main Street, while the nearly 1,000 signatures on the online petition are a clear demonstration that a large population views it as a negative. For every signature on the petition there are probably tens of thousands of potential visitors around the country with similar views.
Breckenridge Town Council should take a stand that considers the interests all stakeholders. Ban any shops on Main Street and to compensate the existing business, reimburse the shop for any costs associated with moving outside the town core. That near-term expense is well worth preserving what has been carefully built over the last several decades.
Eric C. Buck
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