Plebiscite is defined by Webster's as a "decree of the common people; a vote by which the people of an entire country or district express an opinion for or against a proposal.
It is derived from "plebe," which in ancient Rome was a commoner, somewhere between a slave and the elite of Roman society. Hundreds of years before Christ, the plebes had the right to vote and to hold office.
We modern plebes in Steamboat Springs and the rest of Routt County also have the right to choose our own destiny in deciding annexation of Steamboat 700 and other wholesale growth proposals. The thought that a City Council majority of only four interest-conflicted members could dictate our future makes my blood run cold.
I have been hammering this issue since about April 2007 - just after the purchase of the Brown and other adjoining property. My first missive was titled "Growth Gorilla" and pretty well forecast what has since transpired. First on the scene was Danny Mulcahy to start the PR campaign with the key people - City Council, county commissioners, Community Alliance, business leaders, etc. Already a pre-annexation agreement has been fast-forwarded through council. A goal for final submittal is set for October 2009.
If October 2009 is the goal for submitting the final annexation to council, then the following general election in early November 2009 is perfect timing for Steamboat 700 to go on the ballot. The Pilot & Today's Q&A on a public vote for the annexation was 57 percent in favor. Is City Council willing to ignore this and refuse to voluntarily put the issue on the ballot? You bet - without getting a lot of pressure from us plebes.
Am I nearly the only reader who has the temerity to persistently write the editor on this most important issue since the annexation of the mountain area decades ago? Come on folks - let your elected representatives and the rest of us readers know how you feel on voting.
Omar M. Campbell