Wednesday, December 16, 2009
One thing that has been lost in all the discussion about the Steamboat 700 petition is that not every person who signed it is against the annexation. This annexation is a large decision, and I feel I have heard enough concern from the public that the public should have their say.
Yes, I signed the petition. And yes, I support the annexation 100 percent. I suspect there are many other citizens who signed the petition whose minds are not entirely made up or who haven’t spent the appropriate amount of time on the issue to form an opinion.
I am in favor of a public vote because I believe this is an important enough issue for our community to weigh in on, but with this right to vote comes the responsibility of the public to take the time to get educated on what is actually being proposed. My sincere hope is that we the public will take the time to get informed and will vote based on facts, not on falsehoods and knee-jerk reactions.
This annexation has taken several city councils and city staff several years to formulate a wonderful project that will ensure smart growth for our community. Now we are expecting our citizens to do the same amount of homework and get educated in just a few months. I challenge each and every citizen to learn about the project and partner that is involved and to avoid the pitfalls of knee-jerk reactions to misinformation and negative rhetoric.
We the citizens need to educate ourselves via the Internet, questions to the City Council and city staff, and questions to Steamboat 700 for starters.
I support the annexation because Steamboat 700 is a responsible approach to managing growth for the Yampa Valley.
This annexation is a key part in the long-term health and vitality of this community, and Steamboat Springs needs the ability to control our own destiny when it comes to the issue of regional growth.
I strongly believe that once the citizens of Steamboat Springs take the necessary time to educate themselves about what Steamboat 700 has to offer for the future of our community, and once they also understand the undesirable outcomes if we reject this plan, then the City Council’s decision to annex Steamboat 700 will be reaffirmed. Change is not always easy, but it is inevitable. I am glad we get a chance to vote on Steamboat 700.
The types of changes that will come to Steamboat Springs, Routt County and the entire Yampa Valley without Steamboat 700 will detract from the quality of life here that we have all come to enjoy.