Our View: Evil wins when good does nothing | SteamboatToday.com

Our View: Evil wins when good does nothing

This November, our electorate will return to the polls. Among other offices, the electorate will choose as many as five new city council members (seven members serve on council), as well as four seats for the Steamboat Springs School Board (out of five). As of last week, only four candidates had picked up petitions for council, and only one candidate had picked up a petition for the School Board.

While we are hopeful and confident the current applicants would serve their posts well, contested races would help ensure we end up with the most qualified candidates to guide us through this tumultuous period. Indeed, our community needs strong leaders with a clear vision and broad shoulders, who are willing to take decisive action in a transparent way. Accordingly, this is our call to you, to become an active member of our community and lead it to greatness.

At the city level, there are numerous challenges that face — and will continue to face — our city council: ongoing plans to build a police station (potentially in collaboration with the county); carrying out downtown improvements; restoring faith and leadership within the police department. Additionally, City Hall itself is unsettled with the impending departure of City Manager Deb Hinsvark. The task of replacing her will likely to be left to the incoming council. With all of these major issues in play, it is imperative the new council be ready, willing and able to jump in head-first during such a trying time. In so doing, the council must be prepared to restore trust and stability, learn from the mistakes of the past and be committed to conducting business openly.

The new school board will have to deal with the aftermath of a ballot question seeking a $100 million bond issue, which will either pass or fail. If it passes, it will fall to the new school board to implement and oversee the execution of this giant capital project. If it fails, the board will be counted on to come to some understanding as to why the question failed, how to pick up the pieces and shape a new effort to meet some (if not all) of the district's space needs. In the event the bond issue fails, the board will have to present the community with a viable plan with a greater buy-in from the community, as these space issues will not go away. Either way, strong leaders are needed.

While we may have been tough on some of the current members of our local political bodies at times, we applaud and thank them for their efforts. It cannot be easy to step into a job in which every move, every choice is scrutinized under a microscope. Their job would be easier if they had the benefit of hindsight, which is a trait often possessed by us and the public, but not by sitting politicians who have to make decisions in the heat of the moment. That said, we hope the outgoing members (as well as the incoming ones) appreciate that, because we possess the benefit of hindsight, we are acting as the voice of the community in an effort to make our locale a better place to live.

It has been said "Some people are born great; others achieve greatness; still others have greatness thrust upon them." Some of the candidates who ultimately end up elected this year were born great. Still more, throughout their careers, have had the opportunity to achieve greatness. But all of them — through all the challenges that face our city and our county — will have the opportunity to achieve greatness by tackling the issues of the day head-on and with a sense of purpose and transparency.

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This is a pivotal time in the history of our local government, and we need solid candidates who can engage the public process with candor, passion and transparency. On behalf of the community, if you are considering a run for public office, please seize the day. Our town — our community — needs you. If you would like to get involved but are unsure as to how to go about doing it, please contact Kim Bonner, Routt County clerk and recorder, or visit steamboatsprings.net/documentcenter/view/2800 or sssd.k12.co.us.

As someone else (from a galaxy far, far away) once said, "Help us Obi Wan Kenobi. You're our only hope."

At Issue

The upcoming elections will need more candidates for the school board and city council if our community is to achieve greatness and tranquility during these tumultuous times

Our View

While we applaud those who have already thrown their hat in the political ring, our community needs more candidates for the upcoming elections to ensure we have the best applicants possible