Just about everyone who small-talks about this November election is ready for it to be over. Election fatigue is setting in with pretty much everyone. And it is close to over for those of us in Colorado. Not every state has early voting.
Ballots were mailed out early this week and you can finish your democratic responsibility really soon. If you don’t see your ballot in your P.O. box sometime soon, call the county clerk and find out if someone from the Crested Butte cemetery absconded with yours to tilt Crested Butte away from The Donald. If he doesn’t carry Crested Butte handily, that will certainly be just one more piece of evidence that he is right about the election being rigged. What a tool.
There are a lot of things to consider on the ballot this year. But there is one for the citizens of Crested Butte that stands above the rest. Ballot issue 2A. This is a vote of confidence. This is a vote for community. This is a vote for tourism, clean water and recreation over mining. Mining is needed and necessary for our cushy lives, but there are appropriate places for mining and putting in a huge industrial mine with all of its ramifications a couple of miles from a mountain recreation town is not the appropriate place.
While 2A would give the go-ahead for the town to issue $2 million in bonds, it will be put up against the town’s open space revenues. So no taxes will be raised but money that is sure to come in will be spent to pay the mining company a relatively small stipend to dispose of its unpatented mining claims. Once that is accomplished, the town and company will work together to get a Congressional withdrawal of that property for mining purposes. The land is significant enough to forever prohibit an industrial mine on Mt. Emmons. Red Lady would no longer be under threat. That is $2 million well spent and is a game changer to the culture of the town.
The mining company would still be responsible for the cost of the water treatment plant. The town would put some skin in the game. The watershed becomes safer and the community can take a breath from a fight that has been going on for close to four decades.
So when you get your ballot this week, we would suggest that you take it out, vote yes for 2A, set it aside in a safe place so you can come to the Crested Butte News Candidates Forum this Sunday at 6 p.m. to ask questions of the people who are running for county commissioner, and then mark the rest of your ballot with an informed mind.
While there can be understandable debate over things like Amendment 69 and the best choice for Congress or the State House, if you live and vote in Crested Butte, 2A is a no-brainer. These kinds of chances don’t come along every day, so relish your opportunity to send a positive and strong message to the mining company, the U.S. Congress and your neighbors.
Vote yes on 2A.