Letter: How we vote | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: How we vote

The decision to vote for one City Council candidate or the other is not just simply filling out the ballot. It’s the process that starts way before the vote, as most folks know.

Surprisingly or maybe not surprisingly, many voters base their choices on a variety of illogical decisions: I could feel comfortable having a beer with the candidate; I could base it on appearances: The candidate wears a cowboy hat, the candidate looks honest, the candidate has name recognition; or a litmus test of one issue, even though the candidate’s other positions are not good for the voter.

The other challenge is to detect what the generalized/generic statements mean in the candidate’s support for affordable housing, Climate Action Plan, more amenities, loss of community, transportation solutions, tourism impacts, etc. What are their personal views that conflict with solutions to the problems we face in our community today? It is very difficult to sort out what they believe, what they are doing and what they say.

And does the average voter have the time, with job(s) and family commitments, to spend their precious free time delving into the real person and not the “candidate running for office.” The issues that face us today and in the past are not one-liner statements of support but rather complicated and interconnected solutions that need a holistic approach.

What information could a voter use to ferret out the truth behind the candidate’s words and statements?

1. Is there a conflict of interest?

2. Personal gain perhaps?

3. Do they represent a special interest group?

4. Will they benefit financially from the Brown Ranch annexation?

5. Will they benefit from new nightly rental boundaries?

6. Will they prosper from more growth and expansion of tourism?

Sometimes name recognition, a profession or an association may not be the best way to judge a candidate’s intent, but it does give one insight into their leaning or biases.

I guess it is OK to look out for one’s self-interest to a point, but a City Council member should be looking out for all the citizens of a community because they are undertaking an altruistic community service.

By now you should have received your ballot in the mail. If not, contact the Routt County Elections Office at 970-870-5558 or swilliams@co.routt.co.us.

John Spezia

Steamboat Springs

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