Vote yes on question 2B in the Mountain Village elections. With all the rhetoric from President Bush about spreading democracy to the Middle East would it not be great if he focused some attention on bringing democracy to the Mountain Village? Don't look for that to happen, there are too many of his political contributors in control of the MV. Historically MV Town Commissioners have been elected by only an average of 25 percent of the ballots cast. Our current system does not support majority rule. Your HOA lines up the candidates, spends your HOA and tax dollars on maintaining the status quo and supporting issues of their friends and it is all designed to maintain control by a very selective few. Democracy be damned!
In a letter sent to all registered voters, your HOA states "the current voting procedure makes it more difficult for special interest groups to back a slate of candidates." What they are really saying is any slate of candidates or individual candidate other than theirs. They declare the system is "very democratic." Our unique voting procedures allow non-resident property owners to vote. Further, if there are three vacant seats you can only cast one vote from a list of candidates running for all the seats. It effectively mandates winning with less than a majority vote, this is minority control. Saddam would be proud of the creators of this deception. Next we have the same person sitting on the HOA and the Town Council, not much diversity here, nor is there any encouraged. This is certainly legal, but it again consolidates power in the hands of a selected few.
With the exception of this ballot question on voting rights our Town Commission-ers kowtow to the HOA leadership. The real power and money in the MV is controlled by the Mountain Village HOA (aka Metro Services). It was created and structured by the mountain operator to provide for ultimate control and veto power over any action. By design, no action can be approved by the HOA unless it is supported by the Mountain Operator. Although the major developer of the mountain assured the community they would not incorporate the MV, the lore of tax monies to help support their business interest was to hard to resist. Fearful that MV residents would use the Town Council to exercise the will of the people they created our unique and convoluted electoral procedures. Fill out your ballot and VOTE YES on 2B.
- John Howe
'Fire Is Never a Laughing Matter'
I was very disappointed with the coverage of the fire on Hastings Mesa, particularly the statement that "onlookers clapped and cheered." When I telephoned and inquired as to where this information originated I was told that the writer was not on the scene at any time and gained this information from people on the scene. I would like to state that the residents, which include me, did not clap and cheer. There were, however, two women on the scene, laughing, climbing on one of the fire trucks and generally carrying on in good cheer. We, the residents, have never seen these women nor do we know their identities. Additionally, we, the residents, have never seen these women nor do we know their identities. Additionally, we, the residents, were gathered and speaking, laughing and conversing in general, not about the incident but of other topics as many of us had not seen much of each other over the long winter. I personally passed one of the fire vehicles and gave a "yesss" sign, as in "thank you for being here," not as a comment on the fire. To assume that these conversations or actions were of a particular nature is negligent at best. I also inquired as to why one would lead a story with such an inflammatory statement without gaining insight or conducting interviews with the residents. In the spirit of responsible journalism it would seem that one would at least follow up secondhand accounts, especially given the history of the home that was lost and that the fact that the incident occurred Saturday morning and the story did not come out until Tuesday. The writer did, however, attempt and made contact with the homeowner - appropriate - but why not the residents? Is this laziness or an attempt to incite the public with splashy lead ins? Fire is never a laughing matter, no matter the circumstances, and we who live in this isolated heavily treed and often time indefensible community without winter access are acutely and especially aware of the potential devastation of any fire, large or small. In closing, I would like to thank and express my appreciation for the Placerville and Telluride volunteer fire departments. Response was swift and professional as it was when we had a small fire a few years ago. Given our isolation, their response is fantastic. These are hardworking folks who take an incredible amount of their personal time and risk their lives to protect ours. Please do not forget them when their annual fundraising drives are taking place.
-- Nettie Prack