Well, so much for representative government . . . but on the bright side, Chairman Jackson finally has his seat at the mythical, magical coalition table from whence milk and honey shall flow; or is it oil shale and tar sands. Pretty much the same, right?
You really have to hand it to the council. When the attempt to just sneak into the coalition failed, they tried to ram it down our throats. When opposition arose, they plugged their ears, held their noses and stoically endured a sham public process. Though public opinion in all forms and forums has been consistently and overwhelmingly anti-coalition, the council just knew by some bizarre extrapolation or divine guidance that there is a majority out in the hinterlands where cardboard voices are silent, who really, really want to be in the coalition. The opposition were labeled by some on the council as uninformed, and that their legitimate concerns amounted to lies, innuendo and fear mongering.
So what the heck did the rabble want? My observation was that no matter how “liberal” or “naive,” the people united in opposition to the coalition were concerned with radical concepts like clean air, clean water, alternative energy and productive local amenities. They wanted to engage in a serious and open collaboration about the future of Grand County ― not who might cash in on the next speculative venture, but what kind of community and environment we want to leave for the future. They had the audacity to hope that Grand County might dare to shape its own unique and compelling destiny; that we might lead by example rather than join a group in giving hand-outs to dead-end extractive industries.
Council members whose terms are ending (Ciarus and Holyoak) should be ashamed of themselves. I guess it takes two terms to develop such a high level of contempt for your constituents. At least when Tricky Dick Nixon left office he was decent enough to use two fingers in his final salute to the people. The very least you were obligated to do was pass the decision on to the next council. (Councilwoman Tubbs’ comments were exactly right on this point.) But that would run the risk that the rabble would exercise their right to vote for council candidates who actually listen, and who understand that their duty is to represent rather than dictate. Civics 101: live and learn.