Our View: A commentary on comment cards
County Clerk and Recorder's program to send comment cards to governor gives residents an outlet to voice frustration with government
A constant criticism of government today, be it on the local, state or national level, is that all too often, the voice of the common, everyday citizen is disregarded or ignored.
One of our local elected leaders chose to do something about it.
She chose to give our local residents what they deserve – a voice in the working of their society.
Earlier this month, Elaine Sullivan, Moffat County Clerk and Recorder, implemented a program to collect comment cards from residents regarding increased vehicle registration fees.
The cards, once filled out, then are sent to Gov. Bill Ritter.
This program has generated praise from local and state conservatives but also criticism in the form of a July 23 Denver Post editorial. The editorial admonished Sullivan’s program, one of three used by county clerks in the state, for violating an ethic that elected officials not use tax dollars for “political campaigning or attacks.”
The Editorial Board disagrees with the Post’s viewpoint and supports Sullivan’s initiative.
True, Moffat County leans heavily toward the right, politically. Also true that Sullivan is a Republican, and our governor is a Democrat.
Perhaps there is some political motivation at work, but if there is, it’s a secondary matter.
Sullivan is a county clerk who has done a good job with her elected post, has the support of many residents and, along with her staff, brought her office up to par.
We don’t question her integrity.
Also, some local residents have stepped forward on behalf of the county clerk and donated money that will be used to pay for mailing the letters to Denver.
No, the issue at hand isn’t political bias or ill-appropriated funding. It’s the right of our community’s residents to comment on issues affecting their lives and money.
Government needs to be more accessible to the people it serves, not less. People were upset about the increased fees, which are slated to pay for transportation improvements, and they have reason to be.
Times are tight, and people are watching their money more closely. Increased fees are going to raise eyebrows for many – Republican or Democrat – particularly on the Western Slope, where some question how much transportation improvements our side of the mountains will get from lawmakers.
If the board has one criticism of Sullivan’s program, it’s that it stops and starts at the increased vehicle registration. The board would like to see the comment cards available in general.
The Editorial Board commends Sullivan for taking the initiative and giving residents frustrated with government an outlet.
The board’s only question regarding this issue has nothing to do with Sullivan’s program but whether the governor will respond to citizens of his state who have taken the time to get involved and voiced a concern.
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