As the November election nears, pay close attention to local candidates on issues that will affect us for decades. If you're like me, you're fed up with sizzle and hype and want accountability from candidates, not lip service.
Campaign rhetoric on issues such as the environment, affordable housing, in-fill development, and economic growth, is rarely matched in practice.
Once elected, too many officials become champions of mundane issues and duck real problems.The proposed ban on plastic bags, for example, has had a longer run in City Council (and the Herald) than local housing problems or good jobs.
On environmental issues, the LPEA franchise fee controversy is relevant.
Which candidates really understand the smart meter issue and nuances of giving a public utility a monopoly on our lives? Who actually read the fine print? Three councilors bemoan the loss of franchise fee revenue, but seem unable to connect the dots between economic stagnation, declining revenue and a decade or more of anti-growth, anti-business sentiment from city leaders.
Willing to fork over cash, in return LPEA intends to secretly bathe our community in harmful RF emissions 24-7 and remotely snoop inside our homes.
You might have a smart meter on your home right now and not know it. If you disbelieve health warnings from the World Health Organization and other credible groups, no one can deny the Google-like invasion of our privacy.
The police can't enter your home without a search warrant, but LPEA will with smart meters.They'll know if you're home, what you're doing and when, and how much energy you're using. Your service can be disabled remotely, and it will be easy for hackers and thieves to do likewise. Instead of reduced costs, communities with smart meters have seen costs rise, not just to offset the cost of implementation, but also from higher charges for peak time and abnormal usage. Many states and hundreds of cities across the nation have imposed moratoriums on smart meters (aka fraud meters), but the issue isn't even on the radar in Durango or La Plata County. Why not?
Test the candidates. If they're ill-informed or skirt real issues, challenge them. Enough hype and sizzle, it's time for competent representation from well informed, qualified leaders.
A Boston native, Ed Andersson relocated to Durango 12 years ago. He is a pioneer in the field of bar code technology, a Marine Corps veteran and broker and co-owner of RE/MAX Pinnacle in Durango.