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Opinion of one who’d know

Former Longmont City Manager, Gordon Pedrow

The recent opinion article by former city manager Gordon Pedrow was one of the finest and most objective opinion pieces I have seen. It showed candor about the system and he very articulately expresses his reasons for voting for ballot question 300.

He demonstrated honesty and integrity in expressing his opinion on this very contentious issue. I am particularly impressed with his frankness about the system and his willingness to share it with the public.

The public expects that our elected officials and their state commissions have our interest and safety as their primary concern. To me it is obvious the public has the right to protect their health and safety, but the state leadership doesn’t want local communities setting the rules. It is extremely refreshing to see someone intimately involved with the system speaking his mind.

Colorado is one of only 24 states that even have a citizen’s initiative process under the State Constitution. Without this constitutionally guaranteed process, we wouldn’t even be talking about this issue, because it wouldn’t be on the ballot.

Although the citizen’s initiative does have its flaws, without it there would be no way to hold elected officials accountable. Expecting elected officials to do the right thing voluntarily and serve the public interest is unrealistic. Elections are about money and patronage to the power brokers. There are exceptions to this depressing view, but they are rare.

Mr. Pedrow is right that we shouldn’t have to resort to an initiative, that our commissions and elected officials should be serving the interests of the public and not the interest of private industries. Thank God for retirement, you can finally take a controversial position.