SPECIAL: Micro-Revolutions Count

Micro-Revolutions Count


Micro-Revolutions Count


I decided to go to a small town Board of Trustees meeting, in Arriba, CO. I wanted to see the micro-scale subtleties that we deal with more noticeably on the macro-scale. I wrote about these views recently in my Entertainment Blog at www.midniyte.com. The reason I felt moved to investigate, is I felt deeply about the problems in politics we are all sharing, no matter our affiliation. I am as moved as the rest of my generation (X) and the two generations after mine (Millennials and Z's), to fix what seems to have gotten quite malignant in the country we love, but didn't know how to heal it until now. We've tried screaming and voting and art, to express our desires to grow in a different direction than the muck we seem to be stuck in. Isn't “muck” the word too? It describes perfectly the toxic take-over of our government from the toxic people we've discovered are not as caring or representing as they want us to think.

That is why when we vote, we feel voting voting has become a joke rather than an option. Our elected officials ignore us. We, as “we” are our government, designed voting to speak for the popular decision (then three branches designed to check and balance each other) and not have a lynch mob made out of our council (toward laws instead of 'mob induced fear' driving actual hangings). It is the same thinking though. These would be the same people that would follow each other with the the rope they all held, looking for the person that made everything feel “different” than their denial and preached perspectives. We are not the government that allowed the bullies and bosses that watched at the end of the ballot box to see what color marble you dropped in, anymore.

Why is that? We are a
free, evolving country with a well written, flexible government (liberty) contract with the people to allow for redress through the courts, and revolutions and evolutions as necessary. It is called our constitution and the bill of rights. This is why voting is private and supposed to be protected ballots. This is why City Councils and Town Boards (micro-version of our Congress) are not allowed to make laws that are repugnant to our constitution, US or state; and they are to be checked by a Mayor/executive. It takes a certain percentage of states or voters to challenge any law or change amendments (it is called a Constitutional Convention), and inside these states and counties, down to a city (town) level, so can a certain percentage in these smallest of towns, demand a vote on such laws (or ordinances). Board of Trustees make legislation, with checks and balances keeping them on track, because the people are the government.

This is what took me across my state, into the prairies people forgot that Colorado even has, and lived where I too wanted to call a place like this home. Frustration was definitely found in more than one of these little towns; to a polarizing degree, about how they wanted their town to be and how to evolve ordinances back into community directions. People aren't being silent about their governments lack of transparency anymore! We, as a nation, are sick of our political choices and what we've been witnessing on the macro level, so much that we are looking to where and how we can make a big difference and stop it at its smallest level. These meeting halls are getting more crowded, and the witnesses are not going to be quiet anymore. Be sure to know, if this is how you feel, you are not alone. Find someone in your town or in a neighboring town, to give you some ideas. If you tell them your concern, they just might tell you theirs. Together you may a solution that can grow in popularity if properly nurtured.

This Arriba meeting started off with sound and fury by inducing fear (oppression) with false information (suppression) to influence the vote against having marijuana sold in their town. It reminded me of the dry counties in the South, as recent as the 1980s and how this increased crime (like prohibition does), yet the blame is on allowing freedom. This is also an irony, considering these same people would argue the opposite in defense (as in, the one I'm pointing out) to uphold their gun rights (taking away guns causes the violence - argument).

After this show (public hearing), the public meeting began. Unlike the meeting agenda handed out before the meeting that allowing five minutes per speaker, they announced they were only going to give three minutes each, even though only ten people signed up to speak, despite a larger crowd. Throughout these people speaking up, I noticed
Robert's Rules of Order didn't seem to be recognized. In other words, certain citizens muted. I am told by a reliable source that about 70 of the people at the meeting were visitors from outside the town of Arriba (which would include me), 21 Arriba voters were present, which included the Board.

Another citizen spoke up with their three minutes, and mentioned (as small town gossip is common) a point, as to gossip and rumor are not how government should be handled. The problem is that, it is not supposed to be handled by whispers behind a fence, and go take care of your business properly and legally. This is scary to me. It reminds me of the
Lord of the Flies. Yes, not children, but that same mob fear drive. I remember my own struggles as a child when other children weren't monitored, to the point of being neglected. I was bullied. This seems to be, that a town, improperly governed, can be bullies as well. Has anyone watched Old Westerns and seen what happens when a town has a corrupt Judge? This town has no Judge...

Next, another citizen complained: 'this is not an HOA (Home Owners Association).' I saw how this had some illegal history to their distributions of laws going on. This enlightened me to the significance of no Arriba Municipal Court or Town Judge. I've barely looked into this and there is quite an imbalance as to who gets what law thrown at them and not grandfathered in and who does not. Can a municipal government function as an HOA? There is no separate neighborhoods: and no one signed an HOA contract? The answer is
no. I wonder about people's knowledge of our constitution. Perhaps they've never experienced an HOA before, but before you buy a house or condo with one, that contract requires signing. In any town in the United States, all citizens, whether with property, without property, or rented property, you have the same rights. Such things as HOA's can not put upon them without proper legal notice.

There seemed to be enough citizens wanting a sales tax, and an unknown count as to who didn't want a sales tax. This is a common issue even in our Congress and what people wish for with their taxes. The Council didn't acknowledge it. I think that citizens could petition to have this on the ballot and where such taxes would be directed. I encourage people to pursue the government they wish for and not count on only who you voted for.

It was brought to light that two people were doing a job that is assigned to be for one person. Town maintenance officer had the job of checking water, yet a second person took the water to Denver to be tested (240 miles round trip), the maintenance officer had time and schedule for this in his job description. This is definitely something we see in the macro-level with government contracts and especially military contracts. Government having nonsense salaries (without accountability) then put someone in a position or just it assigned to them without the actual work being done; and the expense not accounted for, or just disappearing out of the miscellaneous fund. This is illustrated right here on the micro-level, called out for the blatant favoritism and misuse of government powers to hire unneeded or falsely needed positions, yet, this was ignored by the Board. If they took note, I could not tell. I do not know if it will come up again unless the citizen keeps bringing it up. I think they could have said,
noted, and we will discuss it next time, like they did for the man requesting clarifications: if his contract with the sewer mapping was going to continue? They added it to the agenda immediately.

There seems to be a hard time getting proper notice to everyone about meetings and changes. This is quite odd considering technology today. There is a citizen, Jeff Fike, that goes out of his way to know the schedule and keeps it on a chalkboard by his mailbox for everyone. This isn't even modern technology and could be adopted easily at their government building, yet isn't. Some relatives and friends of the Council actually complained about the chalkboard. As an outsider, it didn't seem like an eye-sore to me. It looked like a local announcement and that was it. In the towns surrounding Arriba, that had schools, they actually had a billboard for such, and often electric, and lit. So, again, this appeared like games to be “slippery?” I know I am sick of seeing slippery answers on national news channels enough as it is.

They also talked of voter turn out that seemed to be the same as the national percentage, but what was disturbing to me is, there are less than 200 people in this town and the post office (and everything else) is in walking distance and they were in need of a “recount” situation when there was only 62 ballots cast. How does this happen? How does 62 votes get counted wrong or missing, or whatever the problem could be? So, as I am pondering this, the Council decides to vote for an “Election Judge,” but just before they do that, they read to introduce a resolution allowing them to do so under their
said situation, and passed that resolution with a vote of the Board, right there before the Board voted the “Election Judge” in. Wait what?

Finally, they stumbled through something they hadn't done before by sending an ordinance (this ordinance was petitioned by the people, received 57 signatures or 92% of the ballot turnout, a mandate), they came to them with a veto-proof majority (2/3s or more) and they refused it anyway, but did send it to a second vote by
the people.

I know Jefferson County's cities and towns already do votes by the people for changes to the laws, so I'd like to congratulate these citizens for doing the same. The only problem is, when the counsel reads the ordinance (they were going to put on the ballad for the people), the actual typed out description, seems to be evidence of secret meetings as one citizen that had been demanding transparent government, had complained. This is important to know, because the same citizen had been requesting transcripts and proof of everything the government had been doing. So, if this item had been open, he should have known before the meeting. Right?

The Board mentioned (and both sides of the divide agreed) that a request for a security camera should follow through. So, something can be agreed on. That was good to see.

I hope my little trip to a small town proceeding will excite you to see what is happening at yours. I suggest small groups of friends, so everyone can specialize in their own knowledge, to share and be fun where we
like to investigate. Remember disagreements can be just a discussion and not have to be a trolling attack. We have predators and we have prey. We have toxic and non-toxic people in both, so lets clean out some venom in our system please. It does not matter if you are a leader or a follower as to who is the poison. Just remember, there are a lot less of them (toxic people) than they want us to think. It is like the guarder snake that is immune to the viper, we can remember how we are immune to this, and let it roll off of us, so we can get some things done (revolution anyone?).

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