Open Letter To The Citizens of Littleton

To the Citizens of Littleton: We face an election this November 6 that could restore trust in our City Council.  Littleton used to trust the decisions of its City Council because the Council usually reflected the views of its citizens.  Recently, however, many Littleton citizens have lost trust in their Council.  Why?

We believe the answer lies in the track record of this Council. Since 2001 the majority of City Council voted to: – Keep the grocery tax, which the people then eliminated with a vote (62% vs. 38%): – Increase taxes to build a $15 million police facility which was rejected by the voters (56% vs. 44%); – Permanently eliminate refunds of excess TABOR revenues, again rejected by the voters (61% vs. 39%); – Rezone property to accommodate a Wal-Mart super store, also rejected by the voters (61% vs. 39%).  These four significant Council decisions were overturned by a significant majority of the voters.  These are the facts, not political rhetoric. Why has our Council been making decisions that are overwhelmingly rejected when the issues are put to a vote?  Either they are out of touch with the voters or they are willfully ignoring citizen input as they did on the Wal-Mart rezoning issue, or both.  But why?  The facts suggest that the attitude of governance by the Council majority is: elect us, and then let us make the decisions because we are the smartest and most qualified people, and don’t bother us with input because ordinary citizens aren’t well informed enough to have any good ideas. This attitude seems to be held by the five Council members who often vote as a bloc to produce the 5-2 decisions that prevail in this Council: Jim Taylor (District 1), Amy Conklin (at-large), Rebecca Kast (District 4), John Ostermiller (at-large), and Pat Cronenberger (replaced in February of this year by Bruce Stahlman).

How did this Council majority get to the position of control they have enjoyed for the past few years?  Up until a few years ago, lots of us were happy to abdicate governance of the City to a few select souls, while we went about conducting our lives.  Some of us chose to be more active because we were chagrined by the routine disregard of citizen input by the current majority of the Council.  We think it’s time to elect people who can restore our trust.  Let’s elect people who have as their core belief that the City Council of Littleton is created by, and therefore subject to the will of the people, who are the source of all political power.  We have that opportunity this November.    We recommend you vote for the following candidates: For the two at-large positions:– Doug Clark, knowledgeable incumbent, and;  Peggy Cole, retired ACC teacher and activist; For the District 4 seat:– Debbie Brinkman, Littleton Pride leader (group that led successful fight against the Wal-Mart re-zoning decision); For the District 2 seat: – Joseph (Jose) Trujillo, former councilman and small businessman.  These candidates know they don’t have all the answers.  They believe in seeking meaningful citizen input, respecting that input, and giving it the proper weight. They have the skills to serve.   We believe they will restore the trust that has been lost in our City Council.  We urge our fellow citizens to elect these candidates this November, and then help them and Littleton succeed by being involved in our City Government! Signed:Frank Atwood                       Donavan O’DellNorm Brown                         Susan PriceJim DuBose                         Teresa TuckerMatt Grogan

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