A debate is brewing here in Boulder about a survey that the City Council wants to send out to 3,500 citizens. The cost of the survey would be $100,000 and the results would come in just before at least 4 (though possibly 7) of our 9 incumbent council members vacate their seats.
Below is a letter I wrote to the editor of our local newspaper, The Daily Camera, that was published online August 6th and printed in the paper the following day:
While I might not agree with Clint Talbott's exact choice of words in his Aug. 2 editorial, I agree with his point. I cannot find one good reason to spend $100,000 on obtaining citizens' opinions when we live in a democracy where we may express them freely.
Too shy to go to a city council meeting? Send an email or letter to your council person. We all have the right to make ourselves heard in this country and I believe it is our responsibility as citizens to do so. Some may choose to abdicate this freedom, however, in Boulder, those that do express themselves to their elected officials are now the “squeaky wheels?”
Has democracy become a “carefully worded” multiple choice quiz for those too busy to participate of their own volition? I suppose convenience is something we have all grown so accustomed to that we now expect it not only from the fast food industry, but from government officials. Congratulations –with this survey we move one step closer to becoming a “take out” republic. Have we really stooped to spoon feeding our citizens their rights? If so, I'll take pepperoni and cheese with my survey.