To the Editor,
I was disappointed in my town government after receiving my recent water bill. Contained within it was an election document, printed and mailed partially at taxpayer expense, explaining why I should vote yes on the annexation election in November. Once again town representatives sent the message they do not want the input of town citizens concerning the annexation of the Byers Peak properties. Those of us in favor of a better annexation agreement were not invited to contribute to this document.
It is no surprise the town board and staff do not want input from town citizens. The annexation process began with hearings and negotiations held behind closed doors. The important questions surrounding the annexation were resolved at two meetings where town citizens sat in silence as the first proponent made his case, then the board outlined their thinking before – without citizen input – a decision was rendered.
The November election annexation question was instigated in a sincere effort to give town representatives one more opportunity to strike a better deal with the developer. The Board did not take advantage of this opportunity.
Since then, the board has refused to consider alternatives to building town water augmentation ponds at little or no cost to town taxpayers. A developer should not be given 700 free water taps without examining other options.
The developer has started the process to get the development approved by the county. Despite the presence of 900 Fraser voters, annexation proponents say we will have no sway in this county approval process.
Simply put, the annexation agreement crafted by Fraser staff and representatives would have resulted in a great real estate package for the property owner who will more than likely sell it to the highest bidder. For example, no bonds were required – bonds prevented Winter Park taxpayers from being on the hook for tearing down a huge steel structure when its development failed.
At a meeting, our mayor expressed the opinion that these complicated annexation questions could not be trusted to town citizens. I have been involved with town politics as an activist and journalist for nearly 40 years. I believe strongly in citizen involvement and believe Fraser voters will pass the message their informed opinion does matter.
Demand the Town of Fraser give citizens a voice. Vote no on both annexation questions.