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Is the exercise of our democratic process with the ballot measure on Reservoir Hill “Mob Rule” as Darrel Cotton insists? Or is it a threat to the small ruling class in town government he represents?
Three out of four people who did vote disagreed with Mr. Cotton. That means the “mob” is 3/4 of the town residents, whom Mr. Cotton cynically refers to as sheep in his most recent letter to The SUN.
He scolds Christine Funk to “educate herself” about the “form of government under which ‘we actually live.” The form of government in the Town of Pagosa Springs under which we “actually live” does not work like the hypothetical republic which Mr. Cotton insists on defending.
Town government feels and works much more like rule by the other kind of “mob.” It does what it pleases, monkeys with electors, elections and studies. It does dicey quasi-legal meetings and deals. It encourages its underlings to bully and subvert citizens, and deals out retribution on people who disagree directly or indirectly. All with their taxpayer subsidized “consiglieri” Mr. Cole standing behind the mayor all the way.
The ballot process the “sheep” used to say “no” to the wolves is a lawful safety valve to protect citizens from out-of-touch or out-of-control government, built right into the system Mr. Cotton claims to defend. The quote in his letter, “… succeeding by force or fraud, in carrying elections,” is less an accusation on Mr. Cotton’s opponents, than a description of his own behavior during the election.
A quick scan of his public statements shows that he frequently refers to a “silent majority” to lend legitimacy to his statements and positions. Even the pipe-scheme on Reservoir Hill. How he keeps in touch with this majority is a mystery. When faced with a real (voting) majority, he quickly shifts to claiming to defend the silent minority. A “silent” and therefore unmeasurable constituency for every position he takes.
It is actually a very small “minority” he defends. It is the tiny circle of power in town government. Team Status Quo. Not the people.
Mr. Cotton’s team has worked hard to get us where we are today.. Their best ideas and projects over the last six years were Wal-Mart (still not here, yet) and amusement rides. Their highest aspirations for Pagosans are the lowest common denominators in retail and tourism, and 25 years stale.
But, that’s all they’ve got.
Assuming that these efforts were in good faith, and ever really produce anything, they are far less than we should expect. It’s time to make room for new leadership.