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Use technology

Dear Editor:

Government was created by the people to help them do what they could not do for themselves, or could not enjoy the level of freedom government is to provide by their existence. For example, we, the people, hire a sheriff to serve to protect the community and our property from unlawful actions by others. The fire department protects property from fire in a way we cannot ourselves. The various offices are there to serve the people, not themselves. We rely on, or hope to rely on, their commitment to us and to our welfare in all they do. This frees us up to focus on work, creating/inventing/producing, and enjoying life in ways we couldn’t if we had to handle all the issues we hire them for. When they lose sight of this service, it hampers our lives, especially when we end up having to do their jobs for them by constantly being distracted by what they are doing or not doing that is detrimental to us. For many of us, it is very difficult to attend all the meetings there are weekly … BOCC, education, LPEA, PLPOA, city council, etc., etc. Our participation is important, but to expect the people to have to add the public servant’s oversight as a constant weekly job, we might as well be doing it ourselves. Here’s what I recommend. We have great technology at our disposal … an Internet, computers, digital media and such, so rather than the people having to physically attend every meeting to make sure our public servants are doing their jobs, we should make it mandatory that all public meetings be digitally recorded, and made available online through their website and a time period for public comments on any of the issues. We could even go as far as to have live audio/video conferencing for participation from our homes if we choose. In addition, the various websites should have a “polling” system set up with a constant opportunity for the people to provide input to our public servants on the issues. This can be done simply by name and physical address with secure login, so only one vote/comment per person is allowed per issue. This would make it easy for most people in Archuleta County to be giving directions to our servants and hired hands without having the inconvenience of attending all these meetings because we have to work or have other commitments, and not being able to interact with government. Most people are concerned about what their public servants are doing so why can’t we use our technology and make it easier for our community to interact with our hired government?

Jeff Maehr

This story was posted on July 17, 2014.