Romer: It's the but that makes it all possible – Vail Daily

Opinion Opinion |

Are you ready to vote? 
As we head into the fall, it’s never too early to prepare for Election Day. From verifying your registration to finding early voting information, be sure you are ready to make your voice heard on Tuesday, Nov. 8. 
It is important to consider the impacts on our community — locally, regionally, and statewide — as you think about any of the ballot questions you’ll be voting on. Be an advocate for those issues that are important to your community, and actively advocate for things that will improve the livability of Colorado and Eagle County. 
People will often say they support an initiative or a ballot issue, but for one minor component, they are not in favor of. They’ll say, “I support the thing, but I don’t like this or that about it.” Or “I know that’s a really important issue, but I don’t like this or that part of it.” Or my favorite: “I completely understand why that is important, but that’s not my issue.” 
These folks — and we’re all these folks at some point — forget that it’s the but … that makes it all possible. Ballot issues and initiatives of community importance need to be funded (“but I don’t like taxes”); community needs must be addressed (“but it should have been solved years ago”); and ballot measures are often the way to accomplish these goals (“but I personally won’t benefit from that” or “but I don’t see what is in it for me”). 
The other side is true as well. It is not always about creating new things or passing initiatives at the ballot box. It is also about stopping measures that are detrimental to the community from passing. In this case, it is still all about the but. But the measure will negatively impact businesses and employees. But the initiative will have unintended consequences that make it harder to get things done in the future. But it is not the “right time” for this.  
Here is the thing: We need the but. We need to acknowledge and appreciate the but. The “but” provides an opportunity to have dialogue around issues of importance and recognize that those on opposite sides of an issue often share the common theme of building a better community. They just come at it from different perspectives and experiences.    
Consider the importance of the but when you get your ballot next month. We are going to have a variety of state and local issues to vote on that have the potential to benefit Eagle County and improve our community. We are going to have some issues that have negative impacts. It’s your job as an informed voter to do your homework, do your research, and be sure to recognize the importance of the “OK, but …”  
We’ll be voting statewide on whether to increase taxes on those making more than $300,000 to provide meals to all students at schools. But is this the role of state government when schools are already underfunded for educational purposes?  
We’ll be voting statewide on whether to reduce the state income tax rate. But what are we willing to eliminate from the state budget to accommodate this?  
We’ll be voting statewide on whether to allow grocery stores to sell wine. But at what price does convenience outweigh community? What impact does this have on our small, locally owned liquor stores? 
We’ll be voting locally to create a regional transportation authority to enhance and improve our local transit and transportation infrastructure. But why is transit important to our community? 
Be sure to consider the “but …” over the next few weeks before your ballot arrives to ensure you’re ready to vote. 

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