Ouray is a small town in the mountains of southwestern Colorado. On May 2nd, Ouray voters have the chance to join the fight and protect their rights of private ownership before it’s too late. After lengthy debate, the Ouray City Council has bowed to public pressure and will permit the citizens to vote in two ballot measures that could decide if we remain a community of individuals with property rights or turn into socialist “people’s state” where central-planning bureaucrats call the shots. Unfortunately, the vote is non-binding – city officials aren’t giving up their power to make the final decision – but the people have a chance to send them an unambiguous message: We dare to defend our rights!
Of the two measures, “C” is the more straightforward of the two. It asks if people are in favor of mandatory regulations of exterior construction. I believe Ouray voters will reject this measure hands-down. They will recognize it for what it is – a power-grab that diminishes our rights to own and control our own property. Most folks still believe that they are better at managing our affairs that a room full of chattering bureaucrats.
Measure B is a bit more tricky. It asks people to approve “review” of exterior construction for conformity with historical preservation standards. Sounds innocuous, but don’t be fooled. This measure is a Trojan Horse. Once you agree to let government officials “review” your plans for “conformity,” you have handed them power over you – perhaps not directly, but indirectly by letting city officials decide on what constitutes “conformity.” There is a reason why the word “review” is so vague, and why the process itself is not described. The authors of the measure want it that way, so that if Measure C fails, Measure B can be used to accomplish the same ends through the backdoor. It is government control by stealth.
The people of Ouray take pride in their property rights, and have shown, again and again, that they are responsible citizens when it comes to management of their own property. They do not need, and do not want, the government to take this responsibility away from them. I hope they remember that when they vote against Measure B and C, they are voting for their freedom to make choices that in are in their own best interests, and (therefore) in the best interests of the community
I'll report on the results of the vote next week. Meanwhile, watch out and be prepared: the same issues are coming to a ballot box near you.