Vote Yes for the referendum on reviewing the government of Ravalli County. Why? For the cost of less than a cup of coffee—$1 or less (based on a property valued at $200,000 or less, with an assessed valuation of $2,000—this assessed figure can be found in the upper right hand corner of your tax bill), residents can participate in meetings throughout the Valley to help determine in what direction we want the county to proceed these next 10 years.
There are many issues we can debate on a heated partisan basis, but I know there are also many we can all agree upon. How about trying to get high-speed internet to all parts of the Valley to entice businesses to locate here, bringing with them jobs for our local younger people? Do we really want them leaving the Valley because they must in order to support their families? We have a community college ready and waiting to train students to meet employer demand. Or, what about defined impact fees for large developments which will financially affect our Valley’s taxpayers for many years to come? How many taxpayers can afford to see their taxes increase to provide another school, more roads and maintenance, fire and police protection which must be provided to these developments without seeing any improvement to their own roads and police protection? According to most studies, these requirements cost far more than the taxes they will pay on their properties? Do we want more transparency in our government? Do we want the County’s web page to be better utilized so those who can’t afford to take off work to attend daytime meetings can still stay abreast of what’s happening in the county.
As to the hot-button issues, those should be discussed also. Let’s do it in a neutral setting, with respect for one another’s opinions. We can, and must, do it.
We are a proud county; we volunteer at food pantries, hospitals, and libraries, we care for the abused, we participate in school fund raisers, and above all we want what is best for our children’s futures.
Let’s get together for civil conversation over another cup of coffee. Vote Yes on the referendum. Then, let’s get busy!
Jacquie & Dick Coppage