As Nov. 4 approaches, and the chances of walking through campus without getting asked about your voter registration status get slimmer and slimmer, I inevitably feel ill prepared; knowing little more than the names and parties of the candidates running and even less about the issues that wind up on the ballot, I have admittedly fallen (several times) into the camp of college students who don’t vote because they don’t know what their check in a box would do. That being said, having a vote is having a privilege and this year, I have taken the time to look at a few of the Larimer County issues that deserve my “yes” vote
The first, the Preserve Open Spaces Resolution is a proposed continuation of the 0.25 percent sales tax to continue to preserve and maintain Larimer County’s natural areas. The resolution was approved overwhelmingly in 1999 and is set to expire in 2018 unless voters approve it this year, extending the tax another 25 years until 2043.
For those of us who love Fort Collins and surrounding areas for all its special places to hike, bike, camp and otherwise adventure, this resolution is what Commissioner Steve Johnson calls a “no brainer”; without increasing sales tax, the Preserve Open Spaces Resolution will enable the county to continue to protect our recreational and open spaces from development, degradation, and habitat destruction.
The second issue is the Humane Society’s proposal for a new building. After failing last year, the Humane Society has now exceeded the 11,463 signatures required number (with a total number of signatures at 13,132) on its petition for a new facility which will be put to the vote this year. This proposal would increase Larimer County sales tax 0.1 percent from January 2015 to 2020 and pay for the construction of a new, larger building on a plot of land north of the Fort Collins-Loveland Municipal airport already owned by the Humane Society.
The current building, built in 1974 has actually become somewhat of a public health issue. According to the Humane Society Campaign, the failing ventilation system makes it difficult to stop the spread of disease between animals, and further, the renovations needed to fix this issue as well as increase the space, cannot take place because of the asbestos and weak foundation of the building. Like many shelters of this kind, the Larimer County Humane Society simply needs more space for kennels, veterinary and laboratory procedures and for visitors, especially when it is the only facility serving Larimer County and is the contracted provider of Animal Control Services for the next 30 years.
Though these are just two of the Larimer County issues appearing on the Nov. 4 ballot, and both represent important community interests. I may have my homework to do on Mark Udall and Cory Gardner, but for now I am happy to have a say in those issues directly affecting the CSU, Fort Collins and larger Larimer County community and to be confident in my “yes” vote come election day.
Collegian Columnist Caroline King can be reach at email@example.com or on Twitter at @cgking7