Last week, we were heartened to see that so many people – roughly 100 – crammed into the La Plata County Administration Building downtown for a hearing before the three county commissioners, and even protesters were outside. Nothing bad should come from citizen involvement in government.
They were there Tuesday because they got wind the commissioners were considering adopting something called 1041 Regulations, which fall under a state law that gives counties more say in local development if they want it.
Some were there because they thought the county was trying to pull a fast one. We are not so sure.
Local control is an almost absolute good, within law and reason. It means decisions are made not just by people you elect but by your friends and neighbors and community members, over whom you have more control in return, which, after all, is what the outpouring Tuesday was about.
As the Herald’s news story noted, the local-control regulations already have been adopted by 60 of Colorado’s 64 counties. It is possible they all are mistaken and getting away with a power grab, as some suspect could happen in La Plata County, but we doubt it. If almost all of your friends jumped off a bridge, that does not make jumping off bridges prudent, but if they all swore by the same dentist, you might take their advice.
It is true the current board of commissioners sees the regulations as a possible way to protect our local environment – which is also their job.
Those who are concerned adopting the regulations may be excessive – on Tuesday, they included J. Paul Brown, the former state House representative, and Brittany Vogenthaler, the executive officer for the Home Builders of Southwest Colorado – were right to make themselves heard.
Stay on the case.