It’s hard to understand why Durango Mayor Dick White continues to support a council vote to move ahead with the bag tax (“fee”) when the majority of residents and businesses do not support it.
White is a strong supporter of sustainability efforts and is linked to groups such as the Sustainability Alliance of Southwest Colorado and the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives.
White was on the La Plata County steering committee that developed the La Plata County Climate and Energy Action Plan, at great expense to the taxpayers. Residents felt their views were not included in the final draft and were upset by how much of the United Nations’ Agenda 21 was included. The county commissioners voted down the plan in 2012.
Did White need to find a sustainable win after the defeat? White rejected the Durango City Task Force recommendation to start an education campaign promoting the use of recyclable bags shortly after that. White’s position was to impose a bag fee.
The city’s task force on nonrecyclable bags was a direct result of SASCO effectively organizing a petition for a bag ban in Durango. White is a former board member and founder of SASCO.
ICLEI is an environmental nonprofit the strategy of which is to penetrate regional and local government and help implement Agenda 21 on sustainability. Its tactic is to avoid voter input and claim there is public consensus. Sound familiar? The city of Durango and La Plata County are paying members of ICLIE. Many states and cities have passed laws to ban local governments from being ICLIE members and adopting U.N. Agenda 21, in part because of charter conflicts, a history of false and misleading statements ICLIE has made on climate change, and overreaching policies.
So will the council let the voters decide if they really want a bag tax?
If anyone questions whether the bag tax is just symbolic, the California waste study for 2011 found that plastic grocery bags accounted for only 0.13 percent of all solid waste.
Please attend the council meeting and tell White and the council what you think.