OHV's in Silverton
- Subject: A faster way to distribute Mountain Journal news?
From: "Jonathan P. Thompson" <jpt@...
Thanks to the many folks out there in ultra running land that took the time
to write, fax, e-mail. I helped a big big bunch!!
>> Hey all,I'm working on ways to quickly distribute timely news, such as, in this
case, the outcome of last night's town board meeting.
Let me know what you think (useful or just more spam?). Story follows (as
part of this message).
Silverton Mountain Journal
OHV Ballot Initiative will not be sponsored by town
A proposed town-sponsored ballot initiative regarding Off Highway Vehicles
on town streets went down in flames last Monday following intense public
Over 150 people signed a petition asking the Silverton Town Board of
Trustees not to sponsor a ballot initiative that would have asked voters if
they did or did not want OHVs on some or all of Silverton¹s streets, where
the vehicles are currently illegal. At its regular meeting on September 24,
the board voted 6-1 to not sponsor such an initiative. Only Trustee Jim
Huffman voted against the motion.
³The people who want it should write up the ballot issue and go to the
board,² said Trustee Mike Maxfield, responding to the public outcry. ³We
shouldn¹t even be messing with it.²
Petition organizers worried that town sponsorship of the initiative would
appear to be an endorsement by the board for opening the streets to OHVs,
which might sway some to vote in favor of the initiative.
But Trustees Bill MacDougall and Joe Zimmerman warned that the petition
³You have to live with your decision,² MacDougall said, warning that OHV
proponents would probably put the initiative on the ballot themselves,
possibly in such a way that would be more palatable to voters. ³The people
are taking a big gamble.²
In order to put an initiative on the ballot, a petition must be drafted
according to very specific rules and it must be approved before it is
circulated. Within 180 days of approval, the petition must be submitted with
at least 5% of Silverton¹s registered voters. If all of this was done, the
measure could be put to voters at the next municipal election in April.
At two previous meetings, the board informally voted overwhelmingly in
favor of putting the measure on the ballot as a simple, ³yes/no² question
asking voters whether they favored allowing OHVs on Silverton¹s streets. If
OHV proponents put the measure on the ballot, it is likely to involve a
limited corridor on which OHVs would be allowed.
The current debate was ignited this spring during a public hearing
regarding OHVs on county roads. A majority of those at the hearing favored
greater freedoms for the vehicles and asked that a route into town be
established. A task force was formed to work on finding such a route. The
group of six presented its proposal--which would have allowed OHVs on
streets on the southeast side of town--to the town board in August.