Examiner straw poll for Longmont, Colorado

(from Brigette, the Longmont Examiner)
Examiners from major cities across the country conducted a straw poll of voters to better understand their
habits leading up to Election Day. Respondents were randomly selected to participate and asked a series of questions listed below.

Question 1: Have you been polled before today on election issues?

ยป Results of the Examiner nationwide straw poll

Yes No
5 2

Question 2: On Election Day, did you vote for the same candidates that you intended to vote for prior to arriving at the polling location?

Yes No
7 0

(Out of 17 people polled, there were 10 people who had no response)

Question 3: What was the single most important issue to you in this election that affected how you voted?

Abortion. Future of the country. The honesty , integrity and transparency of the candidate. In general I would have to say it was the Economy. On a local level it was education (Mill levy and Bond ). Whether or not the candidate was supportive of a women’s right to choose. Conservative family values for people and free enterprise capitalism for business and the economy. Fear of Obama.

SUMMARY: As a participant in the election process on election day as well as one of the organizers for Vote! Longmont, I observed that the majority of people in this neighborhood district were prepared and knowledgeable of the issues. In addition to the above straw poll, I was informed that 80% of voters in my neighborhood district early voted or requested mail in ballots and wait times in at least two of the districts were minimal. There were also many first time voters, as well as their proud and encouraging mothers. Families showed up to vote together and if not, they made sure to check the poll book to see that their brothers, husbands, and wives had voted. There were also many young children observing their parents voting.

Due to the high turnout and newly registered voters, there was an increase in provisional ballots that were cast. In addition to that, the clerk and recorder’s office made an eleventh hour decision to accept mail in ballots at polling locations in an effort to assist voters. The clerks office is working diligently to get all those votes counted, read more HERE about how it’s going.

Conversations with others included reports of transportation provided to get voters to the polls and people knocking on doors on election day to remind voters that they have not voted. Frequently throughout the day the poll watchers outnumbered the voters at one polling location. Problems at two precincts I observed were minimal with election officials and voters alike who were tirelessly patient and friendly.

Too bad the nastiest of this election campaign couldn’t have gone as smoothly, but the “can-do” attitude won’t expire on election day and it still remains here in Longmont.

LA027: City Council rules of procedure, executive sessions, and Benker right on Public Safety Tax

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LA018: Working over mall owner, and FasTracks lipstick on a pig

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Public NOT invited to be heard

There was no love coming from the City Council on Valentines Day ’06. Here is the document (dead link now) limiting your access to locally elected officials. The normally accepted procedure was to have 5 minutes at the beginning and end of each meeting for “Public Invited To Be Heard”. As an occasional speaker, it took time to whittle it down to fit that time frame in some meaningful way. Then somewhere along the line they decided to cut that time. My personal opinion is that this came about from all the Walmart protesters that would go one after another for quite some time, usually repeating each other, and may have pushed the limits of what the councilmember’s would tolerate. I waited for it seemed about 30 speakers, all about Walmart, just to get my airport issue addressed. I could’ve gone between them but didn’t want my point lost in a subject that the city had already made their mind up about.

So down came the hammer. The first step was a 5 minute limit on the first 12 speakers, but #13 on only had 3 minutes, so much for planning out your comments to fit the time allowed. Now you get 3 minutes, period, 1st, 10th, 20th, doesn’t matter. In the old days you didn’t have to put your name on the sign-up sheet, now if you don’t you don’t get your turn until the end of the meeting (regular session only, study session there is no public invited to be heard at the end). Here’s my problem with this: I usually did not put my name on the list for one reason, if someone else already spoke to my issue, I didn’t waste councils time and repeat them. If no one else did, then I’d raise my hand and speak, usually last. But now, if the only way I or anyone can be heard is to sign up, then we all will and possibly waste more of council’s time that could’ve been saved by avoiding duplication.

The bone thrown out by council was this 30 minute chitchat with a couple members of council before the session. This was to be done on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month. You have to sign up for it, and the member may spend 1 minute listening to you, or 29 minutes listening to someone else, in no order and at the discretion of the council member. Recently they cancelled a meeting, cutting these 30 minute get-togethers down to ONCE in March. They point to the possibility of contacting members via phone or email, I’ve done that plenty in the past, results are spotty. Try it for yourself.

I usually agree with Mayor Pirnack on most issues, but this is one I’ve never agreed with. One of her main goals was more public involvement in city issues, something I took to heart, hence this blog/site, etc etc. But this change in procedures (technically known as R-2006-12) goes totally against the Mayor’s stated goal, which I believe is a worthy goal.

I share that goal with my encouraging people to get involved and follow what goes on in their community. Instead of trying to have all the answers, I’d rather nudge you to ask more questions. You’re paying for it in one form or another, get your moneys worth.
UPDATE: According to the Times-Call “City Talk” section, City Council members face-to-face meetings are now only on the fourth Tuesday of every month. The above resolution still says “twice a month”. Watch for it to totally disappear.