Liberty in a Small Town: Ouray, Colorado
Voters in the small mountain town of Ouray, Colorado, roundly rejected a slate of candidates for School Board who advocated uncontrolled spending and increasing property taxes. There is more to this story, however, than taxpayer revolt.
A few months ago, a few of us vigorously protested the city's attempt to impose mandatory style regulations on house construction. City officials want to turn Ouray into a Disney-esque Victorian theme park, and to conform, home-owners would have to adhere to rigid design rules including number and shape of windows, roof pitch, and paint color. (see www.FreeOuray.Org.)
We reminded the good citizens of Ouray that there is a relationship between the rights of private property and human rights. Most were amazed: they had no idea what the government was up to. And they began to grow very uneasy. The result was that at the next election they voted, decisively, against big government at the local level.
One thing our small mountain town makes clear: City"heritage" commissions and home-owner associations are where the next great battle over individual rights is going to be fought. Watch out . . . one is probably coming to a location near you.
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