Road Mandate

The current GLA road policy divides Glastonbury citizens into five classes depending upon where they choose to own property. The people who live closest to the paved roads receive the best maintenance while those who live furthest away from the pavement are told they may not even get plowed out during the winter. In essence the current road policy discriminates against citizens on the basis of their proximity to the paved roads. I believe that discrimination is wrong; both morally and legally. All citizens should be treated as equals. All deserve excellent roads; not just those who own property close to a paved road. Allow me to explain.

The Montana Constitution promises that all Montana children will be provided with a free public education. It was decided by the people of Montana and their representatives that the public good was best served by educating all children. That is a MANDATE and becomes a responsibility of government.

Likewise The Glastonbury Covenants promise all land owners that road maintenance will be the number one priority of the GLA. The founders believed that road maintenance is a public good and thus enshrined it as a MANDATE for the GLA as well as a responsibility.

It is important to note that the Montana Constitution does not promise a gold plated education nor do the Glastonbury Covenants promise paved roads for all. They simply state what a public good is and create a mandate that is to be carried out.

Since road maintenance is only a responsibility for Park County government while education is a mandate they are free to use discretion with their limited funds when fixing the roads. They can choose to not plow some roads and defer fixing others. They do not have to provide equal access to the road network for everyone at all times of the year.

However they are not allowed the same discretion when fulfilling the mandate of a free public education to all Park County children. They may choose to pay teachers less money, put more children in each classroom and use books longer because they have limited funds. However they may NOT choose to limit public education access to or charge families who have large numbers of children higher taxes to help offset the cost of educating those kids. Under a mandate, government is required to treat all people equally.

In reality there is never enough money to provide all children with every educational benefit that every parent dreams about. But whatever money is spent insures that all Montana children will receive equal access to an education paid for by all taxpayers.

Mandates require equal treatment of all citizens. The Montana Constitution requires all municipalities to provide children with a quality education regardless of where they live. A child in Gardiner must receive the same quality education as one in Missoula. Likewise the GLA should set a goal of serving all citizens equally within the limited means of the annual road budget rather than just trying to serve a majority of citizens as they have historically done.

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