RIDGWAY — Residents of this Old West- meets-New Age town can be fined if their fences are too high, they have too many chickens, their dogs aren’t on leashes or their weeds are out of control.
Tom Hennessy would like to add not voting to that list.
Hennessy, a popular Ridgway brewer and pub owner, is proposing that the mostly dirt-street town at the edge of the San Juan Mountains become a national model by enacting a mandatory-voting statute. Residents who don’t bother to vote, for no good reason, would be fined.
“We could do this. It would be a paradigm shift,” Hennessy said. “We could be the great civics lesson in representative democracy.”
The Town Council agreed to put the matter on the ballot for a recent town election as a nonbinding opinion question.