Time you can't get back. Energy has to be renewed. In other words, any effort that takes time and/or energy has costs associated with it.
So, regarding the now finished (in more ways than one) "Best Town EVER" contest, let's look at how much it cost Port Angeles.
Looking at just the last round of voting, there were roughly 62,100 votes for Port Angeles, each one requiring you to finish a captcha. So let's be conservative, and say it took 15 seconds to cast each vote, meaning you could do 4 per minute. If you break those 62,100 votes down, it cost 15,525 minutes, or 258.75 hours to cast all those votes.
Now, there were also comments, a total of about 18,500 of them. Let's be conservative again, and say that a third of those were for/from Port Angeles. That gives us 6,166 comments. Let's say it took 20 seconds to post each comment, or 3 per minute. Breaking that 6,166 down, you get 2,055 minutes, or 34.25 hours.
Then, let's be very, very conservative, and say that all the voting and comments on earlier rounds took 100 hours total. (Though it was doubtlessly more, but we're being conservative here...)
Now then, if you add that all up, you get 393 hours, which breaks down into 16.375 days spent on this. Yes, over two full-time, 24 hour a day weeks of effort went into this stupid contest.
Imagine what could have been down with all that time and energy. Imagine how many sidewalks could have been cleaned. Imagine how much litter could have been picked up. Need a house built? It could have been done. Need thousands of flowers planted to beautify the town? That would have been no problem. I'm sure you can come up with all sorts of projects that could have been done with that much time and effort at your disposal.
Putting all that time and energy to use on just about anything else would have left Port Angeles with tangible results. But, once again, this experience has shown that it's not about results in Port Angeles. It's all about maintaining the carefully crafted and nurtured lies and illusions that keep the town stuck in the past, trapped in poverty, and, right now, quickly running out of both hope and water.