Jim Hoffman
Free Press Opinion Columnist

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August 30, 2012
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HOFFMAN: 4 things on my mind this week

We are told by our City Council that after tearing down the main portion of White Hall we will have a financially viable property remaining in the attached classroom. White Hall has for years been the white elephant of real estate listings. The attached structure is poorly designed, in need of massive updating, and remodeling and likely has little value.

As far as the City's expertise in real estate matters, please be reminded of its purchase of the old steam plant. I am personally embarrassed that two active Realtors sit on the council and have the chutzpah to tell us that eyesore of a building has value. When it is all said and done we will probably have somewhere in the vicinity of $500,000 tied up in that property. We already know that payback on the Avalon project will not likely be achieved, so when can we expect a positive return on the White Hall (elephant) venture? And, while we are on the subject, how is it that the lender allowed the previous owner not to have minimal insurance on this structure? Why is it the city bailed out the lender? This appears to be another example of privatizing profit and socializing losses. The lender, not the city, should be the entity responsible for cleaning up this mess.

Detractors would have us believe the death toll in Aurora would have been much lower if only a single person in the audience had a concealed weapon with which to shoot the body armor-clad assailant. We see in New York where a gunman was confronted by the police and the body count of wounded rose as a result. Are we to believe that if trained lawmen firing weapons resulted in a higher body count, that untrained civilians would not have created even greater carnage in Aurora?

She is running for county commissioner as an unaffiliated candidate; I'm still not sure what differentiates her from the rest. It is known that that she supports drug testing welfare applicants, wants to review foreclosure policies to ensure we are not needlessly making people homeless, that her supporters dressed up as suffragettes in a parade, and she seems to have a somewhat liberal feminist view on some topics.

Drug testing is not very fiscally conservative (but yet tremendously popular) as the Florida experience seems to indicate a spending of millions to save thousands. Sadly, county commissioners do not set foreclosure policy so she will have nothing to review. Lastly, liberal feminist views and suffragettes are not likely to poll well in Mesa County. It is sincerely hoped Jana gets out there and receives some attention, enunciates a coherent platform, and creates a real choice for us voters.

Here we have a candidate created by and foisted upon us by the local Republican elite. Those same people have now called for his resignation. He will not resign as demanded by, in his words, "self-appointed" power brokers. He seems to forget whose support he gladly accepted.

Tom Tancredo recorded a message for a "robo-call" supporting Wright. That must create some interesting friction between him and those so-called power brokers.

The Western Slope conservatives have invited the Libertarian candidate to speak at a future gathering, but not the official candidate of the Republican Party. Let's get real folks: Wright cannot withdraw from this race, he needs the job.

You may why I'm not picking on other local candidates. That would be because they and their campaigns remain invisible and unseen. As we get nearer to election it is hoped that we get to see more of the other candidates so we can at least pretend we have something other than a one-party town controlled by a very small handful of people.

The Republican candidates on the ballot were hand-selected, promoted and endorsed by that small group. We can only hope that in the future they at least vet their candidates. In reality the voting public knew, and still know, little of Jared Wright or Rose Pugliese.

Local knowledge of Wright has, of course, become greater as his previous proponents continue to dish dirt to discredit and humiliate him. Had they completed a sufficient due diligence prior to elevating him to candidate status we may not have this mess.

It is odd that we think replacing Bernie Buescher with Laura Bradford and now running Jared Wright to replace her was in the best interest of Mesa County? When ideology rules it is obvious that blindness and stupidity are near at hand.

Jim Hoffman is a local real estate broker and investor who is trying to move from semi-retired to retired. He needs to retire to devote more time to unpaid interests such as skiing, camping and fishing.

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The Post Independent Updated Sep 4, 2012 08:48PM Published Aug 30, 2012 04:46PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.