Both sides warm up campaign machines
Post Independent Staff
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – The special election on Red Feather Ridge is fast approaching, spurring opposing groups to begin intensive campaigns.
The mail-in city election, set for June 24, will ask voters to uphold or overturn City Council’s approval of the proposed 149-lot subdivision.
The group opposing Red Feather Ridge, Community Voices for Responsible Growth, says it simply wants the city to stick to its comprehensive plan, not extend its urban growth boundary and sustain the quality of life in Glenwood Springs.
The group has run newspaper ads opposing the project, and its yard signs have become more visible in the past two weeks. Those signs say: “Stop Red Feather Ridge. Vote No. Stop Urban Sprawl.”
Since the signs popped up, some observers say the message could be taken the wrong way. CVRG spokesman Michael Larime said group members didn’t find the signs to be deceiving at first. But he admitted last week that someone could interpret the signs to say a “no” vote would stop any development on the land.
“What they mean is, stop the current embodiment of Red Feather Ridge,” Larime said.
Even if Red Feather Ridge is voted down, the property, located on the east side of Four Mile Road, would still be developed. The developer, MidFirst Bank of Oklahoma City, has approval from Garfield County to develop 57 two-acre lots. A 58th lot already is being developed as the newest Glenwood Springs fire station.
“I guess it could confuse people if they wanted to be confused,” Larime said. “To me, the message is clear – certainly the “Vote No” message is clear.”
The pro-Red Feather Ridge group, Neighbors for Responsible Planning, says their message touts the “facts” and “straight talk” on the project.
NRP’s newspaper and direct mail advertising says, “The question is not: Should we develop Red Feather Ridge? The question is: How should we develop Red Feather Ridge?”
NRP has been running full-page ads in the Post Independent twice a week and it recently started a direct mail campaign to battle what Harrell calls “so much misinformation, half truths and lies.”
Harrell said he has no idea how big NRP’s budget is, but no matter how much money is being spent, “We don’t have a choice. We’ve been painted into a corner.”
The group’s treasurer, Carole Brown of Glenwood Springs, said in the month or so since NRP’s formation, the group has grown to around 100 members.
Larime said CVRG has some strategic plans, but must first raise more money.
So far, Larime said CVRG has spent about $2,200 on advertisements, yard signs and buttons. The group also has a Web site, http://www.cvrg.net, that lists its goals, has information on how to join the group and how to donate to the group, and has a page listing its steering committee members.
The group purchased 500 yard signs. As of Friday, about 200 signs were in yards across the area, he said. People have contacted the group by phone and e-mail to find out how to get signs, Larime said.
Larime said the Community Voices for Responsible Growth campaign is going “exceedingly well.”
“We’re getting a lot of support, fund-raising is going well and we’re building up our kitty again. The spirit of volunteerism seems to be rising,” he said.
Campaign finance reports will soon need to be turned in to the Glenwood Springs City Clerk’s office, but city clerk Robin Clemons said the schedule for turning in those reports has not yet been set.
Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511
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