Letters to the Editor
In reference to the recall debate Wednesday night (Dec. 7) at city hall, dishonesty and mismanagement were widely discussed. This is part of an ongoing process that we might call “democracy at work!”
And yes, we absolutely should expect better from the DA’s office.
Vote “yes” to recall DA Truden Dec. 13.
When the snow is deep and crusted, deer break through and tire quickly, but coyotes can skim along on top at high speed. Some years ago, I watched a coyote pull down a doe and rip chunks out of its haunches as it lay dying, bleeding and exhausted.
The District Attorney debate reminded me of this incident. There was the incumbent DA, bogged down in trying to keep the 9th Judicial Office working, while fending off a coyote on one side and a circling buzzard on the other.
What is really remarkable is that the DA’s Office is running effectively and within budget in spite of having a disgruntled wanna-be dedicating his full time to destroying her. If Colleen can do that good a job under that kind of pressure, she’s really good.
Vote “no” on recall, and keep a DA who has demonstrated competence under fire.
Ross L. Talbott
Colleen Truden continues to mislead the public. Her most recent misrepresentations are in the recall election ballot. As part of her justification for her actions, she states that my administration left her a $40,000 debt and that she saved $7,000 by upgrading the computer system. Both of these claims are false.
We closed our books in January to complete our annual audit before Truden took office. We had a $43,000 surplus of unused county funds. We returned $9,945.09 to Pitkin County, $3,903.46 to Rio Blanco County, and made no further draws against the approximately $30,000 remaining in the Garfield County appropriation.
We paid all 2004 bills we had received and advised Truden to contact the counties if she needed to draw on 2004 funds to pay late-arriving bills. All funds spent against the 2005 budget by my administration were properly payable from the 2005 budget.
When I left office last January the computer system was in good working order. That system had the capability of sharing data with not only the other offices in our judicial district, but throughout the state. We had a maintenance agreement with a local computer support firm with a monthly fee of $1,080 that was paid up through the end of January.
Truden immediately took steps to replace that system at a cost to the taxpayers of $22,000. Without using the firm that was familiar with the system and already paid, she hired a second firm to install her new system at a cost of $6,350. She also paid her husband $6,000 to assist.
When asked by the Pitkin County Commissioners if her husband was on the payroll, she denied it. It was only after an open records request forced her to turn over records proving payment to her husband that she admitted he had been paid. Her intent to deceive the commissioners is beyond question when her husband continued the cover-up and denied he did anything for the DA’s office (Aspen Times, May 5, 2005).
If you value honesty and integrity in government, vote “yes” on Dec. 13.
There is only one thing that can be said about Fred Truden’s “My Side” that appeared in the Post Independent Dec. 6: “Fred, your village called. … Their idiot is missing.”
L. Carol Koris
A fisherman’s success is based on the bait that he uses and where he fishes. Metaphorically, it has worked for me regarding my article on WMD in Iraq, which appeared in a previous letter. When I listed the weapons found, I purposely left out the source so as to flush out the liberals. As expected, they responded by saying that my argument failed since it was not substantiated. Obviously, they are right, but it is clear now that allegations be factual is a rule that applies only to conservatives.
Here are only a few examples of assertions by liberals without proof: Bush stole the 2004 election; Bush lied about WMDs in Iraq; Osama bin Laden was trained by the CIA; war in Iraq is all about oil; no connection between Iraq and al-Qaida; Halliburton made fortunes in Iraq; the United States funded the Taliban in the 1980s; and the list goes on and on.
There is a new book titled “Disinformation,” which was written by veteran reporter Richard Miniter, that includes a partial list of the horrific weapons verified to have been recovered in Iraq to date. The list appeared in one of my previous letters. This book also exposes the techniques the masters of disinformation use to dupe and manipulate the uninformed, the naïve and the anti-Bush world media. The book is promoted by the national publication “Human Events,” which has been in existence for decades with an excellent reputation. The author, Richard Miniter, has written for newspapers in the United Staes, Western Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia, he has traveled with rebels into war zones in Uganda, Sudan, Burma and a number of other countries.
Iraq is a country of 169,235 square miles; Saddam emerged from a 2-foot-by-2-foot hole in the ground, and with Syria next door, it is simply impossible to conclude that no WMD exist in Iraq. Everyone knew before the war that these weapons were there, despite a few so-called “experts” to the contrary. This blockbuster book should provide a closure to the WMD in Iraq controversy.
I would like to share a few thoughts on Buster the Katrina dog and Colorado Animal Rescue (CARE).
I find it very discouraging that the Buster situation, which could have and should have been handled as an internal matter within CARE, has grown into such a divisive issue. At the time Buster came to our valley, Ms. Schmidt was a member of CARE’s Board of Directors. Ms. Schmidt brought Buster and several other dogs to Colorado as a representative of CARE. As a board director, Ms. Schmidt was responsible for many aspects of CARE’s governance including setting policy.
In the aftermath of Buster’s severe bite to CARE Director Leslie Rockey, Ms. Schmidt disagreed with the board’s decision on how to handle Buster. Apparently, her disagreement was so strong she decided to resign from the board in late October. At that point, Ms. Schmidt had many options. One option was to work privately with CARE to find an acceptable long-term solution for Buster’s care. Time was not an issue since no final decisions could be made on Buster before Dec. 15.
Ms. Schmidt did not choose this option. Instead, she chose to conduct a public smear campaign in the media against CARE and its personnel. She even resorted to a frivolous lawsuit, which cost time, energy and money from both CARE and our court system. This public attack has taken the resources of CARE and its supporters that could have been better used helping animals. Most of all, it did nothing to further the cause of helping Buster, since CARE was looking for solutions all along.
CARE is a wonderful facility that we are lucky to have in our valley. It is staffed with a crew of well-trained employees that truly care about the animals. A large group of volunteers including the complete board of directors devote many hours of their time to CARE with no compensation, simply because they care for animals. Don’t let one unnecessary public dispute damage this organization. Please continue the generous support our community has given CARE so they may continue helping homeless animals.
I just read today’s letter to the editor by a Mildred Baumli.
Now, here’s a woman who belongs in France. She has certainly never read the pre-war bipartisan report of the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2004. Nor the Silberman-Robb Commission in 2005.
There are also statements by the intelligence organizations of Britain, France, and Germany who believed Saddam’s Regime had, or were developing, WMDs, which that regime had used before.
Our war in Iraq has made notable progress ” and is a very bold endeavor in quelling the terrorists around the world.
Don’t forget, we lost 3,000 people, murdered in 9/11. There is no doubt that our bold actions have prevented further tragedies.
Maybe this cowardly member of our society belongs in France, and that we should help get her there.
Richard T. Moolick
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