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Letters to the Editors

Dear Editor,In her Oct. 20 letter, why does Shannon Hurst question the “ethics and integrity” of Mary Ellen Denomy, the CPA that the county commissioners hired to act in the interests of Garfield County taxpayers? She does so to deflect voters’ attention from the fact that the only audit of a gas company that she has conducted in five years as assessor has failed. Ms. Hurst accurately describes Ms. Denomy’s central role in directing a professional audit. From the beginning, Ms. Denomy was the one who knew what to request from Williams Production and how to interpret the documents they sent back to the assessor. However, my opponent then skips over the reason the audit failed and instead casts aspersions on Ms. Denomy’s reputation.It is little wonder that Ms. Hurst did not discuss the reason, because that reason is that Ms. Hurst withheld documents, including Williams Production’s tax returns, from Ms. Denomy. As Ms. Denomy stated in her resignation letter, when her request to view documents – a request allowed by state statutes – was refused by Ms. Hurst, she could no longer sign off on it, meaning that the audit failed. Ms. Hurst might claim that the audit is ongoing, but she is not licensed to sign off on an audit. What CPA would sign off on an audit in which tax returns for the entity being audited were withheld? What is my opponent’s explanation for withholding documents from the consultant, forcing Ms. Denomy to resign?Taxpayers of Garfield County deserve an honest answer to that question, and to the question of what is the actual amount of tax that the gas companies owe. In spite of years of claimed experience, my opponent has yet to discover that amount. We citizens deserve to know the truth and the full taxable value of oil and gas extractions. We, as property owners, should not be shouldering the tax burden that ought to be paid by the gas industry. As assessor, I will not be satisfied with “reviews” of declarations of value from the gas companies. Vote Gorman for assessor.John GormanGlenwood Springs

Dear Editor,Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a midvalley library something like the one in Aspen, instead of the rinky-dink one in the town of Basalt? When I walk into the spacious Aspen library, I imagine what we could have, such as space for lots of books, ample computer stations, audiobooks galore … One thing I wished for my retirement was a nearby library where I could lounge in a quiet place, and browse among an array of magazines I’d never imagine subscribing to, say Popular Mechanics or Scientific American, just for the fun of it.Since I live in Willits, I was disappointed that there weren’t enough votes for a new library nearby in El Jebel. But I think the new location next to the Basalt post office is a good-enough compromise for town folk, school children and other midvalley residents. For commuters in the Basalt Regional Library District, which extends from Blue Lake to Snowmass, it’ll take only a minute to drive from the roundabout turnoff at Highway 82.So, for a dream come true for those who’d like a new library, search near the end of the ballot and vote “yes” on 4A and 4B. It’s a good idea to vote early or by absentee ballot.Karen SignellBasalt

Dear Editor,I would like to respond to a couple of things Gala Ivie stated during Tuesday night’s debate regarding Georgia Chamberlain and the treasurer’s office. First of all, the treasurer’s office is not “broke,” and it is not “time for a change.” Gala has never spent time in the Garfield County Treasurer’s Office, and therefore has no idea of how the office operates, or of the quality customer service we provide. To presume she knows what goes on in the office is ludicrous. Second, as far as Gala saying we do not post payments in a timely manner, a deposit is made every day. We post every payment we receive on the day that it is received. Again, why would she assume she knows how the office operates?If Gala did, in fact, have any knowledge of how the office runs on a daily basis, she would be commending Georgia Chamberlain for maintaining an extremely efficient office. The treasurer’s office is a well-tuned, professionally run office. Georgia expects her staff to be courteous and helpful, and we are trained very well. I am grateful to work for such a professional, knowledgeable, caring person as Georgia Chamberlain, and with a staff of diligent, hardworking co-workers.Perhaps Gala could tell us of her personal strengths and why she thinks she should be elected, instead of making untrue statements about Georgia and the way the treasurer’s office operates. Trying to dig up things that are not buried and do not exist is just bad politics.It would be a shame to “fix” something that is not broken. I support Georgia Chamberlain, and if you knew her, you would, too. Lori WinnNew Castle



Dear Editor,I have read Garfield County Commissioner candidate Steve Reynolds’ position regarding his adversary, Trési Houpt, and have recently heard his radio advertisements. Based on what Mr. Reynolds has said in each, he appears to entirely miss the point of a democracy.A democracy functions on the plurality of the voices within the democracy, bestowing upon its chosen officials the ability to lead and govern. Mr. Reynolds has stated that he “is a facilitator, not a polarizer.” Unfortunately, it appears his objective would seek only to facilitate the other two Republican commissioners. Furthermore, this stated approach would necessarily marginalize Garfield County citizens who are not adequately represented by Commissioners Martin and McCown, neither of whom are up for re-election.I dare say it is this exact approach of appeasement within their own party that has led the Republicans into the quagmire that is Iraq, as well as numerous other embarrassing and untenable political situations.I do not implicitly endorse Trési Houpt. However, I recognize that her position on the board of commissioners is necessary to ensure that all county citizens’ voices are heard. And, most importantly, that all sides of political issues will be voiced publicly and considered.In summary, it is the duty of a responsible electorate to ensure that their individual voices are heard by their elected leaders. In a democracy, facilitation among a group of elected officials should never, ever, enter into the decision. Remember, we elect political leaders to represent us. We do not elect them to represent themselves. Eric McCafferty Glenwood Springs

Dear Editor, Two candidates we do not hear much about are Fern O’Brien, who is running for Colorado attorney general, and Ken Gordon, who is running for Colorado secretary of state. Both are running as Democrats. I have spoken with both of them and recommend both. Fern is a non-career politician who stands for guarding privacy, protecting consumers, defending our natural resources and vigorously fighting crime, while supporting programs to address criminal behavior.Ken Gordon is the Colorado Senate Majority leader who walked more than 300 miles to get C and D passed last year, and does not take any political action committee (PAC) money. He is working to reduce the influence of money in politics and to be responsive to people, not special interests. A voting paper trail and post election audits are among the list of his accomplishments.Cathleen KraheCarbondale


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