Opinion: Jared gives up
Jared “I’ll fight for you” Wright has quit fighting.
In a bow to the obvious, Mr. Wright announced his withdrawal from the race for his own seat and threw his support to Yeulin Willett. While it is reasonable to conclude there were probably some deals made to ease Jared’s departure, his stated reason was for family concerns.
One of the signature accomplishments to which local conservatives point as a “success” was their defeat of Bernie Buescher. Since that time we have been less than ably represented by Laura Bradford and then Jared Wright. Mr. Willett now becomes the heir apparent to that seat. Should he win the election, which in Mesa County seems certain, we can only hope he provides us the level of representation and achievement we previously grew to expect.
In his quest for election, Willett will need to overcome challenges from unaffiliated candidate James Fletcher and Democrat Brad Webb. Mr. Fletcher withdrew from the Republican Party to seek election as unaffiliated.
Does that make him a UINO? You know, unaffiliated in name only. Mr. Webb will likely experience the common fate of running against a Republican in Mesa County, and, at best, garner not more that 35 percent of the vote.
Regardless of who emerges as the winner in this contest, we can only hope their tenure in Denver is one of which we can be proud. The local king-makers and political shakers have foisted candidates on us who became an embarrassment and were each, in turn, either abandoned or repudiated by those very same folks who told us how great they would be.
We are developing a reputation of promoting and accepting inadequate representatives. It seems the only qualification for public office has been the ability to pass a purity test and spout the appropriate slogans and epithets. Since we are for all practical purposes a one-party town and county where most races are uncontested, let us at least pray that those king-makers and shakers can find a candidate truly deserving of our support.
BLACK HOLE OR MONEY PIT
The Avalon Theatre project has hit a major snag.
It seems those cost figures everyone was counting on are escalating at a rapid pace and the city now has to choose between spending even more money or leave a project incomplete. Neither is palatable.
The Avalon, which is to become the anchor attraction to a vibrant downtown, is becoming the black hole of Main Street as the need for funds increases. The outpouring of public support to make up the difference between monies promised by the city and the Downtown Development Association has largely failed to materialize. While there is a devoted core of supporters, the public as a whole seems less than enthusiastic about the project.
Anyone who has attended a performance at the Avalon, Two Rivers or Grand Junction High School can certainly appreciate that our community needs a facility better suited for entertainment staging. There remains some skepticism that the Avalon is that facility which has translated to a lack of public groundswell of acceptance. While it is a truism that if you throw enough money at any location you can get the desired result, it is also a truism that the downtown area has inadequate parking and the downtown businesses offer a decreasing attraction. It is clear that this rush to spend millions for the Avalon is to save downtown businesses and the suitability of the structure for rehabilitation almost a secondary consideration.
Well, now it is too late. City Council had the opportunity to re-consider this emerging boondoggle and did not. Now funds which Marty Chazen, who agreed to the original allocation of monies, acknowledges are needed elsewhere will be spent here. Maybe our governments should enter into contracts similar to those in which we would enter. I give you X amount of dollars to do a specific job and you do it (period).
GJ Free Press columnist Jim Hoffman is a local Realtor and investor who, when not working, loves skiing, camping and fishing (in season). He may be reached at freepressjim@gmail com.
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