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Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

I live in a neighborhood with a strict HOA. It surprises me that the same people who think we need detailed and extensive regulations to prevent residents from circumventing the rules also don’t think we need similar detail in our federal, state and local rules. They think governments should deregulate and provide a more open environment for business and finance to innovate and create new opportunities.

I disagree. I think we need detailed regulations and enforcement to ensure those responsible for banking, food, medicine, energy, water and education engage in behavior beneficial for the highest good, and not their own profit.

I want my government to establish the rules, apply them to everyone equally, and ensure a level playing field. And since I know some people will try to sneak around a rule, I want checks and balances to guard against that. It means writing additional rules to make the rule more difficult to bypass. It means government that is involved and active in our community. It means continued vigilance by citizens to ensure elected officials act in the best interest of the most, not in their own or special interest and profit. And when those elected do not act in the best interest of the majority, we should let them know by electing someone else.

We need to reject the special interest policies of the current county commissioners, and elect two new ones. Aleks Briedis and Sonja Linman are two who have the best interest of the most of us at heart. It is time to check the boxes next to their names.

And while you are at it, check the boxes next to the other Democrats on the ballot. We Democrats are the ones who believe that we are all in this together, that the rules apply to all of us, and we will not move ahead unless we pull together.

Susan Rhea

Glenwood Springs

Garfield County can learn from the counties in the Roaring Fork watershed that have existing open space programs.

The Pitkin County Open Space and Trails Program, for instance, is authorized with a dedicated property tax mill levy that generates a budget of about $10 million a year for land acquisition, recreation trail development and open space. This taxing district competes for tax dollars with school, fire, and college districts and others. The sales tax is a better source of funding.

It is important that the county open space programs do not wield a disproportionate influence upon the county. And it is important that recreational trail development be maintained in balance with open space acquisition for the wildlife and habitat protection.

Collaboration between and among county open space programs would facilitate the efforts of all.

Crystal River Valley residents have long requested ground floor involvement in a collaborative effort to bring a bike trail up the Crystal Valley. So far this has not happened through the first phase of trail development. As we enter the second phase, the Crystal Caucus requests to be brought to the table in a collaboration of land acquisition, trail alignment and preliminary engineering.

The sales tax approach to raising revenues in proposition 1A along with a limit on recreation development should work well. Land trusts and especially the Aspen Valley Land Trust are very effective at conserving land. A partner might be good, but costly duplication of effort should be avoided.

William Hanks

Redstone

In his Oct. 2 letter to the editor, Jeff Fandrich wrote, “John Martin has always listened. I know, because he’s listened to me.” Martin listens because Fandrich works for Bill Barrett Corp.

In his Oct. 11 op-ed, Mike Samson wrote, “I have done what I felt is in the best interest for Garfield County.” Behind his smile, Mr. Samson wears two faces. As a county commissioner and as chairman of Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado (AGNC), he has placed special interests – profit over people – at every opportunity.

Back in August when I complained about poor air quality in Silt, both commissioner candidates, Aleks Briedis and Sonja Linman, contacted me about my concerns. Did I hear from Commissioners Martin or Samson? Of course not.

On Sept. 18, a citizen’s candidate discussion forum on the Impacts of oil and natural gas development in Garfield County was held at the Silt Community Center. Commissioners Martin and Samson didn’t bother to show up, although they were invited. However, candidates Aleks Briedis and Sonja Linman were among the first to arrive and the last to leave. They demonstrated the capability and eagerness to work together on the tough issues. Our conversation lasted two and a half hours.

Aleks Briedis said, “I could talk about these issues all night.” Sonja Linman said, “We need more public discussions like this.”

From water quality to air quality to education, the quality of life for residents here in western Garfield County has declined in ways that were unimaginable in 2008, because Mr. Martin and Mr. Samson put special interests in the oil and gas industry over public health, welfare and the environment. Mr. Briedis and Ms. Linman have shown us over and over during this campaign season the only special interests they intend to serve are the residents of Garfield County.

This election the choice is clear. We need the combined talents of these two exceptional community leaders to restore county governance to the people.

Vote for Aleks Briedis and Sonja Linman.

Peggy Tibbetts

Silt

Amendment S is an extreme and misguided attempt to seriously return state government to the early 1900s when politicians appointed cronies, friends, family and supporters to government positions regardless of qualifications.

If passed, Amendment S would be a permanent part of the state constitution, allowing the governor to appoint 200 additional political appointees above the 125 political appointees that is currently allowed. Keep in mind that these are new and high paying positions. No testing is required; therefore, there will be no accountability to determine if these individuals are indeed the most qualified.

The other distressing change is shifting the selection process based on merit and fitness to “comparative analysis,” in which the process can be scored or unscored. What is the problem with basing a selection process on merit and fitness? Oh yes, politicians’ cronies may not pass the test.

Additionally, the authority to write and approve selection rules is transferred from the State Personnel Board to the executive director of the Department of Personnel and Administration (ED-DPA). The ED-DPA serves on the governor’s cabinet and can be removed without cause. This change gives the governor even more influence in determining who gets jobs. This opens the door wider to abuse of political power and state tax dollars.

Proponents also want voters to believe the state’s selection process includes stringent, standardized testing. This is simply not true. Rule 4-13 of Chapter 4 in the State Personnel Rules offers many testing options.

Those who endorse Amendment S have overlooked the dangers of this amendment and its long-term effects on state employees’ ability to provide efficient and effective services and programs to Colorado’s citizens.

Please visit http://www.NoOnAmendmentS.com to understand the importance of defeating Amendment S. Please vote responsibly. Don’t allow politicians and newspapers to make your decision.

Nora Kelly

Denver

Oct. 15 turned out to be a banner day for the local Democrats. I didn’t realize it was possible to pack so much intolerance and hate speech into one newspaper. Age and gender bias, dislike for personal responsibility and financial accountability, they even threw in outright lies for good measure. Sadly, they’re listening to each other’s rhetoric, none of which has much bearing on fact.

I’m surprised the Post Independent didn’t ooze black slime right out of the stands.

It does serve as an excellent example of the difference between the supporters of John Martin and Mike Samson, who submit positive, constructive letters, and those who support the opposition and engage in hyperbole and vitriol. What a stark contrast.

Since I’m on the subject of misinformation, the address in Cedaredge for John Martin’s campaign belongs to the campaign treasurer who, since this is currently a free country, relocated there to raise some low-line angus. I do manage our farm there, since I was unable to afford any ag land in Garfield County. I didn’t realize my medium-sized orchard would cause some people such angst, but I still didn’t feel any need to ask their permission before I bought a place where I could grow healthy food for my family and others.

Thank you to those who do engage in civil discourse.

Nancy Martin

Glenwood Springs

I would like to respond to the Oct. 16 letter from Annie Uyehara regarding our county commissioners, in particular John Martin, who has served Garfield County faithfully for 16 years as county commissioner, and before that, as a police officer in Glenwood Springs.

His years of service give him a tremendous background for knowing the needs and issues of Garfield County, which incidentally, goes from Carbondale to the Utah border, not just to Parachute. John Martin is like a walking encyclopedia for knowing the law, in all areas, from water issues, oil and gas, and most importantly, to the law regarding our rights as a county. This is extremely important when it comes to standing up to the feds and the state when they try to come in and walk all over us and take what rightfully belongs to the county.

We need to keep John Martin and Mike Samson as our county commissioners, and draw on their experience to keep the county running smoothly. Our county has paid off all its debt, and we own all our physical assets free and clear, including the new county jail and other buildings. This was accomplished under the management of our present team of county commissioners, and in tough economic times.

Our commissioners have regularly scheduled meetings with the mayors of all the towns in the county, and rotate their meeting places, in order to have more community input from all Garfield County citizens.

We need to keep our commissioner team in place, and not vote them out just because they have experience and have done a good job. I urge all voters to inform themselves about the condition of Garfield County at the present time, under the leadership of our present commissioners. I thank you in advance for taking the time to inform yourselves.

Shirley Starr

Silt

Recently, I shared my personal ideology, the 7 G’s: God, Guns, Grub, Gold, Gas, Ground, Gumption. I briefly discussed principles which prove themselves useful, even crucial, in times of emergency or disaster. Many have asked that I elaborate, so I will try to cover one each in seven letters.

Guns: For self-defense and hunting, nothing comforts and empowers a weak, vulnerable, or hungry person like a really great gun.

When selecting firearms, choose those most capable of both providing security for your family, and killing various types of game. Balance their cost, reliability, effectiveness, round-capacity and enhancements. I have a saying: If you find yourself in a fair fight, (animal or person) your tactics and equipment are inadequate.

If your firearm is unsafe, ineffective, unreliable, or too difficult to shoot or service, trade it out. Consider the animals where you live. If you live in New Castle, but it can’t hit and kill an elk, or, you live in Silt Mesa surrounded by rabbits, but it’s so powerful it literally particulates the creature, leaving no meat to consume, replace it with something more appropriate.

I recommend semi-auto .22 rifles and pistols, bolt-action .308 rifles, pump-action 12 gauge shotguns, semi-automatic .223 rifles, and 9mm pistols. Select brands and models which are popular, combat-proven, and use standard military and law enforcement ammunition which is widely available. Expensive, massively-powerful, or hyper-accurate firearms are no benefit if you can’t find or afford the bullets.

Side note: Never underestimate .22 firearms. The ammo and guns are cheap, portable, and can kill anything from deer to bad guys. Anyone who claims otherwise is an inexperienced fool. Any hunter or police officer will confirm that a .22 can kill just about any living thing with a single, well-placed shot.

Finally, know this: Owning a firearm without lots of ammo, training, and actual experience can be a recipe for disaster. Know the needs, capabilities and limitations of your own firearms and experience and then do not exceed them. Learn from certified instructors or other professionals.

A complete explanation can be viewed at: http://www.625guns.com/7g

Edward Wilks

Rifle

Did it occur to anyone that our increased consumer spending may be attributed to “use it or lose it” before all our taxes go up?

Pat Sprague

New Castle

When I think of the beautiful place we live, I picture the open landscapes of ranchlands, rivers and the high mountain peaks of Sopris and the Elk Range looming in the background.

So much threatens these beautiful areas, from gas drilling to over-development, and in order to conserve and protect these pristine places I ask Garfield County residents to please vote yes on question 1A.

For every $100 spent in Garfield County, excluding groceries and prescription drugs, individuals will pay 25 cents. It’s only a bit over $3 a month for a family to contribute to protecting these lands and preserving ranches in Garfield County.

Protect the landscapes, to not only stand by the environment but to also protect the businesses and jobs that rely on these unspoiled lands.

Lindsay Gurley

Carbondale


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