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I am troubled by the decision made by two Garfield County Commissioners that allows up to eight “essential” employees to live in portable housing close to gas well sites without the knowledge of nearby property owners.

I understand the need to ensure efficient and safe operation of the drill rigs but feel more should have been done to ensure workers’ safety and the rights of the surface owners; I believe drillers should first attempt in good faith to negotiate an agreement with the surface owners. The fire and ambulance departments should have had an opportunity to review and approve the housing location, and the site should be inspected by trained inspectors working for us, not independent contractors.

Enacting regulations is what commissioners do, so what they did was legal. Were their actions wise or sensible? Not in my book. Two commissioners stacked the deck against surface owners and neighbors.



Humans aren’t “equipment or machinery.” Most mineral leases don’t automatically allow up to eight strangers to live within 150 feet of your house without your knowledge or permission. By granting permit-holders a “use by right, the commissioners put a big thumb on the scales of justice against the property rights of our county’s homeowners, ranchers and farmers.

None of the rest of us has the same “use by right” to house essential employees on-site without any meaningful review or explicit permission.



This action creates a dangerous precedent, and was contrary to the testimony of virtually every citizen who appeared before the commissioners. It will make it difficult for property owners to argue their rights before a judge, or to negotiate a surface use agreement with the industry. It may be legal, but it’s bad policy.

That’s why it’s important to choose our next commissioners carefully, and why I am running for Garfield County commissioner. I will make sure everyone receives a courteous hearing and all citizen’s views are respected. Doing this will result in better decisions.

Elect a leader who will listen and work for solutions to the opportunities facing Garfield County. Elect Steve Carter for Garfield County commissioner.

Steve Carter

Rifle

Recent letter writers claim change is needed on the Garfield County commission. I couldn’t agree more, and believe Mike Samson is the change we need. Challenges pointed out in previous letters will be addressed in the Garfield County Forum, a plan specifically proposed by Mike Samson. For example, letter writer Nancy Smith pointed out that affordable housing is a concern. As a longtime teacher and administrator, Mike Samson understands and supports the development of affordable housing for teachers. This is just one item Ms. Smith and others who want change could bring up for discussion once the forum is created.

In the meantime, I hope you all join me in supporting Mike Samson to help make his proposal for our county a reality.

Bob Rankin

Carbondale

John McCain. We know all about his life.

Obama, on the other hand, is a guy we still know little about.

His school records, birth certificate, or medical records have never been released.

His experience in the public sector totals 144 days in the senate.

He has never served in the military. His biological father and stepfather were both Muslims.

His family in Kenya is mostly Muslim, including a number of left-wing radicals. Obama attended a Muslim school until he was 10.

He did not grow up in an urban ghetto or come from an impoverished family. He’s an elitist.

We know he is closely associated with Bill Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, revolutionary leaders of the SDS Weatherman underground of the ’50s and ’60s.

We know he was strongly influenced by reading black radical political writers including Malcolm X, and sought out communist Frank Marshall Davis to be his mentor (as per “Dreams of My Father”).

Others he had close ties with included the corrupt political-fixer Tony Resko, black liberation theologist the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and has a history with Louis Farrakhan and the Black Muslims, among others.

Obama got his mantra for “Change” from the radical-leftist Saul Alinsky in his 1971 classic book, “Reveille for Radicals.” “Change” for Alinsky, and now Obama, involved radical socialism and meant the redistribution of wealth. Tax the “haves” and give it to the “have-nots.” Only trouble here is that the “haves” create all the jobs. “Change” was the slogan the people fell for, when Fidel Castro took over Cuba in 1960.

Can we trust Obama with the presidency? These are not ordinary times. What comes into play here is “guilt by association.” Because of his past close associations with these low-lifes, he could not even qualify for security clearance. One question in my mind, “Is he a radical Muslim sympathizer?”

So … on one hand we have McCain, a genuine American; and on the other, Obama, a radical leftist. McCain is a hero, Obama is a zero.

Stan Rachesky

Glenwood Springs


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