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Re: The commissioners and mayors forum

Commissioner John Martin said forums are “a fantastic idea, but there are challenges to overcome,” citing “turf battles,” “politics,” and “reality” (Glenwood Springs Post Independent, Feb. 2). He did not appear so sanguine as others who expressed optimism after the forum. Indeed, during a campaign debate last fall, he recalled a not-so-positive experience with such forums. Martin said he tried joint meetings between commissioners and mayors long ago, and they didn’t go anywhere. Some would say he just quit.

New Castle Mayor Frank Breslin reminded that mayors from Aspen to Parachute now meet without commissioners, recognizing they “are all in this together.” Mayors carry on without commissioners. Hope springs eternal.

Now a few county Democrats and unaffiliateds who perceived “strained relations” among our commissioners long before the contentious campaign of ’08, even feel somewhat reassured, despite Steve Carter’s and Stephen Bershenyi’s electoral losses to Mike Samson and John Martin. During campaign debates, Samson conveyed the impression of an amiable, fair-minded guy. He did say he wants to see commissioners and mayors on better terms. Some who followed the campaign got the idea he might even listen better to the average citizen than John Martin and Samson’s predecessor had. That’s timely. But it starts with three commissioners on better terms.

It is time for a new departure. All Colorado county commissioners are elected at-large. Each of Garfield County’s commissioners in principle represents all citizens (including mayors) of our 27 precincts, not just selected interests. Citizens who “feel somewhat reassured” urge new Commissioner Mike Samson to reinforce a positive impression. Acting as conciliator between Commissioners Martin and Houpt, the new commissioner could end a six-year turf war ” and reassure a lot of people. Really. Imagine a commission with civil give-and-take focused on even-handed policy.

Imagine votes that are not predictably one-sided. Imagine a political reality with just plain politics, not turf war. Mike Samson is new, but it’s his call.

Jerry Rankin

Glenwood Springs

Attention all achievers! This warning is directed only to those who wish to continue to control their lives and their destinies, excluding those who are simply allowing Obama, his administration and Congress to take over not only their lives, but livelihoods, as well.

Why are people who live responsibly and pay their bills ” credit cards, mortgages, taxes, health care costs, etc., now required to help pay for obligations of those choosing to rely on government? Is rewarding failure and penalizing achievement a “stimulus?”

Does the land of the free, protected by the brave still provide assurance of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? How could Congress pass a bill that takes our hard-earned tax dollars (plus those of our children and children’s children for decades to come) to finance things we don’t need, and compensate those who don’t pay taxes with our tax dollars?

Isn’t this diametrically opposed to the great American dream ” the concept that has made this nation great? Why should the self-reliant, who don’t depend on government, be penalized because of others duped by idle promises of a man who may be leading our nation into a doomed-to-failure socialistic state? Are we evolving from citizens into servants?

Hasn’t the nation excelled in an era of free enterprise, sparked by the incentives of entrepreneurship with limited government interference? Is there no end to what our inept Congress can do now that it’s destroyed our economy and our financial system? Can we depend on these same flawed people, who made flawed decisions creating this crisis, to bail us out?

Is there still hope? Will more people become aware of what is happening and do something about it? Will individual freedom outweigh the concept of undeserved, unlimited entitlements?

Let’s hope so!

God bless America!

Richard Doran


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