First, I need to apologize to the citizens of Rifle for writing one more letter on this election. I know I said let’s leave it up to the voters now. This letter is to set the record straight, as to what is not true.
I also know that by the time you read this some have already voted. Or the election is over.
This is my answer to Jay Miller’s letter of Aug. 30 in the Post Independent. On the July 15 council meeting you were present when the petitions were presented to them. Jeanette Thompson, knowing her duty, made the motion to accept the signed petitions. They had the required number of signatures. No second was made until after asking your attorney. Would this mean that we are in favor of these ballots? You were then told by your attorney, that it was your duty to do so. Also, at the start of this, one of the council stated that it was your duty. Does this mean that you were coerced in doing your duty or that you did not know your duty?
On the wording of the term limits initiative, my attorney took this out of the state of Colorado’s term limits. You need to check the state’s Constitution (page 681 Art. XV 11 – Miscellaneous, Section a.; also Section 11). The only difference is we used city of Rifle. They used state elected officials of governments.
Yes, our council stands election every four years, and we all know that the incumbents have the advantage over a new person. That person is not given a chance to prove himself.
To me, your letter is just smoke and only your opinion. My opinion is more facts, longevity and a little bit of common sense, not just smoke.
John B. Scalzo
I am surprised at the actions of Hidden Gems. They do not ask for public input.
Hidden Gems has not even addressed the implications in terms of economics, negative impacts to many business, property owners, communities and recreational use, and the fact that it will permanently prevent most active management of resources.
They may believe that their actions are in our best interest; the truth being that they lead the public to believe that less than 3 percent of the WRNF is wilderness, when in truth already 33 percent of the WRNF is wilderness. In the Hidden Gems program they are asking to make 46 percent of the WRNF wilderness. Multi-use has no place in their plans.
Another plan ready to be launched in the future is to make 206,355 acres of the Flat Tops into wilderness. This would make 55 percent of WRNF wilderness. This makes a majority of the WRNF off limits to multi-use.
Why haven’t the advocates mentioned that the WRNF evaluated these 600,000 acres, asked for public input, held formal public process open to full disclosures of the impact, and had opportunity for comments before the final appeal? Instead they have a congressman (Jared Polis, 2nd district, U.S. House of Representatives) to sponsor the bill. It is their intent to shove this bill though Congress while they have a favorable congress.
I wonder if the public is aware that this will affect Four Mile, Basalt Mountain, Red Table, Hagerman Pass, Huntsman Ridge and Thompson Creek?
Your tax dollars create the money the WRNF has to manage this resource. Do you want the advocates of the Hidden Gems to use your tax money in this way?
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Grace Wesseling is an animal lover, a cheerleader of seven years and another soon-to-be graduate of Bridges High School, class of 2021.