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Your Letters

Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

I just heard a radio ad from Mr. Dalessandri that truly shocked me! He wants to be the “People’s Sheriff”. I have lived, worked, and voted in this valley for 34 years. I distinctly recall the sheriff’s election of eight years ago.

The voters of Garfield County said, “Tom, you’re fired!” Our county’s residents needed and demanded services that Tom would not provide. Sheriff Vallario has now provided these necessary services and more. He has done this with the unanimous support of the Garfield County Commissioners. They have approved his budgets and his community-based programs, both active and proactive in nature; plus he managed to return $2.1 million this year, alone. A people’s sheriff? We already have one.

Eight years ago, the citizens of Garfield County fired a sheriff who was more concerned about his business interests than the needs and concerns of our residents. He now wants the job back. With Sheriff Lou Vallario’s leadership, crime is under control and the budget is under control.

My vote is to retain Sheriff Lou Vallario.

Linda McKinley

Glenwood Springs

I’m Don Breier, the Detective Sergeant for the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office. I’ve worked for the Sheriff’s Office for more than 17 years. I started before Mr. Dalessandri was Sheriff; I worked for the GCSO his two terms as well as for Sheriff Vallario his two terms. I will tell you that since Lou Vallario has been Sheriff, the Sheriff’s Office has risen out of the ashes and has been reborn into a premier public service, multi program and capability agency.

I am bothered by things I’m hearing from Mr. Dalessandri:

• Talks of nepotism-like situations occurring in the GCSO when he himself as Sheriff employed his daughter.

• Concerned that there’s no driver training; he himself as a certified instructor only offered one afternoon in-house driver training course to his Deputies during his two terms.

• Fleet of expeditions? He only had a few; one was a hand-me down to Sheriff Vallario! I personally drove a Taurus, a Blazer, and when he left I had a Crown Vic.

• Created the K9 program?!He inherited it only to dissolve it after one K9 left the agency and one was retired from service.

• 24 hour patrol? I personally worked a three month “graveyard” tour solo; 24-hour patrols had to be suspended for safety do to lack of staffing.

• His forgotten heated topic with the BOCC; as reported in the Denver Post on March 16, 2001, he stated that he was going to fight for Sheriffs to have control over their budgets; also at odds with the BOCC for lack of funds where it was said he was spending money on raises for some of his staff instead of the jail. Google it, it’s all there online.

•He thinks he can run the Sheriff’s Office like it’s the 1990s.

• He thinks crime hasn’t increased, and says he’s been “watching”.

Hmm, Officers shot, homicides, sexual assaults almost every week, kidnap, burglary, assaults, child pornography; he’s surprisingly out of touch. And there’s more.

Please know this, Sheriff Lou Vallario is the quintessential Sheriff. In touch and for the people. Vote for Vallario.

Don Breier


I am afraid that Ms. Brenda Draper is uninformed on the state of the economy. In her recent letter to the editor, she appeared to blame the national recession on Tresi Houpt. It’s true that there are empty storefronts in most communities across America, and foreclosures have increased dramatically, but this is certainly not the result of decisions our County Commissioners have made.

Under Tresi’s tenure, the County Airport has been upgraded and expanded; a multi-jurisdictional partnership has been created to improve the east Parachute overpass and to build a West Parachute overpass to meet growing demands; the Garfield New Energy Community Initiative was formed, bringing renewable energy projects and energy efficiency opportunities to Garfield County; the Business Incubator is supported by Garfield County; the County has partnered with several oil and gas companies on major county road projects; and the County recently adopted a new land use code that cut red tape by turning many hearing processes into administrative decisions on land use applications, saving people thousands of dollars.

All of these projects position Garfield County for a strong recovery when this country pulls out of the recession. Instead of criticizing Tresi for the downturn in the economy, let’s thank her for providing infrastructure, programs and a healthy county budget that will serve us well into the future.

What we need during this recessionary time is a leader with experience and sound judgment who understands the role that the County plays in creating opportunity for economic security.

As a 50-year resident of the Roaring Fork Valley, forty of which have been in Garfield County, I strongly support Tresi and invite you to please join me in supporting her for County Commissioner. Vote for Tresi Houpt on Nov. 2.

Laurie Loeb


This election brings some very interesting choices for Colorado. None leads with fear more that proposition 102 promoted by Safe Streets Colorado. The proposition would take from judges the ability to utilize pretrial services programs designed by Judicial Districts to relieve indigent small offenders of the need to post bond at an un-reimbursable cost of a thousand-plus dollars for a $10,000-plus bond. This will force an impoverished second offender of a minor crime to remain in jail at a cost to taxpayers. Or become indentured to a loan company.

The Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition recommends that we vote No on Prop 102.

John Hoffmann


We finally have a quality man running for sheriff of Garfield County. That man had the job for eight years with an impressive record of successes and accomplishments during his eight years.

That man is Tom Dalesandri, the man we need to continue giving us the service and protection we need and deserve. A vote for Dalessandri is a vote for a lower budget and higher quality of service.

We also need to vote for another Tom, Tom Jankovsky. He is running for County Commissioner against Houpt. Houpt has too widely diversified her interests and is no longer giving the commissioner position her full attention.

Mr. Jankovsky will work for job opportunities, diverse economy and safer communities. We have a definite need for Mr. Jankovsky to be elected as commissioner.

Michael Bennet and Scott Tipton need our votes also. Voting is our American privilege and our right to say who we want. If you don’t vote, you have no complaint coming about the outcome.

Jan Walker


Many of the letters to the editor clearly show that overwhelmingly the citizens of Garfield County trust and believe in the leadership of Sheriff Vallario. They express their gratitude for what Sheriff Vallario’s leadership and vision has brought to our county. I am proud and honored to serve as a Commander in this organization and I truly believe that not only would the organization take a tremendous step backward but the services that the citizens of Garfield County benefit from would greatly reduce or completely vanish under the regime of Tom Dalessandri.

The choice is clear. Sheriff Vallario is a tried and true, trusted leader and visionary. He has moved this organization forward and we are providing services that would have never been seen under the tenure of Tom Dalessandri (I know I was here during Tom’s eight years as Sheriff). In addition to the community service programs, the working environment, quality of work and training that our employees receive has improved so dramatically over the past eight years it goes beyond measure.

The support for Sheriff Vallario has been incredible and it gives me great pride to know that I am part of such a successful organization. With that said, it means nothing if you don’t vote!

I along with the professional men and women of the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office look forward to serving you for many years to come. Vote for Sheriff Lou Vallario.

Bill Middleton

Commander, Garfield County Sheriff’s Office


I consider myself a liberal Democrat and will always be one. I am going to vote for Lou Vallario for Sheriff in the upcoming election and I would like to explain why.

I believe that being sheriff of such a diverse community can be difficult. Take Lou’s decision to purchase a Bearcat. He received a lot of negative attention for that purchase. Did you know that there was a serious incident in Carbondale last week and the Bearcat was used for the safety of his officers?

If your husband, wife, son or daughter worked in a local law enforcement agency, you would undeniably support the Bearcat. You know that it can keep your loved one safe. The ironic piece of this is that the County bought a road sweeper for more money than the Bearcat on the same day. Did you hear any complaints about that purchase? It would seem to me and many others that the money spent keeping our officers safe should take precedence over a street sweeper. I commend Lou for prioritizing the safety of his officers.

I have a friend whose house was broken into under Tom Dalessandri’s watch. The officers who investigated the incident were, in my friends own words, unresponsive, unprofessional and did not have follow-up with the investigation and basically told my friend that it was a lost cause and they would not spend any time on it.

Recently in our unincorporated neighborhood we had an abandoned trailer with a dog tied up to it. We contacted the Sheriff’s Office and they responded within one hour.

Why was Tom voted out eight years ago? It was because the public felt that Lou would do and has done a much better job. Lou considers being sheriff a full-time job while Tom ran his own business while being sheriff. We continue to need a full-time sheriff and Lou understands that responsibility and will continue to provide a safety net for the public and for his own officers.

Lou Vallario is the sheriff Garfield County needed in 2002 and he still is today.

Michael P. Blair

New Castle

You and I are incumbents, too. We live here, we’ve lived here for awhile, work here, and we’d like to stay. I am a conservative voter. I have had a lot of success here, same as most of you. My children are well, and my grandchildren are thriving and fun. My construction business is slow, but the Crystal River Meats business is starting to grow. Forces larger than us have gotten us into some real trouble, but we each have to own up to our part of it. I am not mad at anyone, nor do I blame the mess on anyone. We are all in this together.

I suggest that we all look past our own problems for a little and count our blessings. Hey, you are even reading a free paper! If we take stock of our community and its strengths, and we take measure of our neighbors and their hard work, I am sure we will agree that we have it good here in Garfield County, Colorado. I am not someone who needs change for change’s sake.

The current Board of County Commissioners is representing a very diversified bunch of us. They are able to have open and abundant discussion about the issues. This allows us all to have our views represented. The result is that we can all support the decisions that they make.

The State House of Representatives is heavily weighted towards Denver and Eastern Slope interests. Those who do represent us there have to take difficult and dramatic steps to protect our Western Slope values and needs.

Likewise, within the United States Congress, the Western Slope of Colorado is a Daniel to the Goliath of the populated eastern states. Our Congressman needs experience and focus to protect our economic welfare that is dependent upon such industries as agriculture, tourism, mining, and petroleum development.

Tresi Houpt (Garfield County Commissioner), Kathleen Curry (State House Representative), and John Salazar (U.S. Congressman) are incumbents, too. They all represent our interests and have done their jobs well. They are one of us. Vote them in again.

Jock Jacober

Glenwood Springs

The Oct. 13 edition of the Post Independent reported that you unanimously agreed to hand over an additional $100,000 of taxpayer money to the Human Services Commission, to be used as public funding for local nonprofit organizations. According to the article, apparently you have already given this Commission $504,500 of tax-payer money during 2010 for distribution to nonprofit groups. The membership of this non-elected Commission, or how it decides which non-profits are funded, was not explained.

We agree that most of these non-profits are a vital part of the community and deserve our support. However, we do not agree that you, as County Commissioners, can extract money from us through our taxes and then hand it over to any entity. That sounds like socialism to us.

What was especially troubling to us is that one of the non-profits scheduled to receive part of this $100,000 of tax-payer money is Planned Parenthood. Our understanding of this organization is that it not only provides abortion services, but that it promotes this service.

We believe abortion to be taking the life of an unborn baby and thus should be done only in exceptional cases. However, due to your “generous use” of our tax money, we get to support Planned Parenthood, whether we agree with its operations or not.

We encourage you to limit yourselves to the job for which we believe you were elected, that is to manage in an effective and efficient manner the necessary County services that we citizens can not provide for ourselves.

We believe it is the responsibility of us citizens to fund the non-profit organizations which we decide are worthy of our support.

Larry and Lilas Robinson

Glenwood Springs

I must respond to Mr. Sillivan’s letter stating that in his opinion we have enough wilderness. I would have to say that the planet is in desperate need of more wilderness.

A few places set aside where it can be safe from the effects of mankind. Little pockets here and there that seem to allow the planet to breath, at least in my opinion.

I am a 28-year local, never lived in Aspen, small business owner and healthcare worker.

In my spare time, there is nothing I like more than to hike or raft more than five miles into a wilderness area and contemplate life. It is in these places that I find my god, where I get in touch with a spiritual nature that allows me to deal with the rest of my life.

I try to be a positive influence, but I’m not sure I meet Mr. Sillivan’s definition of a “do gooder.”

Mr. Sillivan has a valid point about access. I agree we need accessible places for all to be able to get to, to renew their spirits.

But we all must accept our limitations or strive to overcome them.

I love the mountains but I do not do well above 10,000 feet.

I accept that I will never stand on top of Mount Elbert.

But I find comfort in my heart knowing it is there. I can’t help wishing there were a few more protected places around. If I need to experience 14,000 feet, I can drive to the top of Pikes Peak, but that doesn’t mean we need to plow a road to the top of every fourteener for my convenience.

Wilderness is something we must work for, by its very nature it is meant to challenge us.

I believe it could save mankind from itself, if given a chance.

Marsha Kesselring

Glenwood Springs

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