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Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Tom Jankovsky says vote for him because he’s the pro-business candidate? Really? We all love Ski Sunlight, the local ski area he manages, but is that the business model we want for Garfield County?

It’s a lovely mountain, full of good skiing terrain and a great sense of community, but over the last decade while Colorado’s ski industry thrived, Ski Sunlight declined. In the Aspen Daily News on Nov. 14, 2008, Sunlight board President Richard Schafstall describes Sunlight “as fading family resort, running on aging lifts, limited snowmaking and facilities past their prime.” He goes on, “the ski area has lost $1 million in the past 11 years while other small resorts in the state have thrived.” This was on Jankovsky’s watch and is not the business leadership Garfield County needs.

A few years ago, portions of Ski Sunlight were leased for natural gas development. Imagine that, skiing with frac’ing trucks, flaring gas, toxic waste pits and the stench. It would have sealed Ski Sunlight’s fate. What did Jankovsky do about it? Nothing … he didn’t even know about it. It wasn’t until a local conservation group pointed out to the BLM that it is illegal to lease ski areas were the leases withdrawn. Will Jankovsky neglect Garfield County like he neglected Ski Sunlight? We can’t risk it, not now.



I am voting for Tresi Houpt. She has the brains, the dedication, and the stewardship to keep Garfield County on the right track. As a commissioner, she’s managed huge growth in the county, successfully overseeing a $100 million budget, kept spending in line while meeting important social services needs and addressing gas boom impacts. Tresi knows that economic diversity is the key to a healthy economy and community. She supported the Garfield County Airport expansion, a key piece of infrastructure attracting strong business investment and tourism alike.

She, along with her fellow sitting Commissioners, listened to local voices and supported their self-determination. Case in point, the GarCo BOCC unanimously supports the Thompson Divide Coalition’s efforts to protect local agriculture, recreation and hunting in the greater Thompson Creek watershed. Her opponent, Jankovsky, is in the pocket of multi-national natural gas companies shipping their profits out of the county and he wants to see the Thompson Creek/Four Mile area turned into another industrial sacrifice zone. Vote for Tresi. She’s the right balance for Garfield County.



Sloan Shoemaker

Carbondale

I noticed when reading Jim Yellico’s campaign ads in this paper, he seems to be basing his candidacy for County Assessor on claims that don’t make much sense. One of the “promises” he is making is to only hire commercial appraisers who are residents of Garfield County.

This sounds like a good idea of course, but when you look deeper into the matter you see that his idea doesn’t make much sense at all. There are three commercial appraisers from Denver who currently work with the county. Two of them have Certified General Appraisal licenses, the highest level of licensure in Colorado.

This company does the same work for many other Colorado counties. When these appraisers come here to work, they spend money on hotels, food, and other expenses, helping add to county coffers. Even more importantly, they bring their vast knowledge and experience here to Garfield County.

If John Gorman’s opponent wants to hire a local appraiser to do the job, he is going to have to spend county funds for proper training and certifications. As an employee of the county, this person would have to be paid a competitive salary, not mention full benefits, costing much more money than the current system. What is to stop this person from taking all of that training and expertise and certification, paid for by us, and moving to a different place where he/she could make more money? This does and has happened.

Does it make sense to spend county funds like this when we currently have the most highly qualified appraisers available and the system is working well? It seems, as with many of his other plans, Mr. Yellico thinks that the best course of action is to try and change things that don’t need fixing, all the while costing the county money it doesn’t need to spend.

Mr. Yellico’s inexperience and lack of understanding of what the job of an assessor’s actually is, is on open display for all voters to see in his ads and campaign literature. I am voting John Gorman for Assessor. You should too.

Jacquie Tannenbaum

Glenwood Springs

While recycling the ubiquitous multi-color, heavy card stock, 527 mailings from today’s postal delivery, it occurred to me that now is the time for unaffiliated voters to earn their stripes in re-electing Kathleen Curry to House District 61.

I have no doubt that Luke Korkowski and Roger Wilson are upstanding gentlemen, undeserving of the thin, cherry picked “facts” being rolled out against them by 527 PACs. However, the one thing that interest groups do not point out about either of these candidates is their paucity of experience in public policy making and electoral office, because that criticism goes both ways for these inexperienced, would be public servants.

Kathleen Curry stands out in every way by comparison. I urge them to keep their eyes open when filling out their ballots: for House District 61, when you see Luke Korkowski and Roger Wilson with their respective party affiliations, know that you have the choice to re-elect Kathleen Curry as an independent candidate.

Paul Duba

Gunnison

I am writing to urge everyone to please study amendments 62 and 63 very carefully before you vote. These are vague and misleading in the way they are presented. For example, Amendment 62 just mentions “the beginning of the biological development,” but does not define just what that means. The reality of the phrase means that it could be used to prohibit or limit access to medical care, including abortions of rape or incest, even when a woman’s life is in danger. There are other very disturbing possibilities.

Amendment 63 is worded to make Colorado citizens believe that they could opt out of federal care coverage requirements! This is a big lie.

A state constitutional amendment cannot overturn a federal law, period. Coloradoans are required by federal law to have coverage beginning in 2014. It is really helpful to study all the amendments and propositions before going to the voting booth. Thank you.

George Chandler

New Castle

It is an honor to serve as your Garfield County Commissioner. Since being elected in 2002, I have brought balance to the Commission. Let me give you an example related to oil and gas development.

You elected me to protect the health, safety and welfare of people of Garfield County, while promoting a strong local economy. This doesn’t make me ‘unfriendly’ to industry, it does however, give me a responsibility different from that of the CEO of a private business. My responsibility is to you, not the bottom line of an industry. I respect every business executive’s desire to create a healthy bottom line, and want them to be successful in Garfield County, while working in a manner that is not detrimental to people, other business interests, or the environment.

The challenge is to identify a fair balance between energy development, sustaining our agriculture, tourism and recreation industries, and protecting the health and welfare of the people of Garfield County. Here’s how I have approached this challenge:

I have visited industry sites and talked with company representatives to learn about developing technology and to better understand technical requirements for extracting natural gas in Garfield County.

I have met with property owners, municipal leaders, royalty owners, ranchers, outfitters and others to understand their concerns.

I worked with state officials to pass legislation that: recognizes and protects everybody’s property rights – including the rights of surface owners, mineral owners, neighboring land owners and companies holding leases; promotes oil and gas development in Colorado; protects public health, safety and welfare; protects the environment and wildlife; and brings local representation to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) so that this key decision-making board can understand local concerns when making state decisions.

I was appointed to serve as the local government official on the (COGCC). This has not been a conflict of interest; on the contrary, it is an opportunity I actively sought in order to better represent your interests. I rarely recuse myself on county issues, but when I do, it is to better represent the issue.

I take representing you very seriously and make sure that my vote on all applications makes sense.

Do I research, ask hard questions during hearings and add conditions of approval on every application that comes forward? Absolutely, that is my job.

By law, the COGCC was required to amend the Oil and Gas Rules to promote oil and gas development while protecting health, safety and welfare, the environment and wildlife. The rulemaking process was comprehensive, including hundreds of hours of stakeholder meetings, 12 days of formal hearings and 12 days of deliberation.

We adopted our new rules about the same time the national recession hit; it became easy for some to make an unfounded connection between the slow-down in oil and gas development in Colorado and the new rules. Many industry leaders have supported the position that the industry slow-down had more to do with the dramatic drop in the price of natural gas (from about $13. to about $2.50), the lack of pipeline infrastructure to move the product to market, the glut of stored natural gas, a slow-down of demand and more accessible gas in other states.

I am proud to have participated in what I believe to be a successful effort to balance energy development with protections that are critical to the health of Garfield County and the State of Colorado.

As your County Commissioner, I will continue to look after your best interests, by seeking a healthy balance on all complex issues facing Garfield County.

Tresi Houpt

Garfield County Commissioner

I would like to say “Thank You” to the individuals who are taking down the Tom Jankovsky signs. You’ve brought awareness to me that I’d not realized before. Removing these signs is a form of political bullying. You will not convince me to vote for Tresi Houpt. I want Mr. Jankovsky’s experience to lead Garfield County into a prosperous future. I trust him to make sound business decisions and to create jobs that are good for us and the environment. Tom Jankovsky is an honest, hardworking man that has character, integrity and sincerity going for him. He’s an outdoorsman, family man, businessman and he’s fiscally conservative.

When the rubber meets the road, I want someone like Tom Jankovsky behind the wheel. Please support Tom Jankovsky this Nov. 2. We need a county commissioner we can depend on.

Becky Gremillion

Glenwood Springs

As I look at the campaigning that is taking place this year, I find it to be an embarrassment to all Americans. Yes, I did vote, but I had a difficult time finding many candidates who didn’t spend all of their time putting their opponents down and being out-and-out dirty in order to get votes. On top of that, they never say what they stand for or why I should vote for them.

If students at school behaved like these candidates, they would be in trouble at school and probably at home. Since it is the only thing they see, I don’t have to wonder why they mimic this behavior. And we wonder why bullying is a problem with our children. I feel badly for those raising children right now because this type of behavior disgusts me.

When did we change from supporting American values to seeing who can spend the most money or find the dirtiest things to say in order to win? Have our American values really changed?

More importantly, we could have put the trillions of dollars spent on campaigns toward the national debt to help everyone, even create jobs for those that need them and save homes that deserve saving.

Joann Alam

Parachute

Here are two observations from YouthZone with regard to medical marijuana and youth: Marijuana that is purchased with a medical marijuana license is ending up in the hands of our local youth.

Over the past year, referrals involving criminal possession of marijuana by a youth have increased by 58 percent from the prior year. In many of these situations, the marijuana being used has been given to the youth by someone who has purchased it with a license, the youth has purchased it with their own license, or the youth has stolen it from someone who purchased or grew the marijuana with a license.

Debbie Wilde

Executive Director, YouthZone

Supporters of the current Garfield County Assessor seem to have nothing else to state about him other than to applaud, “He did what he promised.” What, his job? Mediocre employees do not get promoted and some are even let go when more exemplary ones appear.

You know the person who arrives first at a party, grazes the food table, then leaves without even thanking the host – an opportunist? That’s your current assessor. Poll his previous professional colleagues, the local real estate community. The above incident is not fiction. Subsequently, he saw an opportunity to secure a well paying government job with benefits instead of the spotty, commission-only environment of real estate. You now pay him to outsource the tricky commercial assessing jobs to Denver firms.

The Assessor’s website is not lay-person friendly; one ends up with a numerous-page return instead of a concise report for any property researched.

We can do better. Jim Yellico is an energetic, classy, well-informed hard worker. He brings both experience and ethics to the position. Among other things, he pledges to create a simple online appeal process, something currently not offered. And jobs will not be lost to the Front Range. Vote for Jim Yellico for Assessor.

Linda Swanson

Glenwood Springs

The Denver mayor-who-would-be-governor confirmed his “Front Range first” mindset awhile ago, in response to a question from interviewer Eden Lane regarding Matthew Shepard. He said, “I think a couple things, I mean, you know, the tragic death of Matthew Shepard occurred in Wyoming. Colorado and Wyoming are very similar. We have some of the same, you know, backwards thinking in the kind of rural Western areas you see in, you know, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico.”

Sound familiar? Remember Obama’s characterization of rural communities as “… bitter, they cling to guns or religion.” Would you feel represented with such a person as governor?

In the gubernatorial debate, besides sidestepping a number of questions, this mayor denied running a sanctuary city. Entrenched in the camp regularly failing to distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants he embraces this dishonest tactic to cast dissenters as racist or fear-mongering. This country was built by immigrants. Reasonable people know that that means legal immigrants who assimilate, period.

A lesser standard is a threat to the sovereignty of any nation At least two of such legal immigrants will vote against him: parents of the 3-year-old killed by an illegal immigrant who was caught and released 16, yes 16 times by authorities under the current mayor’s leadership. Regardless of your position on immigration, do you really want an elected official that scoffs at the law and allows such a travesty?

This mayor increased Denver taxes by $290 million. Is that the direction you want for Colorado? Vote for a Governor who will work to put in place a mandatory workplace verification system; who will build a zero-based budget and restore the limit on state spending, who will repeal the job-killing Business Personal Property Tax, who will protect your Second Amendment rights; a Governor with a backbone who will represent all parts of Colorado, not just the Front Range.

Vote for Tom Tancredo.

Keith Neville

Rifle


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