Over the years, as a VISTA volunteer, VISTA trainer, and employee of the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) in Washington, D.C., I had the unique opportunity to advance the honorable goal of Robert Sargent Shriver Jr. – to eliminate poverty in the United States. As director of the Peace Corps, VISTA and OEO, Shriver served his presidents and his country well. He not only embodied the spirit of the “Greatest Generation,” but he provided a positive role model to so many young people over the years. His passing gives us time to reflect on those less fortunate, and that the “War on Poverty” must continue to be fought. Sarge, you will be missed, you will be honored, and you will always be remembered. Timm FautskoGlenwood Springs
As was reported in the Post Independent, a nationally recognized law firm from New York is soliciting Garfield County residents as potential plaintiffs in what could become a “jumbo lawsuit” seeking tens of millions in compensatory and punitive damages.The treasury of Garfield County currently has $100 million in cash reserves and is a potential “deep pocket” to any attorney whose clients have been injured or suffered loss of property values by gas well drilling. As stewards of the county treasury, now is not the time for Commissioners Martin, Samson and Jankovsky to play fast and loose with money that belongs to we the people by chasing a phantom jobs creation program targeting the migrant drilling industry. Prudent stewardship demands aggressive risk management strategies that should have been implemented years ago by the BOCC to protect the county treasury from predatory jumbo lawsuits. A risk management strategy begins with transferring the risk. This is done through indemnification agreements and insurance. When that is not possible, creating an arms-length distance between the county and the gas drilling industry becomes absolutely necessary. This requires action by the county to prove due diligence, necessary diligence and diligent inquiry, and therefore an absence of concurrent negligence and joint-and-several liability.Black’s Law Dictionary defines due diligence as “the diligence reasonably expected from, and ordinarily exercised by a person seeking to satisfy a legal requirement or to discharge an obligation. A failure to exercise due diligence may result in liability.” “Necessary diligence” is defined as “the diligence a person is required to exercise to be legally protected.””Diligent-inquiry” is “a careful and good faith probing to ascertain the truth of something.””Concurrent negligence” is “the negligence of two or more parties acting independently but causing the same damages.””Joint-and-several liability” is “liability that may be apportioned among two or more parties at the adversary’s discretion.” To protect the $100 million, the county commissioners must begin to establish an “arms-length distance” from the drilling industry. These New York trial lawyers are circling like sharks.Carl & Karen McWilliamsSilt Mesa
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