Friday letters: Landlord/tenant issues, Tipton, gas lease sale, wear masks, commissioners, Menconi, City Council |

Friday letters: Landlord/tenant issues, Tipton, gas lease sale, wear masks, commissioners, Menconi, City Council

Mountain Voices Project helping with landlord/tenant issues

The Mountain Voices Project (MVP) represents 29 institutions from Aspen to Parachute: nonprofits, schools and faith-based organizations. We have been listening to our valley for over six years. COVID-19 disrupted our lives. 

We have heard from meetings within and among our institutions as well as countless phone calls to tenants, landlords, banks and others. Housing is the most substantial monthly expense most people have and therefore is the biggest worry for many. 

“Will I be able to find the money from somewhere? Will my landlord treat me well? What do the different laws and protections mean?” 

Landlords are concerned as well: “How can I collect the money I need if tenants can’t find work? How can I help those struggling with joblessness or housing insecurity?”

Housing instability in our community affects us all. We lose valuable members of our community if they fear eviction. Landlords lose money if their renters flee. Our economy hurts when we expect those that lost jobs to figure this out on their own. We are in this together and can solve this together.

For landlords or tenants that cannot come to an amicable agreement, please call the following number for free mediation: 970-230-3935.

You can learn more about MVP at:

If this letter appears in time, please attend the June 16 county commissioners meeting via zoom at 8 a.m. to learn specifics about our three-county housing proposal and voice your support if you are so inclined. (The link opens about five minutes before the meeting starts.)

If we all come together to dream big and act courageously, we can recover together.

Ron Kokish


In support of Scott Tipton

We support Scott Tipton. He has worked tirelessly to help provide legal seasonal workers for farmers, ranchers and fruit growers in western Colorado. The wool growers bring in Peruvian herders to care for the sheep in the high country every year with Scott Tipton’s help. They cannot hire experienced herders locally.

Migrant seasonal farmworkers are here legally and work for the season. Talk of free housing for illegals is not true, but there are loans available to provide housing for workers coming in for the season to help the ranchers meet the stringent requirements for this required housing in Western Colorado. 

Farmers, ranchers and orchard owners appreciate the efforts of Rep. Tipton to bring in needed workers for the season, so it’s sad to hear these unfounded attacks against someone working so hard. 

Additionally, Scott Tipton understands water issues in western Colorado and has worked diligently to get legislation passed to help Powderhorn ski area maintain their water rights. That only happened because of Scott Tipton’s efforts.


John and Frances Justman 


September 2020 Utah oil and gas lease sale must be halted

The red rock canyons and bright blue skies of Arches, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef are among the most beloved sights in the American West. 

And yet, despite, millions of visitors to these parks each year, the Trump administration and the Bureau of Land Management are proposing leasing a massive swath of land for oil and gas development. The BLM proposes to sell 77 oil and gas leases on 114,000 acres of public lands this coming September. 

This sale must be stopped. Once it happens, there is no turning back. Once a lease is issued, oil companies can develop for at least 10 years, often longer. 

People go to national parks seeking solitude and solace, not the sights and sounds of industrial development. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are finding this to be more true than ever before. 

Aldo Leopold once wrote, “I am glad I shall never be young without wild country to be young in.” We are in very real danger of ensuring this will not be the case for the next generation. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. 

Unless we want this fate for our public lands, the September 2020 Utah oil and gas lease sale must be halted, and President Trump’s “energy dominance” policy must be reformed.

Shaina Maytum


Kudos to all the people who advocate mandatory masks

I was concerned when I read the comments from Heather Berge regarding the lack of protection from wearing masks. 

First I would like to know her qualifications. What is her actual area of expertise? A former medical researcher is a very broad and curious title. 

I have read and listened to at least 100 true medical people, of which I proudly consider myself. Heather is the only purported medical person?? who says there is no basis in science for wearing masks that I have heard or read. 

Please don’t believe everything you read. Masks save lives. 

Holly Glasier, RN


Elected officials putting industry profits before health of residents

Why is Garfield County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky lying to all of us listening to KMTS? Or is he just flagrantly incompetent, to the point where he has no idea how hundreds of thousands of dollars of our tax dollars are being callously spent to fight new state rules designed to protect families and children and grandparents and everyone living near natural gas rigs and storage tanks? Or is it somewhere in-between.

Garfield County is the lead county in a 34-page lawsuit challenging four new rules designed to reduce emissions of pollutants from oil and gas operations. The rules were adopted unanimously by the state Air Quality Control Commission last December.

When asked by KMTS news director Ron Milhorn if the county was suing to have a rule that requires increased inspection of wells and other infrastructure within 1,000 feet of homes, schools, playgrounds and other places people live and work, Jankovsky said the county was not. He then accused Western Colorado Alliance executive director Emily Hornback of being “misguided” in saying so.

I’m looking at the lawsuit that Commissioners Jankovsky, John Martin and Mike Samson are paying for with our tax dollars, and it’s quite clear that they are trying to take away this hard-earned protection for people in areas close to oil and gas development. In fact, the outcome they covet most is for the court to overturn this new rule.

It’s clear that Samson, Martin and Jankovsky value their donors in the energy industry more than the people who live here. I am from Garfield County and experienced the direct impacts of this industry when I lived up Divide Creek and an underground oil and gas explosion leaked hydrocarbons into ground water. Now I live in Mesa County where commissioners are taking the same actions to undercut these commonsense protections and are using the same excuses. I am tired of our local elected officials putting industry profits and their re-election efforts before the health of their residents.

Jacob Richards

Grand Junction

Vote for Menconi

I’m writing in support of Arn Menconi for state Senate.

I’ve known Arn for 18 years. First as a county commissioner who fought for people who did not have voices. He is not a conventional politician, and these are not conventional times. When Arn was a county commissioner, he fought and passed incredible amounts of legislation and funded numerous projects that at the time were controversial, such as early child care, affordable housing, green building codes and open space. Arn’s programs in early child care helped my son.

As I got to know Arn, I watched him grow a nonprofit for poor children of color in the most exclusive places in America – ski resorts like Vail, Steamboat, Park City, Durango and all across the country. In areas where the backbone of our workforce are undocumented or Latino. The charity he founded and ran for 21 years, SOS Outreach, helped over 60,000 children to have opportunities that prepared them for college and how to become leaders of change.

My friend Arn doesn’t talk the talk. He puts himself out there. Over the past five years, he’s traveled to New York City, D.C. and elsewhere to fight for social and climate justice. I’ve been on the other side of the phone call, when he’s told me about which senators, congresspersons, academics or think tank leaders he’s met and worked with that day.

Finally, I know Arn as a single parent who’s been through a lot. He’s got two amazing children that he put first. He doesn’t have a career. He has a calling to expose injustice and fight for the those who we care most for — our children. I promise if you vote for Arn he will have the courage, integrity and compassion to make the change we all hope for in these unconventional times.

Paul Kulas


Council’s priorities questionable

This letter is in regards to the City Council mayor wanting to rewrite the code of ethics. 

I am absolutely disturbed by everything that is happening, and you want to waste time with code of ethics? You have one in place now. 

With COVID and protests and your city businesses shutting down you want to waste time doing that? 

If you say this has nothing to do with Tony Hershey, you are lying. I know things did not go down properly on either side, but first you, the council, asked an elected official to leave. The people elected him. I do not think you would have liked it had the same been done to any of you not you. 

Just as a side note: I wrote seven City Council members a letter and two responded. I wish to thank those two who were kind enough to share their insight with me, Paula Stepp and Tony Hershey. The rest did not even acknowledge I sent a letter. So really that shows lack of respect there, too. 

Let it go, serve your time, and stop wasting the city’s time and money. This town is depending on you to get us back on our feet. There is enough going on without childish antics. 

Michelle Vogel

Glenwood Springs

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