Friday letters: Robinson and Soto, drilling in residential communities, Diane Mitsch Bush, ‘no’ on 7A, Perry Will
Robinson and Soto are educated, forward thinkers
County commissioners Mike Samson and John Martin have reached a new low. They endorsed the candidate that touts QAnon, open carry assault weapons, doing away with health insurance for preexisting conditions and oil and gas drilling close to homes, but not their homes, mind you. Absurd! All the more reason to vote for sensible people, Leslie Robinson and Beatriz Soto, who have a vision for all of us in beautiful Garfield County. Robinson and Soto do not believe in crazy, conspiracy theories. They believe in housing, jobs, environment, science, health care and the well-being of our entire county. They are educated, forward thinkers.
Commissioners failed Battlement Mesa community
In response to Kent Jolley’s letter in the Post Independent (“Commissioners fighting for Western Slope residents”), one wonders where he was when the Battlement Mesa residents were fighting to keep drilling out of our residential community. He was sitting on the COGCC Board and approved the invasion. He sat quietly by when residents attended Energy Advisory Board meetings to complain about these industrial activities in their neighborhoods. He was on the Mineral Lease District Board which is designed to serve the citizens of the county by distributing federal energy extraction dollars to needy programs. This appears to be a conflict of interest when most of the funds found their way east of Parachute and Battlement Mesa, even though these areas were most impacted. For 2020 these two communities only benefitted minimally from grant funds. I hope the students of SD 16 will take advantage of funds received this spring for “digital capacity and equity” to educate themselves on other ways to earn a living without depending on the unreliable oil and gas industry.
Mr. Jolley was not selected for the current COGCC. Their mission has now changed from “fostering” to “regulating the development and production of O&G in the state of Colorado in a manner protective of public health, safety, welfare, the environment and wildlife resources.” He need not fear for his many existing wells if they are still producing and he has been enriched by enabling the industry to drill on his properties for years, so what harm can a 2,000 foot setback cause him? New applications will have to comply with revised setback restrictions among other proposals under review following SB-181 mandates.
The commissioners failed those of us who actually built the beautiful Battlement Mesa community we call home. Activist groups, now more vocal due to self-preservation, are not the cause of the industry’s slowdown. That began following the 2008 boom with greedy over-production, and industry workers should have anticipated this. Sir Winston Churchill said, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
George’s endorsement of Mitsch Bush speaks volumes
The recent endorsement from Russ George, Republican and former Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, has inspired me to write in support of candidate Diane Mitsch Bush for the Third Congressional District seat. His decision to speak out for her rather than Republican candidate Lauren Boebert, who is from his own town of Rifle, speaks volumes. He has publicly stated Boebert’s lack of qualification for the position.
Diane Mitsch Bush has a proven track record as a legislator. She has a strong background in health care, environmental issues and water law. Her ability to listen, build consensus and work within the two party system is clearly obvious as compared with Boebert.
Mitsch Bush has policy positions; Boebert is asking. Mitsch Bush has humility; Boebert has bluster. Mitsch Bush thrives on civil discourse; Boebert thrives on chaos. Mitsch Bush is a workhorse; Boebert is a show horse.
I urge all residents of CD3 to come together to elect Diane Mitsch Bush. The past four years have brought a spread of hate and fear to our country. It is time for healing and civility. It is time for an independent thinker. Vote for Diane Mitsch Bush.
Kathleen K. Barger
Crystal clear choice in CD3
The race for who will represent Colorado’s Congressional District 3 provides a crystal clear choice between the candidates.
Diane Mitsch Bush has a substantial resume built on public service including elected office to the Colorado House of Representatives and the Routt County Commission. She knows how to legislate and work across the aisle. She understands and cares about issues so important to our district: water rights, environment and climate change and affordable health care.
The candidate running against her is a gun toting, law flouting, restaurant owner who brags in her campaign literature about defying health orders put in place by the governor for the safety of all during this pandemic. She also touts repealing the Affordable Care Act, states that she is not given to compromise and would like the House to change its rules to let her carry her Glock in the chambers.
This is not a time for a grandstander who will bring more chaos to our government. Please vote wisely and vote for Diane Mitsch Bush.
Vote ‘no’ on 7A in the Colorado River District
If you live in the boundary of the Colorado River District, as nearly 400,000 West Slope residents do, your ballot will include a question — 7A — to double the property tax rate for the district.
First, the ballot question, and uses of the money, are completely vague. No actual projects are identified in the question, resulting in a blank check given to the directors of the district. No one knows how the money will be spent.
Second, the district makes the case that their budget has been hit hard by the coronavirus economic lockdown. We certainly appreciate the district’s financial needs in these difficult times, but their circumstance is no different than almost all property taxpayers in the district. We’ve all had to tighten our belts.
Third, the district has recently launched a public relations blitz about how they work to “keep water on the West Slope.” This is simply not true. Multiple dam and diversion projects, which will divert more West Slope water to the Front Range, are supported by the district.
Fourth, the district has voiced support for a large new dam and diversion on the White River in Rio Blanco County — to further irrigate land and serve water for fracking in the county — as one of the projects this new tax money could fund. The West Slope needs to stop damming, draining and destroying West Slope rivers that are increasingly the drivers of the new recreation economy supporting Western Colorado.
Finally, the Colorado River system is already stretched to the brink. We’re now in a 20-plus year drought that’s going to require that all of Colorado – including the West Slope — use less water, not more. Vote no on 7A this year and encourage the district to refine its needs to better reflect protecting the West Slope’s environment, rivers and economy.
Mitsch Bush will listen to constituents
I found my ballot in the mail today, which is a beautiful thing. I am writing in support of listening, compromise and in support of Diane Mitsch Bush.
She served as a Routt County Commissioner, as a Democrat in a conservative county. The only way to do that is by listening to, compromising with, and serving your constituency.
Through listening and compromise, we all can find common ground and move forward as a community; whether that community is a family, neighborhood, town, county, district, state or nation. That takes compromise. Not a compromise of values, but a compromise of outcomes. I am happy to compromise my discomfort of wearing a mask, when required or prudent, in the interest of my own health and the health of those around me.
Her opponent, Lauren Boebert, is on the record as being “sick and tired of compromise” as she has shown in her “past run-ins with law enforcement, food inspectors and tax bills.” (quotes from the Gazette). A legislator can’t possibly be effective with that attitude. Negotiating and compromising are job requirements.
Diane Mitsch Bush has a proven track record of effectiveness. Diane even earned the endorsement of Republican Russ George, our former Colorado Speaker of the House, because of her track record of listening to her constituents and colleagues.
Vote for Diane Mitsch Bush. She has the experience to listen to our diverse CD3 and find compromises that will represent us.
Rep. Will sets the standard for honest representation
In a country where we are continually bombarded with divisive messaging, I am honored to know someone as genuine as our current House District 57 Rep. Perry Will. He is a native Coloradan and has a deep understanding of the people here and what is crucial to our way of life.
While others throw around the term “bipartisan” like a buzzword, Rep. Will embodies that philosophy in how he approaches issues. In fact, last year I sat down with him to discuss the critical need for local library funding. Rep. Will took notes, asked intelligent questions, and genuinely listened to what I had to say. He decided to endorse our measure, not because of any political party, but instead because he realized the important role libraries play in our communities.
You also can get a glimpse into his character by looking at all the awards and endorsements he has received in his relatively short time in office. He was named the “Freshman Legislator of the Year” by the Independent Bankers of Colorado, The Colorado Civil Justice League’s “2020 Common Sense in the Courtroom Award,” and was named in Healthier Colorado’s Legislative Scorecard as one of the top elected officials who “received the highest scores in the Colorado Legislature on supporting crucial pieces of legislation which made care more accessible.” He has been endorsed by the Colorado Fraternal Order of Police, Colorado Academy of Family Physicians, and Colorado Dental Association just to name a few.
We need more people like Rep. Will in the legislature who can bring honesty and critical thinking to the voice of rural Colorado. Please join me in voting for him this November.
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