Monday letters: More Carbondale election endorsements; 480 Donegan, Re-2 recall and child abuse awareness thoughts |

Monday letters: More Carbondale election endorsements; 480 Donegan, Re-2 recall and child abuse awareness thoughts

Vote Quinn and Merriott

Would you like two hardworking new members on your Carbondale Board of Trustees? Then vote for Frosty Merriott and Colin Quinn.

Frosty has been on Carbondale boards for years and always doing a great job. Frosty was the guy who pushed through our Environmental Bill of Rights. Now he would like to come back to the board and make it happen.

Besides, who’s better than a CPA on the board to keep an eye on the finances.

Colin has been the busy chair of your very own Carbondale Environmental Board for the past five years. Colin is also with the USAID that is one of our country’s connections with other countries around the world. He knows a lot about good governance near and far.

He also sports a PHD in environmental science. There’s another big asset for a trustee. Vote these guys onto the board, you will be glad you did.

Patrick Hunter


Robison for trustee

Jess Robison is the best candidate for Carbondale Town Trustee. Jess was raised in the Roaring Fork Valley and has a deep appreciation for the character of our town that we all know and love. Because of her varied work experience, she understands how to bring people together in a collaborative environment to find solutions in ways that make everyone feel included and she amplifies all voices.

Jess understands the complex nature of land use and affordable housing construction, specifically in the Roaring Fork Valley. She brings a decade of board experience, including 10 years on the Pitkin County Telecommunications Advisory Board, where she has spent time listening to the unique needs of radio stations and how to make sure that all residents of the valley have access to news and emergency communications.

Jess is a hard worker, a good listener, and values a healthy democracy. I am certain her leadership skills will serve Carbondale and my fellow residents well.

Don’t forget to vote on April 5 and when you do, choose Jess.

Kris Jewkes


‘Yes’ on Carbondale pool question

I remember playing poolside games as a youngster. Marco-Polo was one. However, if you couldn’t touch the bottom of the pool or didn’t know how to swim, you could not play. You watched!

Every town needs to have a community pool. It’s important. It offers one the chance to relax, cool off and, most importantly, learn how to swim.

According to the Red Cross, over 54% of adults in America cannot swim well enough to save their own life. Youngsters need to be taught how to swim, the sooner the better. Access to a public pool is critical.

Carbondale’s community pool is in disrepair, creatively held together with “duct-tape!” It’s time to be replaced.

I would suggest that some key attributes of a small town are a library, town park and, of course, a public pool. Let’s keep it that way!

Learning how to swim is a life saving skill. Please vote yes for Carbondale’s Ballot Issue A.

Lance Luckett


Don’t repeat past referendum mistake

I was impressed by Erica Diemoz’ letter in the paper concerning 480 Donegan, and frankly I am concerned over the rhetoric in the community over this project. I have known the Diemoz family for over two decades and have been impressed both by their level of commitment to the community and the quality of work done by the firm. They would not bring a project to the community that did not live up to that standard.

Growth in Glenwood Springs is constrained by its canyon geography, with Glenwood Canyon to the east, South Canyon to the west, the Flat Tops to the north and the existing developed areas to the south. We don’t have much land to construct new housing for our needed workforce.

I was on the City Council in the early 2000s when a similar citizens petition resulted in the denial of an annexation for what was then called Red Feather Ridge. It was not as dense as the current project, but the access issues were much more restrictive, and its level of county zoning was only for what we now see, an approximately 40 large lot, large home development. We can’t afford to make this mistake again. I ask everyone who has children, whether they be young or adults, can they return to Glenwood to live, work and make a community?

Proceeding with this annexation provides the ability to develop this property in a comprehensive manner, providing needed housing for those who wish to live and work in the valley. It provides the funding and the impetus to develop and implement a needed emergency evacuation plan, the property to build a new, much needed and far more accessible West Glenwood fire station, and it will provide direction for the redevelopment of the Glenwood Springs Mall, providing commercial opportunities in particular for those who live in West Glenwood.

When you receive your ballots, I urge you to consider the future of our community and vote “no” to not overturn the annexation of the 480 Donegan parcel.

David Merritt

Glenwood Springs

Decline to sign Re-2 petition

As a parent and teacher in the Garfield RE-2 district, I’m writing in support of Board President Meriya Stickler. Stickler is the kind of person we need to serve our schools — committed, competent, and fair minded.

Stickler was duly elected in 2019. At the completion of her term in 2023, voters will have the chance to decide if they believe she has served us well or if they would rather replace her with another candidate. That’s how democracy works.

The current recall petition to remove Stickler is a frivolous, expensive, undemocratic and divisive move at a time when our community can ill afford any of those things. A recall is appropriate in cases of gross mismanagement or illegal activity — not when people simply disagree with an elected official.

It would cost Garfield Re-2 taxpayers 10s of thousands of dollars to put the recall on a ballot. And if such a recall election were to fail, Garfield Re-2 school district would then be required to reimburse Stickler for costs she incurred fighting the recall. I would be extremely disappointed to have district funds go to this instead of student services.

Over the past two years, the school board did an admirable job of balancing in-person learning and protecting the health of our community. Ours was one of the small minority of districts in the whole country to make in-person learning possible starting in August 2020. While some people disagree with mask requirements, the board was simply complying with the best public health information available.

Please decline to sign this petition. Rather than rehashing the divisiveness of the past, it’s time for us all to move forward. Let’s allow Garfield Re-2 to focus their energy and funds on our children, not political grievances.

Gina Thompson

New Castle

Repeal annexation

I am writing in hopes that you will vote “yes” for the repeal of annexation of West Glenwood pasture development and support sustainability as the number one priority on future development in Glenwood Springs. I am grateful that I have been able to build a career and family in the Roaring Fork Valley over the last two decades. Being in education has allowed me to learn about not only the ecology and geology of our area but also truly know the people in our communities.

While growth is part of all communities, it is imperative to grow sustainably to protect quality of life. Unlike areas on the plains, this valley has limited space, roads and resources. I’ve often heard that we live in a bubble, and in a lot of ways that is true. Our bubble is unique and beautiful. It is surrounded by gold medal rivers, incredible mountains, wilderness and lush valleys.

For growth to be sustainable and to avoid gridlock and depletion of our rivers, land and air quality, we need to be cognizant of the fact that our space and resources are finite. Our bubble, while beautiful, is relatively small.

The expansion of population over the last four years in Glenwood Springs has been explosive and has increased the pressure on our roads, infrastructure and services. I recently watched traffic idling on the Grand Avenue bridge and was disheartened to see the cloud of air pollution rising from the congestion. I’ve also noticed the increase of soot and litter along the road with the constant stream of traffic on Highway 82. Our air quality has degraded due to the increase in traffic and the uptick of wildfires. The stress on our rivers is obvious in reduced flows and higher temperatures. Cities and counties may have the water rights to expand, but that doesn’t mean the river has the water to give.

One way or another we all have migrated here from somewhere else, but that does not mean that we can disregard carrying capacity and the reality of limited space.

Affordable housing can be created utilizing existing structures. Thriving towns are found in thriving ecosystems.

Megan Dean

Glenwood Springs

Retain annexation

I urge a “no” vote to repeal Ordinance 6-2021 regarding the annexation of the 480 Donegan property. City Councilor Shelley Kaup in her recent guest column outlined the many good reasons why both the project and the city’s approval process is far better than leaving this property to be developed commercially under the purview of Garfield County.

I commend the City Council, the Planning and Zoning Commission and city staff for diligently working with the community and the developer in an effort to address legitimate issues and reach an outcome that is in the city’s and neighborhood’s best interest.

As with most complex issues, the best solution is often not simple. Many issues such as those relating to infrastructure, emergency evacuation, open space, housing mix and neighborhood compatibility have been addressed. The ongoing process offers an opportunity to continue to address these issues and refine the final design.

The final project design is important. The city’s growth is an important and complex issue that should continue to be addressed with care and the application of sound planning principles. Please vote “no” on the repeal of this annexation.

John Burg

Glenwood Springs

Child abuse awareness

Signs of spring are nearing, grass is being uncovered, bikes are getting tuned, and children are out enjoying more hours of daylight. It’s a wonderful sight to see children living out their happy childhoods, laughing and playing innocently.

However, while we live in the beautiful Roaring Fork Valley, we are not immune to the injustices that can occur to children. One in eight children experience some form of abuse before they turn 18. One in 10 are sexually abused. And 90% of the perpetrators are known to the child and to the family.

Child abuse is a horrifying epidemic experienced by children of all races, ages, genders, religion, family socioeconomic status, academic ability, or any other classification. And it does happen here in our safe, close-knit valley.

When children in our neighborhoods, schools, church or camps are abused, River Bridge Regional Center (RBRC) is often alerted in order to step in and provide them with the essential services needed to heal from their trauma. In 2021, RBRC served 284 children and 426 non-offending family members, an 18% increase in clients in one year.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and RBRC is hosting a series of events to help bring awareness, education, and raise funds for our organization and mission. RBRC can’t provide the high quality of services and meet the needs of our clients without the support of our local community. Please consider supporting RBRC’s efforts that we put towards strengthening our community’s families through a donation and/or by educating yourself about child abuse statistics, signs, and prevention and sharing that information with a loved one. Information on our events can be found at If we are not talking about child abuse, we are not helping the children that it is affecting, or the children that it will affect.

Mary Cloud

Glenwood Springs

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