Wednesday letters: Extra elections, ADUs, oil and gas comments, memorial tourney thanks |

Wednesday letters: Extra elections, ADUs, oil and gas comments, memorial tourney thanks

Elections abuse

I am writing to express my concern about the overuse of special elections in our community and to propose some solutions to improve our electoral process. While it is concerning that only around 30% of voters participate in special election cycles, it is important to remember that we elect council members to make decisions on our behalf.

However, I strongly believe that we should move our regular city election cycles to align with national election cycles in November. This change would increase voter engagement, efficiency and cost-effectiveness. We need to ensure that our electoral process encourages participation and provides every citizen with the opportunity to exercise their democratic rights. The decision to switch to April elections was made with good intentions, but it has proven to be less engaging for the community.

Moreover, I have long suggested that we transition to an elected mayor system instead of the current council-appointed one. This change would increase accountability, transparency and provide a clear mandate for the mayor to represent the will of the people. It is time for the people of Glenwood to have a say in who represents the community as the public face. We can accomplish this task by designating one of the two “at-large” seats as the Mayor’s seat and allowing that title to stand for four years instead of two. Every ward would still have their representative, and the council would still function as a seven-vote system. As a former appointed mayor, I am confident that the community would prefer to select the mayor directly themselves instead of by proxy through the At-Large and Ward representatives.

I urge our community leaders to seriously consider these proposals. While we elect council members to make decisions, we also need to ensure that our electoral process empowers our citizens and encourages participation. By moving our election cycles and transitioning to an elected mayor system, we can improve our democracy, strengthen our community, and build a more cohesive future for all.

Leo McKinney, Glenwood Springs

ADUs as housing solution

Affordable housing is a critical issue facing Garfield County today. As the cost of living continues to rise, many people are finding it increasingly difficult to find suitable housing that fits within their budget. 

One solution that has gained popularity in recent years is the use of auxiliary dwelling units (ADUs). These are small, self-contained living units that can be added to existing residential properties. By taking advantage of ADUs, homeowners can create additional housing units on their property, which can be rented out to help address the affordable housing crisis.

Garfield County has recognized the value of ADUs in addressing the housing crisis, and have made it easier for homeowners to build them. ADUs are allowed by right, which means that homeowners do not need to go through a lengthy and expensive permitting process. 

By making it easier for homeowners to build ADUs, Garfield County has hopes of seeing an increase in the supply of affordable housing, while also providing homeowners with an additional source of income. 

There are three criterias to receiving a permit for your ADU and that is water, septic and accessibility. Overall, ADUs represent a promising solution to the affordable housing crisis, and homeowners should consider taking advantage of this option in Garfield County.

Caleb Waller, Silt

COGCC comments

Out of concern for the proposed oil and gas development in West Mamm Creek Valley, I attended the COGCC listening session on April 13. I attended to state my objection to the COGCC to the granting of any permit to the proposed degradation of the spectacular West Mamm Creek Valley.

As a relative newcomer to the area, I find that the meeting generated more questions for me than comments.

Why would Terra feel confident in proposing a plan to drill 90-plus wells and running 6 miles of pipeline up West Mamm Creek Valley given the valley’s existing designation as an HPH (Elk Production and Winter Grazing) and as upgradient of riparian areas and wetlands?

The most recent opportunity for residents to speak to the COGCC was in November of 2021. Given the importance and cumulative impact of the oil and gas industry on this area, why was there only one Garfield County Commissioner attending the April 13 meeting? Why did this commissioner speak and then leave the meeting after only hearing several of his residents, missing the opportunity to hear the voices of his constituents on their concerns?

I did notice that the commissioner attending did speak to the importance of the jobs the oil and gas industry provided. I am assuming generating job growth is an ongoing issue in this area, so I would have to then ask why, when asked, the commissioners declined a letter of justification to the City of Rifle, Habitat for Humanity and the BOCES for their project producing affordable housing as well as the jobs and training to do so.

I would hope that residents who share my concerns and questions would look for opportunities to communicate with the COGCC to preserve West Mamm Creek Valley and similar areas. Please ask that the upcoming rulemaking will provide, with certainty, that the COGCC mission will be preserved as intended.

Michelle Brower, Rifle

Goscha Memorial Tourney thanks

The fourth annual Trent Goscha Memorial baseball tournament was held at the Roaring Fork High School baseball field April 6-8. It was the largest tournament yet, hosting six teams from across the state: Canon City, Buena Vista, Grand Junction Central, Cortez, Glenwood Springs and Roaring Fork. 

The weather cooperated and we enjoyed many hours of great baseball, with the RF Rams even making the championship game! 

What made the weekend so enjoyable and memorable, however, are the people in our community and from all over the state who came to support our family, our high school baseball players, and Trent’s memory. We were able to raise over $5,000 in raffle ticket, t-shirt, and cup sales, and even more in donations from local businesses that will go directly to the Trent Goscha Spirit Award to a RFHS senior. 

We were also able to feed all teams at least one hot and delicious meal to show our thanks for them playing in the tournament. Trent’s sister, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins all worked tirelessly to make the weekend great, but we couldn’t have had such a successful tournament without the support of the following community partners and volunteers:

Marty Madsen, Crista Barlow and RFHS Baseball; Glen Jammaron, Alpine Bank; Mick Ritter, GJ Jackalopes; Chris & Tami Broadhurst, R&A Enterprises; Ron Goscha Trucking, Todd Goscha, Valley Lumber; Kurt Trede and Carol Bruno, Peppino’s Pizza; Stacey James, Gran Farnum Printing; Travis Stewart and Sean Mello, Western Slope Material; Jim and Jen Diehl, Za Pizza; Ryan Hudson and Rifle HS FFA Club; E.H. Beamery; JW Diesel; Divide Creek Builders; Jason Love; Marty, Alicia, Tristan and Lane Cheney; Rick, Jenny, Katie and Molly Rhinaman; Hannah Hayden; Eurana Altizer, Duke & Maddox Hardin; Sharon Samuelson.

Please come out and celebrate this year’s TG Spirit Award winner and raffle winners who will be announced at the RFHS baseball game at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 6. We are so very grateful for this community!

Mike and Jayme Goscha, Glenwood Springs

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.