Wednesday letters: Garfield County Commission race, supporting the fire district, unhoused in Carbondale, librarians shouldn’t be arrested

Garfield County Commission candidate

Yesterday John Martin said, “[a]nd I’m old. I’m gray. I’ve been here too long.” No one can dispute that John Martin has a long and distinguished career serving Garfield County. Since he became county commissioner, the county has certainly changed. In 1996, when he was sworn in, I was graduating high school. I’ve earned a bachelor’s degree in human sciences, a law degree, went to ministry school on a pastoral track, and become a mom. During this time Garfield County grew.   

We need to address the issues we face today in ways that meet today’s needs. We need to work with neighboring counties and municipalities to develop strategies to find housing solutions that fit Garfield County and our region. I will open the door to the discussion, to the hard questions, to the hard work. 

We need to protect our land and our water. We need to address the needs of our communities by providing language access programs. We need to support our mental health resources. We need to bolster our economy by making sure our local industries are well supported. How we need to address these things has changed in the past 27 years. 

Being a county commissioner or town council member requires that we balance our own personal opinions, the wishes of the community, the law, and the outcome of decisions we make.  We have to look at the downstream consequences of our decisions. It is necessary to make decisions with as little personal bias as possible. We need balance and an understanding of the law on our commission. This is why I am qualified to be the next commissioner. I know how to set aside the me for the we. 

We need new ideas and a new path forward. We can ensure that we are moving forward rather than staying stagnant by voting in new public servants, like me, who are ready to do the hard work necessary to move Garfield County forward. 

Caitlin Carey, Candidate for Garfield County Commissioner, District 2

Expressing gratitude

The Basalt & Rural Fire Protection District (BRFPD) Board of Directors wish to express gratitude for the support from Eagle and Pitkin County residents of the BRFPD. We sincerely appreciate your vote of confidence on the Nov. 7, 2023 ballot issue. While we realize this is a very challenging time for many property owners who will see increases to property taxes, and the bond will add further tax liability, approval permits us to move forward with many important projects necessary for BRFPD’s ability to meet its core mission.

Now and into the future the BRFPD Board of Directors are committed to being good stewards with the money generated from the bond. The bond will be financed at the best available rate. We are striving to provide a temporary mil credit, resulting in a reduction in 2024 property taxes collected for BRFPD.

With the bond approval we will purchase the land we currently occupy and expand the footprint to five acres. This will allow for a remodel and expansion of the existing El Jebel fire station. It will also allow for four to six employee housing units and on-site vehicle maintenance and training facilities to be constructed.

Thank you again for the support. We are excited to continue to be able to provide exceptional services and will be set up for success for many more years to come.

BRFPD Board of Directors: Ed VanWalraven, President; Leroy Duroux, Vice President; John Young, Treasurer; Hutch Foster; Vonda Willams

More gratitude

The Roaring Fork Fire Rescue Authority (RFFRA) is comprised of the Basalt & Rural Fire Protection District (BRFPD) and the Snowmass-Wildcat Fire Protection District (SWFPD). Through a creation agreement signed in 2017, and later updated in 2018, RFFRA provides emergency and non-emergency services to both districts.

The RFFRA Board of Directors wish to express gratitude for the support from Eagle and Pitkin County residents of the BRFPD and sincerely appreciate your vote of confidence on the Nov. 7, 2023 ballot issue that allows BRFPD to move forward with important projects that will directly benefit RFFRA. We acknowledge this is a challenging time for property owners who will see increases to their property taxes in 2024.

The bond approval allows BRFPD to purchase the land they currently lease and expand the footprint to five acres. It will allow four to six employees housing units and maintenance and training facilities to be constructed. The employee housing units will provide affordable housing to RFFRA employees. The maintenance facility will be equipped to service all RFFRA apparatus and vehicles. The training facility will provide valuable training opportunities to all RFFRA members and allow for neighboring agencies who provide RFFRA automatic and mutual aid to utilize the training facility.

Thank you again for the support. With the bond approved we will continue to be able to provide exceptional services to BRFPD and SWFPD through RFFRA.

RFFRA Board of Directors: Ed VanWalraven, president; Scott Arthur, vice president; Ellie Striegler, treasurer; Leroy Duroux; Dave Heivly; John Young

Build it, they will come

Wow. Eighty foreign nationals are living under the Carbondale bridge. Voces Unidas declared it a crisis that is “the community’s role to holistically support and welcome the newcomers.” Voces Unidas’ Alan Munoz added, “as an advocacy organization, we don’t do services.”

Wow. They make a list of needs and demand our community provide them, but they don’t provide any real support. How progressively liberal of Voces Unidas.

This is only the beginning of an unhoused invasion; build it and they will come. Take care of these 80 and hundreds more will surely come. Word travels fast.

We are called upon to not only welcome, but support and sustain these foreign nationals. How much of our quality of life are we to sacrifice for a naive, globalist ideology?

Unfortunately, that’s what sanctuary cities like Carbondale do at the expense of tax-paying citizens.


Bruno Kirchenwitz, Rifle

Educate yourself

I am a retired children’s Librarian. I worked at the Silt Branch Library for 20 years. We were dedicated to making the library a loving environment — an environment of learning and inclusion of all people in the community. It’s been interesting to watch the hysteria surrounding the current protest of magna books. What will be the next books asked to be removed from library shelves? Banning of certain books will never stop with just one book or group of books. Do the people that are protesting the magna books really think kids can’t find anything they want on the internet?

I really couldn’t believe Robin Pruett suggest librarians be arrested. I suggest Robin take a trip to the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. It is a sacred place built for reminding people of Hilter’s hate for Jews. He was able to inhumanly kill 6 million people because of their beliefs and faith. Banning of books was just one of his tactics. Arresting innocent people was another. Your letter suggesting local librarians be arrested is proof the hysteria surrounding magna books has gone too far! 

Ann Nicholson, New Castle

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