Wednesday letters: More council endorsements and thoughts on the career expo flap; plus housing, highway trash, good read and a thank you
Editor’s note: We will accept letters to the editor related to the April 4 Glenwood Springs City Council Election until 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 29. Any letters received after that time will not be published.
Burke for Willman
I am writing this letter to encourage everyone to vote for Charlie Willman for City Council.
I have known Charlie and worked with him for close to 40 years. We coached youth soccer together, coached the Glenwood Springs Mock Trial teams, rafted and played sports together. Charlie has held many of the city offices in Glenwood — city attorney, city judge, DBA member, Kiwanis member and always a volunteer to most any worthy project.
He has always given his time and expertise to what he feels is best for the community, often with little reward.
Glenwood is at an important crossroads as growth, sprawl, infrastructure and human needs compete for scarce capital. We need to reelect Charlie to the City Council to benefit from his expertise and experience. Please refer to prior letters from Charlie and Blythe Chapman for further details of what he has done for Glenwood.
Wes Burke, Glenwood Springs
I am writing in support of Charlie Willman for Ward 3 City Council. I have had the pleasure of knowing Charlie for over 10 years. I have been highly impressed with his efforts both in volunteer roles and in his long commitment to City of Glenwood Springs service.
I first met Charlie in his work with Glenwood Springs High School Mock Trial Team. Charlie’s 20-year guidance of this team shows his willingness to take up a task and carry it through to success. However, what I was most impressed by was the mutual respect Charlie and the team members showed each other. Charlie also volunteers on the boards of River Bridge Regional Center and Mountain Valley Developmental Services. That speaks to Charlie’s quality of leadership and caring for others.
I have served with Charlie on the City Transportation Commission both while he was a commissioner and later when he became a city council member. Charlie has always done his homework in these roles. He reads everything, coming prepared, he asks questions of staff and others at meetings, he brings perspective of business owners and citizens. Charlie works with all parties and often bridges divides between opposing groups. We did not always have agreement on issues but knew we had been listened to.
Finally, Charlie is respected statewide, serving on Colorado Municipal League where he is an important voice for Glenwood and other small towns on issues such as housing and local control.
I urge your vote for Charlie for the benefit of Glenwood Springs.
John Stephens, Glenwood Springs
Schachter has earned a seat on council
With the upcoming Glenwood Springs City Council elections, I had some difficulty in choosing whom to support and endorse for the Ward 3 seat currently held by Charlie Willman. He is an experienced and long-time community member and has been involved with many aspects of the community.
The same can be said for challenger Sumner Schachter. I believe Sumner deserves the opportunity to serve on city council and bring his many positive qualities, care, broad visions and inclusive understandings and beliefs to your city government and our region.
As a long-time resident of the city, working and being involved in so many aspects of life in the city, region and neighborhood, he has truly shown he cares. He has devoted so much time to and towards very important issues, from serving many years on the city Planning and Zoning Commission to spearheading traffic safety and calming as an originating member of Imagine Glenwood. He not only has a grasp of many pressing issues, but has also jumped in devoting many hours towards proffering solutions to consider and pursue.
As a citizen volunteer, he has been very involved with area housing issues as a key and active member in helping to pass the workforce housing assistance funding through ballot issue 2C. His understanding and awareness of current and future needs motivated him to be so very and necessarily involved in the Comprehensive Plan update. This plan was very overdue for a revisit and his involvement and input shows that one person can be involved and help make a difference.
He has lived in the city and Ward 3 neighborhood for many, many years and I believe will be accessible, knowledgeable and responsive to not only that ward’s issues, but also to broader city-wide and regional concerns. I’m also impressed with his involvement, openness and understanding of our Latino/a/x community. He is down-to-earth, even literally, as one who enjoys and participates in the many recreational activities our community and area offers.
As I live outside city limits I cannot vote but encourage Ward 3 voters to vote for Sumner. As a city council member he will bring important qualities to that position. He has financial expertise as a retired financial advisor and has shown he truly and honestly cares about his community as shown through his determination and gifts of time, care and personal involvement.
Greg Jeung, Glenwood Springs
Border Patrol saves lives
The purpose of my letter is to respond to the ill-placed criticism/apology directed at the United State Border Patrol’s participation at the recent career fair.
I think it’s time for the representatives who were so critical of the USBP’s participation to apologize to the USBP. The USBP, as well other entities in public safety/law enforcement, are very noble professions. Disagree?
Take the time and do a “ride-a-long” with the men and women who bear the uniform run and into the face of danger everyday. They do so to help complete strangers who are at some of the lowest, most dangerous and depressing points in their lives. They do so with the sense of commitment and duty to their communities, (those communities included schools).
If you do muster the courage to participate in a ride-a-long, I encourage you to do so with the officers who are on the front line, not with a supervisor; go where the rubber meets the road if you will. Sit back and watch how these professionals handle some of the most difficult situations you will ever see in your life, and then realize they do it every single day, their entire careers.
These noble professionals are members of the US Border Patrol, as well. Don’t think so? I direct you to a moment just recently where a “coyote” — human trafficker — dumped a 1-year old child at a river crossing in the Yuma-Mexico sector, left him by himself, and jumped back in the river to escape.
The child, wandering around the river’s edge, nearly fell in — had it not been for, that’s right, a Border Patrol agent who spotted the child and grabbed them before they fell into the river and drowned.
Before you start spouting off, this was an isolated case, think again. Agents have been saving people from drowning frequently, not to mention getting them out of semi-trailers and railroad box cars baking under the southern sun, and other horrific situations. Do us a favor and get educated to the point of common sense and not to the point of ignorance.
Steve Smith, Carbondale
As a parent of two children attending Roaring Fork schools, I found the recent apologies from Dr. Rodríguez unprofessional and unwarranted.
The Border Patrol regularly attends career expos throughout the U.S., including actual southern border states such as my former state of New Mexico.
There is no outcry from other communities, because this is a complete non-issue. The Border Patrol doesn’t attend these events to detain and question students. In fact, no student is forced to speak with the agent in attendance, who in the case of the GSHS event was Hispanic.
Close to 25% of the Border Patrol’s employees are Hispanic. To say someone or their family had a traumatic experience with the Border Patrol ignores the purpose of the event.
Let’s get back to educating our students.
Paul Smith, Glenwood Springs
Maybe say ‘thanks,’ instead
“Insensitive at best,” “grave violation of the community’s trust,” “traumatic to many students and their families,” “if even one student felt unsafe, that we messed up,” “not any direct threats that we know of.”
What crisis just occurred to cause the superintendent, on behalf of the school district, the state representative, Voces Unidas and Youthentity to fall over each other with apologies, demands for apologies, and dramatic showmanship about what occurred.
Well, it was the opportunity to have the United States Border Patrol, like 90 some other exhibitors, present career considerations to young adults, without interruption or politics of the adults involved above.
Now we have seen the beginning of commitment by these adults to lock out and cleanse from future job fairs important, critical and honorable careers because if “Dr. Rodriguez feels that if even one student felt unsafe, that we messed up.”
Are the future apologies and cleansing lined up for, say, city, county and state law enforcements agencies, the Coast Guard, the Marines, Army, Navy, the military academies; then reach over to oil and gas, McDonalds, Starbucks and any other organization that may make one student (or adult) feel “unsafe”?
So interesting because Dr. Rodriguez, the state rep and the others would not hesitate dialing 911 with their own emergencies and don’t think twice about how many lives are saved and protected every day by these first responders who, unlike the above listed adults, put their lives on the line when called.
It is said. “A veteran is someone who at one point writes a blank check payable to the US for any amount including and up to their life.”
Show me one border that does not have the need for protection or the need to provide help and safety for those within the border. This would include the schools and the state House itself.
And, hearing in the background about another school shooting, we should count our blessings that those officers, who killed the assassin, may have begun their careers having gone to a job expo.
What should have happened with the above adults is the leadership to put their political bias aside and have met the exhibitors and said, “Hey, thanks for showing up, we have wonderful young adults looking for the road to travel and, oh by the way, thank you for your service.”
Scott McInnis, Grand Junction (native of Glenwood, having had the privilege to serve 22 years as your state representative and US Congressman)
School district needs more inclusion
If the Re-1 school district is “inclusive,” why is it not extending that inclusivity to a huge segment of the district’s residents. I’m referring to a recent email superintendent Jesús Rodríguez sent to school district parents, but apparently not anyone else.
This is noted in a March 24 article in the GPI. The sentence in question reads “… I sincerely apologize on behalf of the Roaring Fork School District.” Because only parents received the email, it looks to me like Rodríguez is only apologizing to them.
How about the rest of the district’s residents. They don’t count? Rodríguez is only apologizing to parents? That’s what it sounds like to me.
I want to get on the same email list that parents are on. I want to be “included” in all email correspondence between the district and parents. Other district residents probably want on the email list, as well.
Come on, Re-1. Would it be that difficult for non-parents to be included on the parental email list? I suggest the school district reply to this question in a letter to the editor or guest opinion in the GPI, plus post the answer on the school district’s website.
Lynn “Jake” Burton, Glenwood Springs
Must read for adventurers
Following the recent backcountry events in our valley I would recommend reading Lawrence Gonzalez book titled “Deep Survival,” subtitled “Who Lives, Who Dies and Why.”
This is a should-read for anyone who spends time outdoors, even in low-risk activities.
Gonzalez explains with clear science why seemingly smart and experienced people continue to make avoidable deadly choices. Gift this book to those you care about.
Dan Walsh, Carbondale
Well, here we go again. Another spring and more visible piles of trash starting from the westbound exit at 114 and through South Canyon.
What does it take to keep our beautiful city clean?
Ronda Dennie, West Glenwood
Free market solution
Hats off to Commissioners Martin, Samson, and Jankovsky for invoking discretion against the tendency of automatically approving anything “affordable” just because it is deemed by its progenitors as affordable. This is not unlike the “sustainability” movement. Anything with that moniker, too, is to be automatically approved with a reflex action, without evaluating its actual impact.
While the modular home production facility itself sounds exciting, employing 30 people, even building a real product, given that the commissioners (and the applicants) associated their approvals of the facility with the expansion of future, affordable housing, the topic of low income housing surfaces.
Having been in the multi-housing development (affordable and market rate) business for 27 years in three states, I can attest to the unique difficulties in operating affordable housing. Those renting subsidized units, more than with market rate, tend (with many wonderful exceptions noted) to take poorer care of their housing, cars, kids, pets and possessions, bolstering the management burden.
Locating a manager who will enforce the rules against overcrowding, littering, graffiti, poorly maintained cars leaking toxic fluids, hygiene, clutter, dogs roaming/defecating, unattended children, etc. — is challenging. Doing so is unpopular. Low income housing is permanent, with restrictions lasting 40-50 years. It is poorly structured, with rents fixed at inflation yet expenses free-floating, invariably inciting a rent-expense gap the taxpayer must later address.
The solution to a housing shortage is not unlike any other, adding supply. It should be easier to develop market-rate housing of all varieties. If aesthetically conceived, rental townhomes, stacked flats, limited lot line and mixed-use retail/housing communities were readily accepted by the planners, such would ease the burden. But in general terms, ostensibly, nothing of any significant size is being built.
A casual drive between West Glenwood through Silt and East Rifle reveals a vast, 18-mile stretch of de facto horse pastures, a portion of which ideally should be used for market-rate housing, shopping, and jobs. If landowners aren’t willing to sell, that’s one thing. If leaders are discouraging market-rate developers and new community growth with frivolous costs, studies, and unnecessary delays, that’s another.
Jonathan Reed, President, Jonathan Reed & Associates, Inc., Colorado Springs
On Feb. 24, I hit a deer while driving on West Battlement Parkway in Battlement Mesa.
I managed to get to a spot where I could get off the road, and called the State Police to report the accident for insurance purposes. I was out of the car, sometimes on the phone, sometimes not, but mainly just sat in the car waiting.
In the 15-minute wait that I had, I was astounded by the number of people who slowed down to check on me, ensuring that I was OK and that help was on the way. Thank you to all of you who did. It goes to show you that there still are many helpful and friendly people left in this world.
Penelope Olson, Battlement Mesa
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