Wednesday letters: Election season political opinions abound

Jankovsky must go

Garfield County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky needs to replaced.

My parents were “I like Ike” true conservative Republicans. Their ashes would be turning over in the Colorado River if they could see what’s happened to the GOP today. Jankovsky represents what the Republican Party has devolved into: A MAGA politician who shows total fealty to neo-fascists like Donald Trump and Lauren Boebert. He doesn’t represent Garfield County.

Typical reactionaries, Jankovsky and his fellow travelers on the Board of County Commissioners are deep in the pockets of the oil and gas industry. They believe the county coffers will be filled in perpetuity by severance taxes from the industry. The commissioners don’t see, or don’t care to see, the detrimental effects of fossil fuels on our climate.

Garfield County spent $1.8 million futilely fighting state-drilling regulations designed to protect the health and safety of those living near wells. The commissioners approved drilling, fracking and injection wells within 500 feet of dwellings, fresh-water supplies and the Colorado River in Battlement Mesa. Jankovsky accepted a $10,000 donation from officers of SG Interests, a Texas-based oil and gas operation that’s interested in drilling on Thompson Divide.

He has been seen in attendance at the Cornerstone Christian Center in Basalt, a cultish, evangelical gathering place that feuded with Eagle County government about their refusal to require the congregation to wear masks during the pandemic. The speaker at his appearance was far right-wing Christian nationalist David Barton, founder of the WallBuiders, opposed to immigration, LGBTQ tolerance and separation of church and state. Jankovsky gave him a standing ovation.

Twice he has voted against funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides options to prospective mothers and guidance on contraception. Abortion is actually down in this country primarily because teenage pregnancies are declining, and Planned Parenthood can take partial credit for that.

Jankovsky’s opponent, Ryan Gordon, has kind of been the invisible candidate. Missing is the vigor and enthusiasm shown by commissioner candidates Beatriz Soto and Leslie Robinson two years ago when they lost by a whisker to incumbents John Martin and Mike Samson. The demographics of Garfield County is changing. Gordon has a shot to relieve us of Jankovsky.

If ever there was a case for term limits, the Garfield County Board of Commissioners is it. The three sitting commissioners held their seats when the Utes prevailed in Garfield County. It’s time for a change, and there’ll be no time better than Nov. 8.                                                                     

Fred Malo Jr., Carbondale

Tom showed leadership during pandemic

The pandemic was one of the most stressful times for businesses in Garfield County. Never have we had to deal with a crisis that shut down our local economy overnight. Though the term “unprecedented” has been overused to describe the COVID-19 pandemic, those days were unlike any we’ve seen in our lifetimes. 

I’m voting for Tom Jankovsky precisely because he responded to those “unprecedented” times with exemplary leadership. 

Without a template to follow, he and the Garfield County commissioners played a mission-critical role in keeping our local economy afloat. When only essential businesses were permitted by the state to operate, Tom designated construction as an essential business and encouraged area bankers to process PPP loans quickly and efficiently, which helped me and the people I employ make a living and provide for our families.

I know that he also helped ensure that our vibrant restaurant and tourism communities also survived the government’s business off-switch. In December 2020, Gov. Polis shut down restaurants. Thanks to the foresight of Tom and the commissioners in requesting a waiver from the state, restaurants were able to remain open. 

The same was true for our region’s many tourism businesses. While visitor traffic was low and guidelines for public safety were in place, attractions including Glenwood Hot Springs, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and others were still able to receive visitors, so their revenues weren’t completely flat-lined. 

Now that we are past the pandemic, our economic development needs have shifted. We need affordable housing and healthcare; energy and water security; continued maintenance and improvements to our infrastructure; and protection for our open spaces and wild lands. Tom is an advocate for all of these.

He has a proven track record that was tested during the pandemic. He has demonstrated he has the skills and competence to deal with whatever comes our way. I’m confident in his ability to lead Garfield County over the next four years. His experience is unmatched. Vote for Tom J. for Garfield County commissioner.

Mike Gamba, Glenwood Springs

Stop the vitriol

Negative and misleading information has sadly become a staple in national and local elections. This is a waste of time, not to mention an assault on the good will of people and positive community relationships. The sooner we reject candidates’ vitriol and begin the debate of true differences, the better. 

An accusation of orchestrated election sign tampering issued by Tom Jankovsky is an example of such misdirection. Ryan Gordon would never condone such an act. Seriously, has Tom met and talked with Ryan? Ryan represents the best in all of us: honest, community-minded, considerate and collaborative. His response to the accusation exemplifies his approach to problem-solving: He said that he would gladly clean up the sign together with Tom.

It is frustrating when someone disrespects property. When Paula Stepp ran against Jankovsky, an expensive banner that I planted along I-70 was stolen. I was angry and frustrated at the lack of respect for our elections and community. Sadly, there are people on both sides who have little respect for others’ work.

Ryan will make a positive impact on our community. His skills as a project manager will help him identify issues, communicate priorities to a diverse group of stakeholders and find realistic solutions. His professional experience has given him a deep understanding of the complexity and scope of the issues in Garfield County. Most of all, his character makes him an exceptional choice. Vote! And, cast your vote for Ryan Gordon.

David McGavock, Glenwood Springs

Couey the experienced candidate

As a fellow Colorado County Treasurer and Public Trustee, I can tell you that experience matters. Carrie Couey has the experience Garfield County needs and wants. It takes experience to successfully manage a public funds investment portfolio, to accurately collect and disburse hundreds of millions of dollars to the taxing authorities annually as well as to build an exceptional team to serve the public. 

Carrie has that experience. She’s a wife and a mom and is very involved in her community. For the benefit of Garfield County, please support and vote for Carrie Couey for Garfield County Treasurer and Public Trustee.

Irene Josey, Larimer County Treasurer and Public Trustee

Moller for clerk

I confidently recommend Becky Moeller for the position of Garfield County Clerk. I have known Becky personally and professionally for over 10 years and believe her to be the best candidate for this position. If elected, I am certain she will bring her incredible experience and the highest level of integrity to the office of Garfield County Clerk. 

The current state of distrust and divisiveness within our election systems is an important issue that needs new energy and ideas in the Clerk’s office. Her mission to increase transparency and protect the process for all citizens, regardless of political affiliation, is of utmost importance — now more than ever. 

In addition, modernizing the office to increase efficiency and user friendliness for residents and staff are important priorities that Ms. Moller will enact day one. It’s time to move in a new direction, and I believe Becky is the person for the job.

Julie Warren, Carbondale

Harmon for clerk

We support and recommend Jackie Harmon for Garfield Clerk and Recorder. We have known Jackie for over 30 years, both personally and professionally.

She has incredible work ethic and is a team player. She has the knowledge from her many years of service in the clerk and recorders office. She has always been willing to learn and grow with every process and program that comes her way. She is a huge asset to our community.

Please join us and our family,and vote for Jackie Harmon as our next Garfield Clerk and Recorder.

Jay and Michelle Rickstrew, Rifle

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