Friday letters: Final council election endorsements; plus Uinta RR, housing and traffic
Schachter and Hershey
We need lots of common sense on Glenwood City Council. We need council members that listen and act on behalf of Glenwood residents, not the Realtors and the developers.
Fortunately, we have Summer Schachter and Tony Hershey. We need them on City Council. They are the very best for us. Please vote, on Tuesday, April 4 for Summer Schachter and Tony Hershey.
Michael Hoban, Glenwood Springs
Reelect Willman, Hershey
I have struggled with my thoughts on this coming local election. I believe in the honor and privilege of voting and have done so in every election since I was a kid. I am now in my 70s.
Even at this late date, I want the world and particularly my world to be perfect. It isn’t.
Because even in a nonexistent perfect world there is no candidate who agrees with all my thoughts and never has been. Because I cannot vote on agreement on all issues, I vote primarily on character and integrity.
Thus, I support both Charlie Willman and Tony Hershey and I hope you will vote for them both. Ms. Zalinski hopefully will fully involve herself in the work of the city and fill Mr. Hershey’s seat next time.
Despite the controversy of these past years and my differences with the council on a variety of issues, I believe in the good character of these two men. I also believe that history, deep knowledge of city issues, and incumbency is critical at this time. While neither are perfect, I believe both will be more perfect with my own commitment (and I hope yours to be more fully involved in our local government and demand more of myself.
By showing up. By speaking up. By writing and e-mailing and Facebooking. By social media-ing.
Citizen participation is vital to the success of Glenwood. Let’s all make that happen.
Cheryl Cain, Glenwood Springs
Surprise! Commissioners side with O&G
Up until a February work session with concerned members of the New Castle Town Council, the Garfield County commissioners had been silent on the proposed Uinta Basin Railway that would bring 315,000 barrels per day of highly viscous crude oil along the I-70 corridor and the Colorado River.
As expected, the commissioners backed the fossil fuel industry all the way.
Commissioner Mike Samson railed on at length about America’s energy independence. We are energy independent and have been since 2011. America is an energy exporter behind only Saudi Arabia and Russia. When it comes to the commissioner’s favorite fossil fuel, methane gas, we lead the world in exports.
This impure gunk being extracted in the Uinta Basin won’t fatten our domestic oil supply anyway. It’ll be refined on the Gulf Coast, then shipped overseas.
Commissioner Tom Jankovsky hit the nail on the head when he mentioned oil and gas severance taxes account for 25% of the county’s revenues. That’s what the commissioner’s support of the industry is all about.
Without that money flow, the commissioners would have to use some creativity to figure out how to support county services. Innovation isn’t in plentiful supply in the retirement home called the Garfield County Board of County Commissioners. It’s profits over people. Climate change and the preservation of the Colorado River’s magnificent canyons don’t matter.
Leave it to Commissioner John Martin to express the less combative, but nonetheless erroneous opinion. He claimed there’s no electricity without oil and gas. C’mon, John, this is the 21st century. We’re generating electricity with renewable resources like wind and solar. Right here in Garfield County, Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley has built the largest solar array in the state, a 22-acre facility that will provide electricity to 1,000 homes.
Would you like to tell the commissioners their support of the UBR doesn’t reflect the opinions of their constituents? Join 350 Roaring Fork at Centennial Park at Ninth and Grand in Glenwood Springs at noon on Saturday, April 1 for a protest.
Fred Malo Jr., Carbondale
Cutting off nose to spite face
I read with interest Debbie Bruell’s latest column on work-force Housing (3/17 Post Independent). I have to admit to a certain amount of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) about affordable housing. But this article helped me connect the dots, that being NIMBY is not in my best interest.
Specifically, if the local workforce cannot be housed locally we will: 1. suffer lower service levels as local business and governments cannot staff positions, and 2. suffer from a higher cost of living as these same businesses and governments have to pay higher and higher wages to attract and keep a workforce.
Add to this creeping higher property taxes as the property values go up. Even those of us that already have housing are at risk of being eventually priced out of living here due to this ever rising cost of living.
It’s time for the commissioners to make these same connections and that having affordable work-force housing is in everyone’s best interest.
Jerome Dayton, Carbondale
Missed housing opportunity
I am writing in response to the recent article “Roaring Fork Valley’s housing challenges are many and deep.”
In the early 2000s, relatively affordable housing and commercial space were proposed at the Sanders Ranch by Cattle Creek. As a biologist I did the environmental and wetlands studies for most of the land between Glenwood Springs and Carbondale, including Aspen Glen, Iron Bridge, Coryell Ranch, Glenwood Springs Golf Club, and the Sanders Ranch.
In 2000, developer George Hanlon’s application for what was then called the Cattle Creek Crossing development proposed 500 residential units and 708,000 square feet of commercial space for restaurant, retail shops and offices on the 280-acre property. Open space along the Roaring Fork River and Cattle Creek were part of the plan. The proposed project was not approved by Garfield County. The residential housing and commercial space were denied because they were “too dense,” though this type of mid-valley development could have provided homes and commercial space at a lower price than the nearby approved subdivisions.
At the time, the developers said that if their plan was not approved the ranch would likely become large lots, unaffordable to most locals, or sit empty as it now is.
I have no current interests in the property or the valley. I remember Elmer Bair who once owned the ranch, and he supported the development.
I believe that the initially proposed Sanders Ranch development plan with 500 new homes would have helped with the current housing crisis. Maybe the remaining undeveloped land in the Roaring Fork Valley could include medium density affordable housing and commercial space where appropriate.
David Steinmann, Boulder
Having read numerous letters and opinions lately about the housing crisis here, I would like to add an important observation that there is a far more important crisis going on — the total lack of any of these local governments to deal with the growing inability of existing infrastructure to handle anymore traffic on Highway 82.
Having lived in this valley since 1968, I really want to say that it is not OK to just keep adding more and more dwellings, under the premise that only people who have theirs are against any new growth.
What we are against is these county commissioners approving any new developers plans, while ignoring the infrastructure to support it!
Once the Tree farm is all done, plus all the building that is under way and or approved, we will all just be sitting in our cars going nowhere.
Bob Limacher, Carbondale