Some of you may recall the Nestle discussions. Through informal surveys in the community, The Citizen and during public hearings I stand by this stat: 90% of locals opposed privatizing the valley’s drinking water. But, the commissioners voted unanimously to sell it off. I am reminded of this ugly period as I read this in The Mail:
Chaffee County commissioners, during their work session Monday in Salida, scheduled two public hearings to receive input regarding the possibility of opening all county roads to off-highway vehicles.
Bob Christiansen, director of general administration, said the meetings will be from 8 a.m. to noon July 7 at Buena Vista Community Center, 715 E. Main St., and from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Salida SteamPlant, 220 W. Sackett Ave.
I’d like to repost a couple letters that were written to The Citizen in recent weeks:
From William Mills “Three public meetings to gather public comment on the opening of County Roads to OHV’s took place February 1, 8, and 15, 2012. County staff generated a comprehensive 33 page report March 14, 2012 clearly identifying the pros and cons of opening each road. Eight review areas were used for each.
On February 28, 2012 the Town of Buena Vista adopted resolution No. 22 establishing its opposition to opening of Chaffee County Roads to OHV traffic. The City of Salida adopted resolution No.36 opposing the opening of Chaffee County Roads OHV’s on June 5, 2012.
Get real, Mr. Holman. We are a county of hard workers. If you aren’t capable of moving this county forward, please, take your step backward and let us, the hard working citizen’s move it forward!
To the same point:
from Mike Smith “The Salida City Council and Buena Vista Trustees recently passed memorandums and resolutions opposing opening any additional Chaffee County roads to unlicensed off-highway vehicle (OHV) use. Many county residents spent hours providing input during the three public meetings held over the past months in which a clear majority in each meeting stated opposition to additional OHV use. No Chaffee County commissioners chose to attend those meetings. That input was supposedly summarized for their consideration.
Instead of considering this input and acting upon it in good faith as our representatives, Chaffee County commissioner chairman, Frank Holman, has directed county development services staff to explore the possibility of opening all county roads to additional OHV use. His lack of respect and consideration for the majority of his constituents and fellow political leaders is amazing.”
Our commissioners are making a mockery of the OHV discussion. A walk down the street should tell them that times are different, and clearly the majority of people living here don’t want OHV’s on county roads. Before some of you start up with the redneck refrain about “this place becoming like Boulder” I’d suggest you look around America. It’s all different. I may sound like a broken record, but I grew up with motors and there are simply too many people in the world to let OHV drivers run wild like we did in the 1970′s. Lastly, a majority of OHV drivers have proven their disrespect for local residents.
That said, I’m not opposed to OHV’s. They are a reality in the rural west. Yet, Summit County has somehow found a balance through segregation (I thought we had as well?). There are many land use models we could replicate and pursue from other areas, but choosing to seek a balance and acknowledging the rules already enacted by Chaffee town governments is proving to be the biggest challenge for our commissioners.
The tension that comes from mixed use is often driven by poor planning. By disrespecting their constituent’s desires our Commissioners are creating an environment ripe for un-needed tensions. Guess what? We all get along fine. But, if our county officials again push through their own agenda, then the day a shirtless 12 year old on a quad (with his little brother on back) gets hit by a truck will be the day when our commissioner’s arrogant rubber will meet the road.
Residents have voiced their opinions through a valid democratic process, and their voices are being ignored.
Please let us know your thoughts.