Op-Ed by Jerry Mallett
Submitted to Salida Citizen August 3, 2016 There are two choices for Chaffee County Commissioners There is little question either Bill Dvorak or Dave Williams are more than qualified as upcoming Chaffee County Commissioners. The third candidate, Greg Felt, is aligned with the current Commission which has done nothing for 8 years to address any significant issues. If you care about the economy, housing, growth management, or public lands, you should know that the Commission:
- Did not support Browns Canyon National Monument
- Took no action on the 2006 Affordable Housing Strategy
- Do not support using county funds to support the creation of affordable housing
- Are currently gutting the land use code to support an anti-regulation of development
- Have not supported the regional planning authority which has not met since 2010
- Support the minimum legal requirement for public involvement in policy dialogues
- Have done little to advance open and transparent government at the County
During this period of gross inactivity, the three Commissioners have drawn a salary of approximately $60,000 each per year. Over eight years that equals $1,400,000 of tax payers’ dollars. Do you feel you got your money’s worth?
At a staged press event this spring, these three County Commissioners simultaneously changed their political affiliation from Republican to unaffiliated and publically endorsed Greg Felt as the best candidate for District 2. Why should we expect his approach to governing and policy making to be any different from the three commissioners who endorsed him?
Felt states he is a listener and independent thinker. However, when the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy opposed Browns Canyon National Monument, the Recreational In-Channel Diversion (RICD), which keeps certain flows in the river and the Salida River Park which support the whitewater recreation season and economy, Felt did indeed listen. He chose to oppose these efforts but all three actions were decisions that have proven beneficial to our county. Why oppose economic, social and recreational program?
Can Chaffee County live for another four to eight years with a completely ineffective Commission who believes the right thing to do is to do nothing? Be extremely thoughtful in who you vote for. Don’t be fooled by an independent in name only.