Is Chaffee County for Sale to the Highest Bidder?

We’ve all seen the corrupting effect money has on our national politics. Congressional members are swayed by lobbyists and change their votes to suit their largest campaign contributors? Now we have to ask ourselves if we want to allow similar practices to influence politics in Chaffee County. It appears it is happening right here TODAY.

Campaign donations are required by law to be reported and the report shows that real estate investor Bob Nicolls has donated $13,000 to Greg Felt’s campaign for County Commissioner. To put this number in perspective, the largest individual donation allowed for a state congressional race is $400. Since no one has ever tried to corrupt Chaffee County politics before, we have never set a maximum. But now the votes we cast will decide if we think buying Chaffee County elections is OK.

Early in the campaign Greg Felt was anxious to show he was an independent candidate not beholden to anyone so he pledged not to accept any single contribution larger than $400. What then does it say when nearly one third of his entire campaign is bought and paid for by one person? And not just any one person, but a person who has a major interest in having County Commission decisions go in his favor.

How much return does Mr. Nicolls expect to get from his investment in Greg Felt?

In addition to Mr. Nicolls attempting to buy an election he has simultaneously attempted character assassination of Bill Dvorak and his river outfitting business. Bill Dvorak could have responded tit for tat pointing out similar infractions by Mr. Felt. Instead Bill took the high road and suggested voters make a decision based upon the issues facing Chaffee County.

While our impact on national elections is more limited, the citizens of Chaffee County can certainly decide what we want to allow or not allow in our backyard.

Please make your voice heard on Election Day. I am voting for Bill Dvorak a man who has spent 30 years working as an experienced and responsible leader to make Chaffee County a better place for all of us to call home.

Linda Erickson Salida


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  • Linda,

    Sorry you've been swayed to vote for Bill Dvorak. He certainly is a charming guy and persuasive. He has to be with a track record like he has. His poor administration, financial stewardship and safety record is there for all eyes to see.

    In addition, he has a severe problem with the truth. In the MM article yesterday, he alleges that I hound the CCVB board and that Monarch receives 80% of CCVB funding. To say the least this is a wildly inaccurate statement. To say the most, it's a bold faced lie.

    I have not spoken or communicated with a single CCVB board member (save the Ski Area GM, Randy Stroud for obvious reasons) in two years, since I had an exhaustive review of CCVB expenses two falls ago. If no contact is "hounding", then guilty as charged.

    Monarch receives no where near 80% of CCVB's budget for advertising of skiing. The budget, a product of Bill Dvorak lack of attentiveness, does not break out the target seasons to which spending occurs. This is being addressed by other board members, including Randy Stroud. Safe to say this number is approximately 30%, which is less than what that period of time brings into the coffers of CCVB. I have never advocated raising the allocation to skiing by more than it should be.

    You then allege that the election is being bought. Wow, you must have been a fly on a wall at a non-existent meeting. I gave Greg's campaign the funds to level the playing field with the two parties. He had zero support as an independent. During the conversation I was adamant that he should govern with the other two CC's as he saw fit and that Monarch and myself would ask for nothing.

    Greg is the best candidate by far. He will do right by Chaffee County, has demonstrated to be a good businessman, has participated in many public activities already for the County, and has none of the unseemly baggage that Dvorak wears so badly.

    Linda, you still have time to change your mind and vote for Greg. Very happy to discuss this in person

    Bob Nicolls

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