Problems everywhere

Dear Editor:

Who’s making better local progress, Iraq or the U.S.? Both face extraordinary challenges, but for Iraq there’s only “one shoe left to drop.” Here unfortunately it’s business as usual for the Republicans … bickering, delay, lies and their classic two-step BS in efforts to derail the stimulus package over relatively “minute” liberal hmminahmminah. These “patriots” ignore the need of citizens for political gain. More than shameful, they continue to be, well, Republicans. The truth is nobody knows whether any action will work, but inaction is not the answer.

France solved their liquidity banking problems in two days by firing the banks’ top management, reset their business model and only had to rescue one bank! Whether we like the bank execs’ bonuses or not, similar to a human body, no flow no life. Then short term infrastructure infusions, housing rescues and all the mid-long term projects. We need to return to being citizens first, not consumers and then economically to produce and not just borrow and consume. Looking for something to make, well look no further than a green project. Besides creating jobs, you’ll reduce the outflow of dollars to countries who sponsor terrorism.

Is there an ethical and/or intelligence difference between city, county or federal politicians? Maybe not. The Archuleta County BoCC fired the entire planning commission as they “lacked qualification and didn’t attend enough meetings,” effectively removing the only county-based form of consistent and motivated governance we had over the last two years. Whether or not this was a personal vendetta, pressure from developers (real estate or oil/gas) or just “new broom” stupidity, what the BoCC of Archuleta proved again is that power mixed with animosity and influence can corrupt decision making. Whether I agreed or not on an individual basis, the previous members of the planning commission to a person tried their best in their way to look out for the residents of this county!

The economics of war: Iraq will remain a very very expensive experiment for years. Play chess: so far we traded a rook and two bishops for a pawn, and empowered Iran. Afghanistan is an endless pit for many things; not the least will be U.S. dollars while, next door, Pakistan remains the true threat. These two countries form the same threat arena with Pakistan as the most likely source for nuclear terror.

What’s really disappointing is the tendency of some to ridicule the new president after three weeks. What’s shameful is not joining him with constructive dialogue and effort. Instead we prefer to laugh at the magnitude of the problems and divert attention to the stupidity of people like Tom Daschle. What’s helpful is to let your congressional rep know concerns and desires.

Dave Blake


Dear Editor:

All of us can likely remember the child on the playground who, when things don’t go his or her way in the game, took the ball and left in a pout.

This childish behavior is eerily similar to what we are currently seeing in our nation’s capital as the republican leadership in the legislature has apparently advocated its responsibility to the American people, and left the difficult decisions involved in solving our current financial crisis to the president and the democratic majority. This, after being the party responsible for many of the problems we now face.

Since being inaugurated, President Obama has tried to turn our ship of state around. In my lifetime I can not remember a president of either party working as hard to find common ground with the minority party as President Obama. He held out his hand in cooperation only to have it slapped away by partisan politics.

It seems as if now that they are out of the majority, the Republican leadership not only refuses to take any responsibility for where we are currently, but steadfastly refuses to help get us out of the mess we are in. I do not have a crystal ball, nor does our president, his advisors, or the many leading economist who support the stimulus package being debated currently. However, common sense dictates that something needs to be done and soon. Also, that the tired old policies that have led us to this precipice did not work before and will not work this time. I truly hope that moderate Republicans will finally have the courage to break from their leadership and vote for what is best for our nation. In a time of national crisis we all have to join together to solve our differences and do what is best for our country. As we celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, that first and greatest Republican president, let’s hope the Grand Old Party will again help to keep our nation united. It is time for the Republican Party to stop pouting and get back in the game.

Donovan Porterfield

Reassure us

Dear Editor:

I’ve been looking forward to a new Board of County Commissioners serving our county with a new breath of fresh air and openness in how they make their decisions and policies.

But the manner in which the BoCC suddenly dismantled the entire planning commission is, sadly, anything but. I’ve read the Planning Department staff report assessing the planning commission’s performance throughout 2008. If its charges are true, then, certainly there’s room for concern regarding the planning commission’s actions, and some public discussion is in order as to how to correct the problems. But, to have acted on those allegations without ever having given the planning commission members an opportunity to respond was, at best, a politically clumsy and individually hurtful and humiliating move, and, at worst, yet another BoCC decision that was predetermined behind some closed door of which we, the public, have no knowledge.

We’ve heard that the BoCC’s action stemmed in part from Chairman Moomaw’s desire to meld the county and town planning departments into one, and the county commissioners’ unanimous desire to kick-start our local economy by making the planning commission more building and business-friendly. Both of these goals have some merit, particularly at this time. But, the sudden and unannounced plan by the BoCC to unilaterally dissolve and restructure the planning commission in order to achieve these predetermined goals is reminiscent of the worst past actions of bygone Boards of County Commissioners, in that those boards were certain that their “means” were justified by their own desired ends.

Simply put, there were many less heavy-handed ways to eventually and ultimately achieve the same goals that our current Board has cited, once the public had an opportunity to weigh in on those goals, and true dialog with all “stakeholders,” including the planning commissioners, had taken place. The board’s unilateral actions was not the way to do it. Please, somehow reassure us that we’ve got three individuals on our BoCC, rather than just one knee-jerk three-headed, well, monster(?). I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s now wondering if we’ve elected yet another end-justifies-the-means Board of County Commissioners. Our community can least afford such a haughty attitude on the part of our elected officials at such a difficult time as now.

Nan Rowe