Tuesday, October 29, 2002
I normally don't respond to "Letters to the Editor," but I feel obligated to reply to the letter from Omar Campbell in last Sunday's Steamboat Pilot & Today because of the inaccuracies contained therein.
The half-page referred to as a campaign message to vote yes on the water consolidation issue was in fact a verbatim copy of a resolution of the City Council, passed in open meeting. Publication of such resolutions of general public interest has been a practice of recent City Councils in order to help educate the community. So it was entirely proper to do so and not in conflict with the Fair Campaign Practices Act.
Individual members of the City Council are citizens under the Constitution and are entitled to free speech just as much as anyone else, and on their own time may promote or oppose any issue. Considering the fact that the council has been criticized for not educating the public on this issue, I find it ironic that Mr. Campbell finds it inappropriate that members of council are trying to do just that, particularly when he characterizes them as accosting passersby, which is wholly out of order, inappropriate and inflammatory on his part.
Omar, you can't have it both ways.
G.H. "Bud" Romberg
Steamboat Springs City Council
2C makes sense
I would like to express my personal point of view in regard to the Charter Amendment 2C establishing a water authority and consolidating the two water districts pending a vote for dissolution by the residents of the Mount Werner District.
Consolidation just makes sense. For me, equalization isn't the issue so much as being efficient. Cost savings of an estimated $500,000 the first year and $100,000 each year after should be enough to convince anyone. Cost efficiencies and cost sharing with a single district will save all Steamboat residents in the future. Recently I have heard fears about control of the new district. It is only during the first years that Mount Werner Water will have a majority of the appointed seats.
Mount Werner has appointed four members and the city has appointed three members. For every year following, the city gains a seat and Mount Werner loses a seat until after the third year when the city will appoint all seats. Why are we worrying so much about board members? Both the city and Mount Werner have appointed excellent, knowledgeable individuals. All the appointed board members are very concerned about keeping politics out of water.
The function of the water board will be to determine cost and feasibility of providing water within urban boundaries. If an annexation should occur, it is the City Council's decision to encourage, discourage or approve future development. The Water Authority's role will only be to determine the ability and cost of providing water for new development. There are some very intelligent and community-minded people on our City Council as well as on past councils that have struggled with this issue. It is time we put the past aside and vote for that which will best serve the community in the future. No one wants rates to go up. If we don't vote to consolidate, however, that is just what is going to happen.
City Council has already given us this information. Please join me in voting in favor of the consolidation. Vote Yes for 2C.
Renea O. Cowman
No to courthouse
Before you mark your ballot Nov. 5 in regard to the new courthouse, you should consider the cost. The cost of building it downtown includes a parking garage for Steamboat plus very expensive land. Why not build it by the jail where land is cheaper and it won't cost rural Routt County $3 million for a beautification program for the city?
Have you ever heard of pork barrel? I feel it is fiscally irresponsible to build it downtown.