Letters to the Editor, April 27, 2003

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Courthouse site

Will you be there when the basic planning for the new/changed courthouse is being designed? Will you be there to help us through the numerous meetings to understand courtroom design concepts? Will you be there to help make the compromises necessary to reach consensus on a project? Will you be there to help decide whether the community wants the courthouse downtown or at an alternate location?

The county commissioners heard loud and clear that the proposed judicial facility was unacceptable to the community. I personally feel frustrated in that we didn't hear your opposition to the project until the project was on the ballot.

Where was the opposition during the past two years when the design committee was meeting? Where was the opposition when the county commissioners were holding numerous community meetings to discuss the project, take input and there was ample opportunity to modify the design? Where was the location opposition when the Steamboat Springs Area Community Plan was being discussed ("Today various federal, state, city and county government offices act as anchors within Old Town and should continue to be located downtown."). The Pilot had about fifteen articles documenting the progress on the design. Where were all the letters to the editor then?

Before I was a county commissioner, the county acquired the downtown location through three different acquisitions. These transactions were reported on by the Pilot and were discussed in public hearings. Where was the vocal opposition then?

Ballot question 1A was created by the Courthouse Design Committee utilizing a guiding principle: Following the Steamboat Community Area Plan, the project should be to build, downtown, a functional landmark facility, while maintaining responsibility to the taxpayers. It was designed knowing that currently the county courthouse has inadequate parking.

The judicial facility inequities will not go away. The courts are presently evaluating their options to force the county to uphold our statutory responsibilities. I envision the county going back to square one and re-evaluating every aspect of the project. I believe that we have educated part of the electorate that there is a genuine need. We now need active, ongoing participation to design a solution that is acceptable to the community. Will you be part of the solution, or will you sit back and wait until a project has been designed without your active participation, and then criticize lesser points of the total project?

Will you be there?

Doug Monger

Routt County commissioner

dmonger@co.routt.co.us

Water consolidation

This is in response to the City Council and county commissioners who said they did not educate the public enough about the water consolidation vote and the court facility vote.

You educated us well enough and got your word out. The voters didn't like what you said.

I dare say most people agree that consolidating the city water and the Mount Werner Water District is the smart way to go and that the courts do need to be improved. But obviously, the voters did not like the way either issue was proposed.

I would suggest that both the council and the commissioners listen to the voters and come back with more palatable plans.

Betty Leipold

Steamboat Springs

Some clarification

During the campaign for the new judicial facility, I did what I call a voice-over in order to protect the anonymity of a woman who was a victim of domestic violence.

While it was clearly stated that I was speaking on behalf of another and that this was her story, a number of people did not hear the disclaimer and arrived at the erroneous conclusion that our family had been the victims of domestic violence.

It is extremely important to my family and to the reputation of Dinty Moore that this misconception be clarified.

As many of you know, Dinty is a person who has engendered respect both as a community member but more significantly to us as a family man.

It is unfortunate that the message that was delivered about an abusive husband would harm one that was not.

Dinty treated Megan and me with respect and deep caring, and I am upset that anyone would, through lack of attention, create harm to Dinty.

I request that if you hear this rumor that you set the record straight.

Noreen Moore

Steamboat Springs

Renewable energy

Currently in our state, 85 percent of our power is generated from coal while less than 1 percent comes from renewable sources such as wind or solar. We are also now lagging behind other western states such as California, Nevada, and Texas, who already have developed renewable energy standards. This needs to be the next step for Colorado.

Routt County has an excellent opportunity to develop wind resources. In this way ranchers could offset some of the costs of the drought by leasing small portions of their land for $2,000 to $4,000 a year per windmill.

In the last session of the Colorado legislature, both the House and Senate passed similar bills that would require 10 percent of Colorado's energy to come from renewable sources by the year 2010, but the session ran out before the bills could be signed into law.

We now need to take it upon ourselves to urge our state legislature to once again create a renewable energy standard that will stick.

Franklin Crandall

Steamboat Springs

DeVincentis a prize

As a former employee of the Steamboat Springs School District, I worked as a teacher under John DeVincentis at Strawberry Park Elementary for five years.

I have since gone into education consulting and have had the opportunity to visit many schools across the country. I can attest that Strawberry Park Elementary is not only one of the top schools in Colorado but in the country. I also can attest that one of the reasons is the strong leadership of Dr. John DeVincentis.

I hope the community of Steamboat Springs realizes the prize it has in John DeVincentis. There are countless school districts that would snatch him in a heartbeat.

Joan Myer

Denver

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