Hayden Chamber of Commerce denies sending annexation letter


— The Hayden Chamber of Commerce has issued a statement saying it did not send a letter advocating the annexation of western Routt County into Moffat County nor does it, as a group, support the goals of the Committee for Less Intrusive Government, which signed the letter.

According to the Chamber’s statement sent Friday morning, Gordon Dowling submitted the mailing to the Hayden post office using the Chamber’s bulk mailing permit and a letter granting use of the permit to Chamber members. Dowling Land Surveyors joined the Chamber in August, according to Suzanne Banning, of the Hayden Chamber of Commerce.

Banning said that the paperwork associated with the mailing shows the permission letter requested by Dowling was used.

"I can't confirm that," Dowling said about sending the letter when reached by phone Friday morning.

The letter states it is from a group called Committee for Less Intrusive Government that wants to put the issue of annexing western Routt County into Moffat County on the November 2013 ballot. A vote on annexation from one county to another would require approval by taxpayers of both counties, according to Colorado Revised Statues Title 30 Article 6.

The person who sent the letter “didn’t put a return address,” Banning said, noting that it was the Chamber’s information on the letter. “It looked liked it was from us.”

Banning said that the procedure that allows Chamber members to use the bulk mailing permit has been revised. Now, members still will prepare their own mailings, but the content will be checked and taken to the post office by one of three board members.

“It’s sad but true that we have to do that,” Banning said.

Although Chamber members are allowed to use the bulk mailing permit to promote their businesses after requesting a permission letter, the Chamber’s statement says the group Committee for Less Intrusive Government is not a Chamber member, and the letter should not have been mailed using the Chamber’s permit.

Dianne Sadher, of the Hayden post office, said it’s a small enough town that identification typically is not required when sending bulk mail, given the required paperwork is in order. She said the practice of requiring a permission letter to use the Chamber’s permit is in addition to U.S. Postal Service requirements. It is possible to have someone send a mailing on another person’s behalf, Sadher said, but she was not able to confirm whether she witnessed Dowling send the mailing.

Banning said she has fielded calls from people asking whether the Chamber was behind the letter.

“It got a lot of blood pressure up from a lot of people,” she said.

Read the Hayden Chamber of Commerce's statement below:

This is to clarify that the previously mailed flyer regarding annexation of West Routt County into Moffat County was not sent by the Hayden Chamber of Commerce and is not supported by the Hayden Chamber of Commerce as a group.

The flyer was not signed and showed no ownership other than the “Committee for Less Intrusive Government.” Research shows that the mailing was submitted to the post office by Gordon Dowling of Dowling Land Surveyors, a chamber member. Chamber members are permitted to use the Hayden Chamber of Commerce bulk mailing permit for business purposes of the member. It was mailed without the chamber having knowledge of the purpose of the mailing.

The “Committee for Less Intrusive Government” is not a chamber member and should not have used the chamber’s bulk mailing permit for this purpose. The Hayden Chamber of Commerce will be reviewing the procedures for using the bulk mailing permit to avoid this in the future.

Thank you.

Your Hayden Chamber of Commerce


Scott Wedel 4 years, 6 months ago

Editor, The headline of the article is not true.

Hayden Chamber did acknowledge the letter was sent using their bulk mailing permit. So, technically it was sent by them.

The Chamber denies SUPPORTING the letter. Change "sending" to "supporting" would make the headline true.


Michelle Hale 4 years, 6 months ago

I think this is a wake up call to those in power. There is allot more to Routt County other than the mountain, skiing and Steamboat. The tax base IS NOT tour energy is, it always has been. That is large part is why this area was settled. Why do I know this? Because my Great Great Grandfather was the first homesteader in Hayden, and the first County Commissioner (Democat).

The balance of Routt county is treated like the zoo keeper in the Elephant cage. Those outside of Steamboat are often steamrolled over by the short sighted concepts of the rich and removed. Most of us work for a living, and would appreciate a economy based on something other that money of the hopeful skiier. This is always dependent on weather. How about a focus on something other that if's and maybe's.

Phiphsburg needs help with water, and some paved roads would be nice. Oak Creek needs help with police, and the list grows. Here is a little history. The first county court house was built on my Grandfather property in Hayden, it burned down. Then the county seat was moved to Hahns Peak, during the mining days. What kind of different outcome if it had been moved back to Hayden, or to Oak Creek, or Yampa?


Scott Wedel 4 years, 6 months ago

Michelle, Why you think the tax base is energy and not tourism? Factually, sales tax from tourism crushes revenues from energy in Routt County. That was not true when your family homesteaded in the area, but it is true now. Seems to me that rest of county and people of Milner like the idea of a test well so that when any groundwater contamination is found in a test well, not in drinking water.

The threat to leave Routt County and join Moffat is not a wake up call to the rest of Routt County. If anything it is a wake up call to west Routt that no one cares about their threat. If you want to go then go. Join Moffat where your property taxes increase 50% if that is what you want to do.


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