Bill Whittemore: Don’t touch site

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On Sept. 5, I went to the police department community meeting, along with several other Steamboat residents. We were from all over the town. Not one person in the crowd agreed with the police department about building a new police station on Rita Valentine Park. The police said that for a site for a building they will need:

A. A 3-acre parcel. B. In a central location. C. With multiple access points to town and to Lincoln Avenue.

As far as A. goes, yes, Rita Valentine Park has 3 acres, and all of the other possible police department locations do, too. I fully disagree with their feelings about B. All of the neighborhoods on Anglers Drive and on Hilltop Parkway are very quiet, peaceful areas. That area absolutely should stay that way, along with all the rest of us who want to still have that full, open space park for us to enjoy, our dogs to freely run around, for us to pass through while walking, hiking, cycling, snowshoeing, etc.

We also don’t want to scare the wild animals away. The police are not looking at C. correctly. Wherever a police station is located, in any town, it is supposed to be at a very easy location for any person to get to, at all times. It should not be so far away from Lincoln Avenue, not just for people in vehicles, but also for people who are walking.

From their planned location, the police department only has one good access point; that is down to Lincoln Avenue. The other access point is way over on Fish Creek Falls Road. That area is very far from town, the schools and the commercial district. For safety reasons to all of us, the police station should be located on Lincoln Avenue.

The police said that if they could not build at this location, they are still looking at four or five other locations. When any of us residents asked them any type of question about where these locations are, the police would not answer us. Is that fair?

They told us that they need to determine how we (all Steamboat residents) feel about this idea before they discuss this with Steamboat Springs City Council. Never once did they change their minds with what we brought up to them. They added that before they would build a building, we all would be able to vote on if that location is good or bad.

I and many other people know that the Rita Valentine Park is not correct. I very well remember a question asked to anyone who looks at SteamboatToday.com last month. It asked us to answer yes, no or not sure to how we feel about a police station being built at Rita Valentine Park. More than 700 (87.5 percent) voted not to touch that site.

Bill Whittemore

Steamboat Springs

Comments

Scott Wedel 7 months, 1 week ago

Bill,

Apparently it is now the city's opinion that the point of holding public hearings was to hear from a select few opponents that are not representative of city residents.

Of course, if the hearings had found public support then the city would be proclaiming that there was widespread community support for the idea.

So obviously to the city, the importance and relevance of the public meeting was determined by the opinions expressed at the meeting. If you want to be heard by this city manager then you need to express opinions that agree with her. If you express opinions contrary to hers then you are fringe element not representative of the rest of the city.

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Bill Whittemore 7 months, 1 week ago

I will agree with the city manager, only if she disagrees with a Police Dept. being built at a very bad place such as Rita Valentine Park.

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Scott Wedel 7 months, 1 week ago

Well then she does not currently hear you.

If you were to support the RVP police station then you would be heard loudly as showing there was widespread support for it.

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Bill Whittemore 7 months ago

I have lived here in Steamboat for many years. Rita Valentine was a good friend of mine and several others. When she was in City Council, she developed the Core Trail. She felt that she wanted a very big piece of land to fully be open to all people to always enjoy. This land is The Rita Valentine Park. I know that with the police and City Council treating her the awful way that they are, she is rolling around in her grave.

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John Fielding 7 months, 1 week ago

In this town, both supporters and critics show up routinely. The proportion of each in attendance is a reasonably reliable gauge of the positions of the population as a whole. It seems the interpretation in this case is that it is somehow different, that all the supporters stayed home.

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Bill Whittemore 7 months, 1 week ago

What I understand, in what you just wrote in your response to me, why weren't you at the meeting? I and several others were at that meeting because we and the majority of Steamboat Springs people are against the fact that the city wants to harm the Rita Valentine Park. In August, the steamboattoday.com asked everyone, on the internet, what they felt about a station being built in this location; 87.5% voted no station at Rita Park.

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John Fielding 7 months, 1 week ago

I did want to attend and express my objections to this site and other aspects of the process, but my presence at home was indispensable to my family's best interests at the time. However, I am compensating for my absence by making my view known through this forum.

I spoke to several city employees today, regular troops, not officers. Quietly and privately I was told to keep up the postings on the Pilot Forum, given great support. They read it daily, but none will risk their job by expressing their view now that anonymity is unavailable.

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Bill Whittemore 7 months, 1 week ago

With you and friends, also being objective to the Rita Park site, I hope that you will be able to go to the City Council Meeting, this coming Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 5PM. I'm planning to be there, too.

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