doug monger

doug monger 1 month, 3 weeks ago on Brad Church: Tragedy awaits

Ken and all, you can be as frustrated as you want with the county, but the fact is that the issue of CR 14 has been to the ballot box two times both in 1997 or 98 in a direct fix of the road and the voters said Heck. NO, mostly in my opinion that the county was not interested in fixing the problem of a smaller county transportation problem with county wide dollars. In 2007 the county went to the voters again this time more with a plan of addressing transportation inadequacies across the county to provide a more county wide investment. The plan was for a five year plan including CR 14 and improvements on other high ADT (average daily traffic) roads. This plan again was soundly defeated. The voters said, in my opinion, we want improvements but we don't want to pay for them. I have trees on my place but none of them are growing $$$$$. So in my book if you want to place blame you and Mr. Church can ask the voters of Routt County why CR 14 is not important to them.

On top of that, maybe while you are asking you can ask why CDOT is struggling with barely maintenance money and no money to deal with increased mobility of Colorado. Why we can't get to Denver on Sundays, Why you can't get out of Denver on Fridays. Add to that that a wait in traffic on I-70 is preferable to our residents and citizens to the un-reliable commuting air service. We are swiftly heading to a transportation crisis, for some it will be sooner and for others later. With our current National, State and County Revenue projections it is inevitable.

The Commissioners did all they could do to bring outside money into the scenario with grant applications and all, but that is not happening the old days of Interstate Road systems is about dead as the major water projects that were built in the 50's and 60's. In regard to the maintenance that was done on CR 14 in 2014, we championed the Road and Bridge Department to do all they could do with $1.5million dollars over two years to increase safety and provide better traveling. This is part of the Commissioners long term strategy to implement the road safety improvements over a few years while not losing the investment in the road that we have. The Commissioners have prioritized the improvements to CR 14 as a goal. That said unlike the federal government, we don't print money, can't borrow money to fix the project, and will continue to focus real green backs toward a systematic solution. Will it be a newly constructed road, heck no, will it be better heck yes. Scott, thanks for your analysis on the situation, we are doing all that we can do within financial constraints, and a poor plan is better than no plan. Doug Monger Routt County Commissioner

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doug monger 3 months, 3 weeks ago on Our View: Steamboat bear regulations falling short

This is funny yet very much not so funny. Let's go back to the early 1980's when in our infinite wisdom the voters decided not to allow spring bear hunts and not to allow for baiting. While neither practice might be considered as the most sportsman oriented, we NEVER saw a bear anywhere and the hunters had a hard time filling hunting licensees. So now since the voters took over the job of game managers we only have ourselves to blame. I have to also laugh at the comments of "lets push them out to the forests". As a rancher that loses (donates) a $1500.00 calf a year to these Constitutionally protected beasts please let's keep them in town or start reducing the herd. If they could live in the forest they would be there. It's simple the numbers are the problem. The last morale to be gained is "KEEP THE VOTERS OUT OF PROFESSIONAL MANAGEMENT" any kind of professional management. Let's leave that to those who went to school to be professional.

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doug monger 5 months, 3 weeks ago on Rita Valentine Park trails closed because of aggressive cow elk

Yes no wonder the elk got aggressive with some clown not having control of their dogs. I agree the dog's owners need ticketed. In the old days they would have been shot as pack dogs.

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doug monger 6 months, 3 weeks ago on Elk River is bank-full west of Steamboat Springs and may be headed for flood stage

Actually Bill I understand the experts say that 2011 was a 100 year event for the Elk. On the same point I don't disagree with the point that man keeps building in closer and testing the proverbial waters. Quite the fine balance trying to legislate around "stupid" and allowing private property rights. It's all great and it's my property right till a situation needs bailed out and my house is flooding and we need sandbags. One should not wonder why the pioneers built on the bluffs overlooking the river rather than on the river bottom. Oh well

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doug monger 7 months, 2 weeks ago on Rob Douglas: It’s time to set county salaries locally

Rob, I'm confused in your attribute to four county managers. I assume that refers to the three commissioners and the one county manager. I would say to that, the commissioners are in charge of policy decisions and the county manager is responsible for the administrative implementation of the policy decisions. The county has a salary structure for department heads and has one county manager who supervises department heads. We have researched the opportunities of combining departments, restructuring, and creating a more streamlined approach, yet all of our efforts seemed to lend itself to more middle management. We do not need more middle management and we continue to support a more flat management structure. Regarding your comments that county commissioners create their own work load, manufacture work load to create self worth? I guess that is totally what I would expect my commissioner to do, create work load. I would expect my commissioner to champion locally, state wide, and federal issues that move Routt County to the best possible position for the benefit of us all. If that be in water, transportation, economy, energy policy, work force employment, , public land administration, communications/broadband, community development or what ever, I would expect my commissioner to work diligently to move our county forward as a policy maker and spokesman to put our county in the best possible position to succeed in this dog eat dog world. If the thought is that all of that representation and championing can be done in a weekly meeting is basically dreaming. If I as a commissioner get paid half or a third of what our department heads get paid really does not concern me as much as having the knowledge that I have done all that I could do to protect and enhance our wonderland county. I don't personally believe that commissioner salaries have inhibited candidates but we have to have the opportunity that regular John Q. Citizen that has regular bills to pay and a family to provide for are not prohibited from providing diversified leadership to our county and represent our total county. I respect that the blogs are dominated by the conservative spectrum of our community, but I will say to all of the conservatives, fiscally speaking in my mind you are being very well represented. I watch every penny in our budgets to allow for the stretching of every dollar. Do we pay our employees well? Yes, our county budget is premised on having good employees, running good equipment, and running effectively. It is not great wages, we have for 20 years based our salaries off of surveys. Be they skewed?-- maybe, we have competition that we need to compete with in order to keep our good employees. I would invite anyone to join me weekly in leaving my house at 5:00am in the middle of the winter snowstorm to make the 9:00 am somewhere meeting that lasts all day through 4:30 Friday evening to make it home by 8:00 pm. Not complaining, happy to serve. PART TIME Doug

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doug monger 7 months, 2 weeks ago on Rob Douglas: It’s time to set county salaries locally

Actually Rob, it was not defeated, it was approved 23 yes to 12 no. It did not get the required yes votes to pass the 66% required majority to refer it to the voters which by my math would have required 24 yes and 11 no. I personally thought this had a snowballs chance in summer Phoenix to passing (especially with the electorate and the mistrust of any government) and was basically a "kicking the can down the road" by our legislature to address issues that they constitutionally were mandated to address and haven't addressed since 2007. Somewhere in their infinite wisdom, after the state salary commission's report was released they combined county officials salary discussion with state elected officials salaries in the same bill. That was a death nail in any discussions of anything.

I sympathize with our locally elected "professional" officials in that their second, third and sometimes the fourth employee in line under the elected official receives more compensation than the elected official. This is with the increased personal liability that comes with as an elected official. I'm ok that the bill did not pass yet if it had, we would have locally dealt with it as appropriately as we could have. Comments were correct in that it all would have then been locally politically posturing.

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doug monger 7 months, 2 weeks ago on Steamboat firefighters put out 2 small wildfires in Strawberry Park

Let's be safe out there, especially when we are having so many high wind warnings. Rather embarrassing to call out the fire department to your house to put out a simple "LITTLE" fire. Been there done that, as I said embarrassing. Be safe, remember you might be held liable for escape of the fire.

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doug monger 10 months, 1 week ago on Above-average snowpack surrounding Steamboat needed by dwindling reservoirs in Utah, Nevada

Last of State Memo The Upper Basin Commissioners have created two work groups to analyze the technical and legal challenges to accomplishing extended operation of CRSP reservoirs in the near future should the need arise, and to suggest ways to overcome these challenges within the Law of the River. The legal and technical work groups will also begin exploring the potential for implementing demand management programs in the Upper Basin. The Commissioners will review the work groups’ progress in early March and direct their continued efforts toward implementation of a response to critical decline in Lake Powell storage. Then, once a framework for these analyses is approved by the Commissioners, interested stakeholders will be invited to participate. We will be closely monitoring this winter’s hydrology to determine whether any of these options must be exercised to keep Lake Powell from reaching a critically low storage level. Moving forward, we will continue to update Colorado River stakeholders within Colorado as circumstances warrant.

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doug monger 10 months, 1 week ago on Above-average snowpack surrounding Steamboat needed by dwindling reservoirs in Utah, Nevada

2nd part of memo

Allowing Lake Powell to fall below minimum power pool would lead to the following consequences: • Dramatically higher electric costs (potentially, current rates could increase two to four times) for customers in cities and towns, farms and ranches throughout much of Colorado and the elimination of funding for the important programs noted above that protect current and future water use in Colorado. • Reduced capacity to make releases from Glen Canyon Dam, resulting in releases that are insufficient to keep the Upper Basin on course to comply with the Colorado River Compact obligations that increases the risk of a Compact violation. A Compact violation could result in protracted litigation with the threat of curtailment of water uses throughout Colorado and the Upper Basin. • Risk imposition of federal management of Upper Basin reservoirs with diminished Colorado primacy on the management of the River and water rights. Should extreme drought conditions persist, proactive steps are necessary to protect the Upper Basin. In addition, Lower Basin actions to address shortages at Lake Mead should be accompanied by Upper Basin actions. This basin-wide approach is in the best interest of Colorado for several reasons: 1) Colorado needs to protect its use of Colorado River water; 2) Colorado must vigorously guard state primacy over Upper Basin water management; 3) Colorado stands to benefit from synergistic benefits arising from Lower Basin efforts; and, 4) Colorado must strategically position itself for future negotiations with the Lower Basin—we are better positioned to do this if we can actively manage proper water elevations in Lake Powell. In light of these real and immediate threats, the Governor’s Colorado River representative directed a group of Colorado water advisors to engage with the other six Colorado River Basin States in confidential brainstorming and system modeling for the purpose of developing an emergency response plan. The Upper Basin group members evaluated options that could be deployed in the near term to address Lake Powell elevations, and concluded that the Upper Basin can respond to this emergency by taking two actions: 1) releasing increased amounts of water to Lake Powell from other CRSP reservoirs in the Upper Basin; and, 2) implementing demandmanagement programs to bolster Lake Powell (e.g. voluntary lease-fallowing or deficit irrigation). Continuation of existing efforts, such as weather modification and phreatophyte

removal can also contribute, but these actions are less reliable. The additional water delivered to Lake Powell would be “system water” and would be carefully managed so that critical storage levels are maintained without triggering greater releases to the Lower Basin.

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