Printed Letters: April 14, 2017
County engrossed with appearing conservative
In the 40 years I have lived in Grand Junction there has been one solid theory of living — conservative. There is nothing wrong with conservative values; I have some myself. However, in this valley the outward appearance of conservatism, especially financial, takes precedence over critical thinking skills.
Although I am not impressed with today’s county commissioners, the valley’s current problems are not entirely their fault.
As long as I can remember both the city and the county have been overwhelmed by a need to appear financially conservative. When the animal control building was built in the current location it was built on land incompatible with supporting a sturdy outhouse. The reasons behind buying that particular piece of land are unknown and I will leave to someone else the chore of proper investigation. The primary purpose appears to be because it looked like the financially conservative thing to do. They put a nice building on a piece of land where soil shifts constantly. More money spent on decent land would have saved the community $2.4 million. What a concept!
A decade after that regrettable decision, the county commissioners balk at having people pay an extra five dollars on license plates. If you own a car in this valley I am assuming a one-time charge of five dollars won’t break you. The problem is the county commissioners want to polish their conservative badge of honor. Therefore they would rather lay off more employees, or lower wages, than charge vehicle owners five bucks. Five bucks? People waste much more on lottery tickets or lattes in a week.
My message to the county commissioners would be this: For once, be smarter than the ones who went before you. Proceed with more walk and less talk. Quit padding your resumes for the next election. Develop a backbone and tell the people of this valley things that may not get you re-elected. Spend a little more for quality and we won’t get a $2.4 million bill on your next great adventure. In the end, with more critical thinking skills and fewer decisions made on appearance perhaps hope can come back to the valley.
FWD.us is working to fix our broken immigration system
The conversation around immigration issues in the Grand Junction area is healthy and robust. Thank you to those community members who took time to meet with me during my recent Western Slope tour. As Colorado’s organizing associate for FWD.us, I visit with communities throughout the state to discuss the importance of immigration policy and its impacts on local economies. FWD.us is working to promote policies that keep the U.S. competitive in a global economy, starting with fixing our broken immigration system.
During my Western Slope tour, I talked with a number of community members about various immigration-related issues. One common theme that came up focused on the H2A visa program and the need for reform. Colorado’s agricultural industry continues to face a labor shortage and reforming the system to allow for a greater workforce remains a priority for farmers and ranchers.
Another issue that was top of mind for many was the need to protect students, both those who are recipients of DACA (the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) as well as those who are here on student visas.
In Grand Junction specifically, I met with Bruce Talbott of Talbott Farms and Brian Cox, owner of Black Bear Orchards, to hear their thoughts on workforce immigration issues. I also met with members of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership to discuss immigration policy influences on enrollment at Mesa State College as well as on the Western Slope’s agriculture and outdoor tourism industries.
We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Our primary goals are to secure our borders and provide a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants.
Thanks again to those Grand Junction community members who met with me to share their local stories and experiences.
Trump and the GOP try to lay the blame on the Democrats
Lois Dunn, in her letter to the editor on April 12, was just mortified that “Senator Bennett continues with fellow Democrats to resist the presidency of President Trump.” Apparently Ms. Dunn was not interested in politics in 2008 when Mitch McConnell and the Republican Party of NO declared an eight-year war and total resistance of the presidency of President Obama while Trump led the birther movement during that same period.
The Republicans like to tell the Dems to “just get over it.” Trump and the GOP lead by refusing to take responsibility for their actions and then try to lay the blame on the Democrats. The Kansas election on April 11 is proof that it’s not working.