Printed Letters: Aug. 13, 2014
Scandals impede search for new airport manager
Sunday’s editorial bemoans the lack of a meet and greet for finalist airport manager candidates. Well, there weren’t any. The damage done to this airport by the scandals of past management and board members is well known around the country and precludes most from applying.
As founder of the airport Users and Tenants Association, I had the opportunity to interview one “finalist” candidate. He was well qualified and from the Midwest. But in our 30-minute talk he had not a single question about GJT or its problems, despite my prompting. His entire focus was on his current airport and all he was doing for it. It appeared his interest in GJT was for use in negotiating a pay raise back home. Not surprisingly, he withdrew his application a week later.
What the Sentinel fails to understand is that the damage done here is nationally known. The current board has to deal with that reality. GJT is not a magnet for qualified airport managers. While other positions in this and nearby communities may use teas, coffees, meet and greet or similar sessions for “finalists,” such is not possible when there are no finalists. The idea that members of the community should vet candidates for this critical selection makes as much sense as airline passengers voting on who should fly the plane.
We are extremely fortunate to have an existing airport employee with all needed skill levels step up and take on this mess. Ben Johnson knows the airport, the people, the problems and the history. He is not a “yes man” nor would the current board or tenants tolerate such. The Sentinel should be ashamed for even suggesting it.
Ludlam’s take on activism and development is refreshing
David Ludlam’s recent column boldly and courteously highlighted an important question about activists who say they don’t oppose energy develop but somehow always find themselves doing just that. For the business community to truly understand the jobs at risk from WCC activism, one needs to truly understand the tactics employed by their professional advocates.
For my family this question is a personal one. We recently relocated to the Front Range after raising a family on the West Slope. Throughout my husband’s employment in the West Slope energy business, I observed year after year, headline after headline, local activists who opposed project after project only to then routinely take credit for environmental improvements that were not a result of their activism; but instead advances in technology and industry best practices.
I believe Ludlam successfully pointed out a real inconsistency in the environmental industry, and one that should be addressed. I thank him for doing so in a way that was courteous, polite and constructive. The silent majority of us need loud representation once in a while and the tone Ludlam used in doing this was refreshing and respectful. Let’s see if the opposition’s response takes the same tone and high road.
Responsible drilling should safeguard humans
Responsible drilling refers to safeguarding humans from becoming guinea pigs, rather than waiting to see just how much benzene in the air it will take before cancer cases increase dramatically.
Come here and see the wells right alongside the Colorado River. Come here and see a well directly across the street from a housing development. Come here and notice the haze in the air that was not present even 10 years ago. See the plan for over 200 more drillings to come in this area. Come here, buy a home, and then just try to sell it. Come here to a 40 percent vacancy rate in this community. Come here where a beautiful golf course may have a well in the middle of it.
Yes, drilling can be done in many areas without concentrations of populations; drilling could be done in Anwar. But, for convenience and “bribe” dollars, drilling around communities is just fine as long as it is not in the backyards of the politicians.
So many senior citizens were lured here and have now lost their shirts. Welcome to being trapped, unable to move even if you wanted to. Western Colorado Congress has worked to increase setbacks, to insure that monitoring and safety requirements are followed, and that accidents such as spills are not under-reported nor minimized. Is that so bad?