Email letters, June 13,  2013

Butler’s replacement on council should emulate his sterling traits

I hope that the city can find a person as honest and trustworthy as Harry Butler to replace him on the city council.  It might take some searching. 

Perhaps his daughter would be a good place to start. 

CLAUDIA MANTLO

Grand Junction

New Mesa County sheriff should be vetted carefully next year

As Sheriff Stan Hilkey times out of office in 2014, whoever is going to be nominated should be drawn from the deputy pool as our sheriffs have been so for the last 50-plus years. While the sheriff position is elected, it is not a political position and wields little or no political influence. It is an elected law officer position. 

The city spends big bucks searching, interviewing and testing for the right person with recent proven leadership and management experience for police chief or fire chief. ALL our chiefs have held relative detailed management and leadership positions before being hired and for good reason.

A sheriff’s operation is much more involved and complicated than police operations. A sheriff cannot be aloof or self-centered. A sheriff must be available to citizens and have a personality to match. This is especially important when the sheriff interacts with personnel.   

It is absolutely vital that the sheriff we nominate and elect has held supervisory and management positions in all the various elements of the sheriff’s office from search and rescue and jail management to SWAT, for example. 

First-hand leadership experience is vital for continuance of operation and a major reason why our Mesa County sheriffs have done such a good job for us. Let’s not gamble — it won’t work in these complicated times and could prove dangerous. The Mesa County sheriff’s position is no place for on-the-job training.

JIM SHULTS

Grand Junction 

Democrats aggressively push their agenda

What is going on in the political arena these days? There seems to be absolute virile aggression toward Republicans from Democrats. It’s a “crush you beneath our feet” policy of anything to win any issue. It’s as though Democrats are taking a “my way or the highway” form of edict.

Most Democrats I have known over my 50 some years have been highly opinionated and for the most part motivated by some really stupid ideas. Most Republicans just want to get on with life as undisturbed by Uncle Sam and the Democrats as possible.

Unfortunately, every time we turn around, somebody is creating a crisis or trying to take away the Bill of Rights from us whether we like it or not. Now I’m all for hashing out issues and coming to common-sense solutions, but hiding lies by creating crises is just not going to happen on my watch. A little truth would go a long way toward easing the public mind right now, but I have a hunch with a president in campaign mode and members of Congress left to cover their own butts it’s going to be like sitting in a room full of snakes for sometime to come.

Statements by Congressman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina amazed me. He was asking IRS officials how they could justify spending $40 million on the nonsense and stupidity of conferences in rooms that were $3,500 a night in some cases, while American families were losing their houses, their jobs and their self-respect. The man had no answer!

That seems to be the Democratic answer for everything these days. “I just don’t know how that happened.”

It happens when you lose your moral compass and rely on the dead reckoning of liars and thieves. It’s our job to hold them accountable, folks. Save the Constitution. That’s “what difference it makes.”

RICHARD BRIGHT
Grand Junction

Nashville saved The Ryman rather than tearing it down

Like with much of what he writes, Rick Wagner is simply wrong on the facts in his latest column on the Avalon Theatre. The Grand Old Opry was not torn down.  Indeed, it was saved by a concerted community effort and is now known as The Ryman.  It is a wonderful place to see a show, not as large as, but much more charming than, the stadium-like, mall-type facility that replaced it. 

The story of the Ryman, in fact, tells a tale that is the opposite of what Wagner pretends.  Sure, at the time it fell into disrepair all the same arguments were made — it’s old and would cost a lot to fix up to standard.  No one wants to see shows downtown anymore.  They prefer ample parking, etc., etc.

But the community in Nashville did not want to see this grand historic building razed to build some generic replacement.  And they banded together and saved it. 

Today The Ryman is a major Nashville venue and a must-see location for some of the nation’s top touring acts.  Sure it’s small, but it’s a classic.  Maybe the Avalon is not worth saving, although I think it is.  In any case, anyone interested in facts and history as it actually happened can plainly see that Wagner failed to make his case.  Again.

PETE KOLBENSCHLAG

Paonia

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