Lovato running for commissioner

Dear readers,

Fellow voters and citizens of Saguache County, let me introduce myself.   My name it Tim Lovato and I’m announcing my candidacy for Saguache County Commissioner for District 3. The seat is currently held by Ms. Linda Joseph, and she will be term-limited at the end of the year.

I’ve been a lifelong resident of Saguache County and have a well-rounded background as well as experience in business, agriculture, water and the environment. I would be proud to serve and represent the citizens of Saguache County and would appreciate your support.  I look forward to speaking with you in the future.

Tim Lovato

 

Gomez seeks re-election

Dear Editor,

I would like to announce my intention to run for re-election to the office of Saguache County Clerk and Recorder.   I believe that the knowledge and experience I have gained in the two years since being elected to the office in January of 2012 has well prepared me to serve a full four-year term as clerk and recorder and would like the opportunity to do so.   Much credit is due to the staff.  Their loyalty to the office and patience with me made a difficult situation workable.  The past two years have been spent dealing with many of the issues that occurred in 2010.  Much of that is behind us as we have made changes to procedures in order to be in compliance with existing and newly enacted laws and rules affecting the election process.  I remain committed to continuing to improve this process with the hope of regaining the confidence of voters and non-voters alike in Saguache County elections.

We continue to improve the daily operations for the many other required functions of the clerk as well.  This includes the recording and preservation of all public records and documents.  Currently we are in the process of cleaning and reorganizing the two vaults we have in the courthouse for storage of books and records dating to the earliest days of the county.  Also, with the cooperation of the Saguache Abstract Office, we are in the process of transferring records from more than 150 books that were transferred onto now-obsolete and deteriorating devices a number of years ago.  This is an extensive, long term effort that will result in these records being electronically recorded into the clerk’s current system.

We continue to improve the operations of the office.  I wait on customers, answer the phone, respond to emails, attend conferences and trainings, and to the many administrative responsibilities on a daily basis.  I remain committed to the office and to the citizens of this county and would be honored and humbled to serve as Saguache County Clerk and Recorder for another term.

Carla Gomez

 

A toxic environment

Dear Community,

Since resigning last month from the Baca Fire Department I find I must also resign from the Baca Ambulance Service. As emergency service volunteers we know there is inherent risk and liability. Serving in a professional capacity and the reality that incident outcomes are not always ideal puts us at risk of being sued. We train and work to ensure we provide the best service possible. We trust, if we do our best, things will work out.

I have appreciated the opportunities this service has provided for self-growth, learning, and expansion of my skill set. I want to thank all the leaders and crew I feel lucky to have worked with at the POA. However, a small group of people have overshadowed the last 5 years of my service with bullying: in person; on social media; and in print. As a board member, I spent 3 years sitting next to someone that threatened, cussed at and sued me. I witnessed him create a hostile work environment for volunteers and employees at the POA. Yet, I worked to believe he does what he believes is right and I tried to find common ground. My efforts were not reciprocated.

I resisted resigning from the ambulance service because the next closest ambulance is in Saguache. However, in a risky business, not having support of organization leaders is detrimental. Three out of five current board members have sued me. I distrust them. They appear more interested in destructive, vindictive behaviors than problem solving. I don’t trust the POA to adequately protect my safety and liabilities as an EMT on the ambulance.

I will no longer risk lawsuits and endure bullying to serve on the ambulance. I hope that one day I will once again be able to serve my neighbor as an EMT. I hope one day we have a public ambulance service with governmental immunity. I hope that the Crestone Emergency Services District (CrESD) can keep our services local.

In eleven years of volunteering, I have seen brilliance come from people committed to community service and loving their neighbor. However, I cannot ask you to volunteer for POA emergency services; I feel it is a toxic environment where public safety is not its primary goal. If you volunteer, be prepared that if something goes wrong, I believe the majority of the current board will make you the scapegoat.

Looking forward to community growth,

Treat Suomi

 

Open letter to the BGPOA board

Dear Editor,

I believe that Robert Garnett, Bruce McDonald and Nigel Fuller are responsible for all decisions made by the board since the new administration. It also seems to me that due to the actions of these three directors the fire protection for the Baca Grande community has been severely compromised.

I also believe that their attitude toward the fire department and their decision to reduce funding for the department has resulted in the loss of the fire chief and a significant  number of well trained volunteer fire fighters who are needed to protect life and property in our community. I am greatly alarmed and concerned regarding this situation.

The directors’ duty is to represent the membership, their families and property. This requires providing the necessary infrastructure including a fire department with experienced staff to respond to any fire danger.  The reduction of POA dues from $270 to $263 per lot per year is a substantial loss of income needed for the infrastructure. The fire department and maintenance departments need greater funding, not cuts, in order to better serve the members. The savings, $7 a year, is the cost of one breakfast at any restaurant in the Baca.

Directors must take action to provide a fire department that is well funded, led by a highly qualified fire chief who lives within our community, and a local staff of experienced, well trained fire fighters who know the complicated road systems well and can rapidly respond to emergencies.

Decisions need to be carefully thought out, personal feelings, judgments, and prejudices be set aside in the interest if the common good.

It could be interesting to know what legal responsibility directors have if they do not take appropriate action to provide adequate fire protection, or will the cost fall on POA members as the POA is a corporation that can be sued and dues raised to pay for fire damages?

Time is running out before the fire season begins in our valley.  It is imperative that the board of directors take immediate steps to insure fire safety for the Baca community.

The dedicated fire chief and fire fighters in our community deserve support, praise and gratitude for their dedicated and unselfish service to the POA membership.

Parvin J. and Patricia H. Johnson, Residents/Property owners & current POA members

 

An open letter to the POA board

Dear board,

I hesitate to add to the criticism already aimed at you—Bob Garnet, Bruce McDonald and Nigel Fuller—yet even if I were your best friend, completely agreeing with your positions, I would have to speak out. The BGCAN website warns of a small group controlling the POA, and many now agree that, yes, the irony being that it is now yourselves. Even as your best friend, I would have to say that the rudeness, sarcasm and contempt you’ve expressed toward those you claim to represent can only undermine your own positions and alienate much of this community. You’ve failed to engage in constructive dialogue, refusing to constructively listen to contrary positions, and while accusing others of illegality, you have violated a basic legal principle by refusing to accept a meeting quorum because two members, in your opinion, are guilty until proven innocent. And while I can’t claim any special understanding of the fire department issues, even as your best friend, when a third party study tells us that an independently-run department is a very bad idea, I have to question why you’ve taken a rancorous position that has so seriously disrupted our community. Then the BGCAN website ridicules what it sees as fear-mongering while there are, in fact, serious potential consequences. POA boards have a disturbing history, yet when I see the behaviors that each of you has demonstrated, regardless of my personal stance, I would now feel compelled to take my friendly hand from your shoulder.

My challenge to you, then, in the interest of the entire community, is to ask how you may be able to change to tenor of the POA board’s relationship with this community, for as the driving force, only the three of you can do so.

—Rich Jewett

 

Blubird migration

Dear Editor,

Greetings to my dear community! Well, I wasn’t going to do this but with just enough gentle nudging here goes. So after fifteen years in this incredible place I will be departing for the Midwest the end of February, then hopefully moving back to Colorado in the fall. Gosh where do I begin? I have been so fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. This special place taught me the meaning of  community. The people here are really special. I never knew what real friendship was until I moved here. All my relationships have been of the utmost quality and I have learned much from my sisters especially . . . and my brothers as well. I will miss you all sompthin fierce!  I intend to come back the end of September for my niece’s wedding . . . so it will be great to visit with you all then. I wish you all lots of happiness and remember life is short—make it count! Ok so fyi Marta Shoman will be taking over my caregiver list duties. She is highly competent and will help folks who need in-home care connect with caregivers looking for work . . . you can see her ad in The Crestone Eagle . . . her email is martashoman@gmail.com.  Thank you Marta!

Many Blessings to all!

Kris Boberek

bluebirdville@gmail.com

A politician’s prattle

Dear Editor,

Normally I would welcome an educated response to my letter of last month concerning the Moffat School District’s decision to send our tax dollars out of town now that measure 5a has passed, but unfortunately politicians such as school board chair people tend to dwell upon double talk and general mis-information whenever they respond to anything. What’s referred to in Washington DC as the “potomac two-step”.  When the Crestone Charter School received their grant they placed local ads requesting proposals for architectural and owners’ rep services giving those qualified local residents a chance to offer their services, thereby keeping our tax dollars here rather than sending them to Denver or Colorado Springs.  Contrary to one condescending comment from the district’s administrator in last month’s Eagle, no state agency dictates who the school district is to hire but only sets standards for the qualifications of those hired.  It’s obvious to me that there was never any intention to accomodate the local citizenry in that respect and will probably be the typical practice throughout the duration of the project.

William Hauser