Saving Silt one problem at a time

In a 1968 speech Eldridge Cleaver, author of Soul on Ice, 60s activist, and former minister of information for the Black Panther Party said: “What we’re saying today is that you’re either part of the solution or you’re part of the problem.” In the 80s, Cleaver saw the light and became a conservative Republican and Reagan supporter, which just goes to show that the real measure of success means becoming part of the problem and not part of the solution.

These days the Silt town staff proudly upholds that old conservative tradition. For instance, this week the town’s EMS Director Susie Taylor resigned.

Director of Silt-based West Care ambulance quits
Sudden move throws ‘transition’ into turmoil

SILT, Colorado — A plan to merge a Silt-based ambulance service with the Burning Mountains Fire Protection District hit a substantial snag Monday night when the longtime director of the ambulance service resigned without notice.

Susan Taylor, who has been since 1993 in various capacities with the ambulance service now known as West Care, made the sudden announcement at the Silt Board of Trustees meeting …

… in her announcement, Taylor accused Silt’s town administrator, Betsy Suerth, of having “censored” Taylor’s efforts to talk directly to members of the Silt Board of Trustees and the fire district.

She also accused Suerth of resorting to “intimidation” to force Taylor to prevent her ambulance employees from speaking directly to the same officials, in an apparent attempt to affect the terms of the merger.

Taylor said that at one time, after two ambulance workers addressed a meeting about the merger in New Castle, Suerth told her “I needed to control my staff better, [or] I would be fired.”

Taylor’s claims were supported by several West Care employees, and she said she was resigning because “I can no longer tolerate … the abusive administrative tactics or the hostile work environment” that she claimed Suerth had created for her …

…“The leadership of West Care is, in effect, defecting to Transcare,” Duran declared at one point …

It’s not so hard to understand why Town Administrator Betsy Suerth and Town Attorney Gene Duran would be upset with Taylor. Look at all the effort she put into that whole ambulance and fire department merger. She not only looked for a solution, she actually found one. It’s no wonder Betsy was abusive and threatened her. No one asked Taylor to take the initiative and solve this problem. Her job was to focus on the problem – not DO something about it. She was supposed to sit around and whine and bitch about it like everyone else on the town staff. 

Then there’s that busybody Tod Tibbetts who also showed up at Monday’s meeting to present some of the details of the Transcare proposal. Come to find out he has been working on the ambulance and fire department merger for over a year. Who does this dude think he is anyway? He resigned from the Board last spring. Why does he keep sticking his nose in town problems? Well the Board members weren’t having any part of his and Suzie’s solutions. His proposal was met with skepticism and cool indifference. They showed him they are committed to being part of the problem, and not some silly solution.

Then on Wednesday the Rockies got hit with a raging snowstorm that quickly turned into a weather emergency. Heavy snow fell at the rate of about an inch an hour in Silt with accumulations of 8-10 inches during the day. Suddenly the town was flush with all kinds of new problems. Hundreds of falling tree limbs and branches created plenty of chaos. Willow branches fell onto the power line a half block away and knocked out my power for 4 hours. When the power came back on I checked my email and found this message from the town in my inbox:

To all Town of Silt Citizens:

With this heavy snow, there have been a number of trees that have fallen or have broken limbs. Here is some information and tips:

• Please report any blocked roads to the Town at 876-2353. After hours call dispatch at 625-8095.

• Residents are responsible for removal of their own trees.

• Do not park or stand beneath snow-laden trees.

• Remove snow from branches if possible to do in a safe manner.

• Do not attempt to remove trees from power lines; please call Xcel Energy at 800-895-4999

• Note that Xcel Energy is prioritizing their services: Those without power will be addressed first: other issues will be taken care of after power outages are restored.

• The Police Department asks that you please slow down, drive safely and lock your vehicles!

After a day filled with falling trees, no electricity, my fussy grandson, and those fracking battery backups shrieking at me I was dangling by my last frazzled nerve. I understood exactly how those folks at the town hall felt. I bet people were calling them and asking for help all day long.

“Trees are falling on my house.”

“My power is off.”

“Can somebody help me?”


The town staff had every right to shoot out a snotty email. After all they’re in the midst of a big budget crisis. People have no right to expect the town to help them solve their problems during a weather emergency. Instead people ought to be out there pitching in to help the staff.

Stop your whining people. Get out there and knock that snow off the trees so they don’t fall over and block the streets. And clean up all those branches on the ground while you’re at it. The town’s a damn mess.

The next thing you know people will expect the town to produce solutions to their problems in the way of services, like offering to pick up those limbs and branches and actually haul them away. Or even provide some place where people can take the debris once they clean it up.

Instead the town’s crackerjack staff got out ahead of the situation with an email that spelled out the problems so people wouldn’t get their hopes up and start expecting solutions.

In a bad economy people need to buck up and face reality. The town staff doesn’t give a rat’s ass about them. 

Let’s face it, people are lucky the staff even answered the phone for them on Wednesday. If that storm had happened on “Furlough Friday” the town hall would have been closed and there would have been no one to whine to. 

And that’s one more way the town staff is determined to be part of the problem. They created even more problems, like closing the town hall and cutting the hourly wage workers hours and pay while giving the salaried employees like Town Administrator Betsy Suerth, Town Attorney Gene Duran, and Town Planner Gale Carmoney a 3-day weekend with pay twice a month.

Thank goodness the staff is staying focused on the problems. Otherwise the people might come up with their own solution to the big budget crisis.

Fire the town staff.

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6 Comments on “Saving Silt one problem at a time”

  1. Susie Says:

    Thanks Peggy, It could not have been said better.

  2. Lyn Hailey Says:

    Let’s see…their expenditures are $ 300,000 over their revenues for next year, and rather than eliminate a top heavy administration, they shut town hall for a whopping savings of what…maybe $ 30,000 annually? CUT OUT THE TOP HEAVY ADMINISTRATION, AND I BET YOU COULD BALANCE YOUR BUDGET IMMEDIATELY, YOU F…ING MORONS!!!!!

  3. charlie taylor Says:

    i love it ! it is time for a change in our town i hope in april we can get rid of these jokers.

  4. Frank St. John Says:

    I have lived here for my whole life. Never seen anything like these yayhoos before. Does that died black haired lady down there even know what she’s doing? A good friend of mine in the county had a run in with her and said her middle name is retaliation, over stupid stuff. Who hires these people anyway?

  5. Charlie Martel Says:

    Did you know that former chief-turned-detective Paul Taylor is no longer on the PD? Any reason?

  6. Peggy Tibbetts Says:

    Well I haven’t asked him why. But it must have been hard for him with all the problems between the staff and Susie. That would be my assumption.

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