Here’s the latest from Antero’s mouthpiece, the Post Independent:
Oh blah, blah, blah. Like I said in my previous post, Antero pulled the app because of the publicity. They want us chickens to settle down and go on about our business and forget about all this so they can move forward with their “secret drilling activity” – oops – I mean “increased drilling activity”.
Besides, their little stunt where they tried to circumvent proper procedure with the town of Silt was also exposed. They need time for that to get swept under the rug, too. One thing I’ve learned about the gas industry. They’re in no hurry. They have the whole future in their hands.
Now let us revisit the evidently cozy relationship between Antero and Mayor Dave as described in the 10/28 article: Antero plans increased drilling activity south of Silt
I can see how people might read the part about how Mayor Dave can’t remember anything about the letter from Antero and think “what an incompetent boob that mayor is” and let it go at that.
But it’s not that simple. First of all Antero.
“She [Community Development Director Janet Aluise] wrote that [Lars] Inman also informed her that Mayor Dave Moore was listed as Antero’s contact in Silt, and that Inman reported Moore had submitted comments regarding the drilling plan on behalf of the town.”
Oh bullshit, Lars Inman.
He knows very well Mayor Dave is not the proper contact person for the town of Silt. Antero didn’t just crawl out from underneath a rock. They’ve been doing business in Silt since 2003. I’m pretty sure they get how the whole chain of command thing works in municipal government. The Mayor is a figurehead. The town administrator and the community development director (or planner), handle the business of the town.
Antero pulled a fast one. They know they didn’t follow proper procedure. It doesn’t matter if Mayor Dave called up Lars Inman and said, “Send the application papers to me.” They can send him anything they want, but anything they send him should also be sent to the town staff. Talk about bad faith business dealings. I mean, why should the public or anyone on the town staff trust Antero after they pulled this stunt and then lied about it?
Antero wasn’t always like this. For instance, back in 2005, they participated in a CDP with local communities. The EAB was even talking about forming a land purchase company to buy out landowners’ properties affected by gas drilling. Antero’s then-VP Terry Dobkins was not opposed to the idea saying it had worked in Texas, it was up for negotiation, and “everything should be on the table.”
So what’s going on right here, right now?
In the recent article, Mayor Dave said he’s “pro-gas”. He didn’t always feel that way. Remember toll booths? In 2007, an angry Mayor Dave wrote a letter to editor complaining about the gas companies tearing up the roads in Silt and proposed the hare-brained – and I might add illegal – scheme of putting up toll booths to make them pay for damages, and of course every other non-gas affiliated trucking company, too.
So what changed his mind?
Two words – Autumn Ridge. Mayor Dave’s phantom new development, which wasn’t hatched until 2008. Remember Nightmare on Main Street? It’s not back. Autumn Ridge never went away. The economy tanked. Mayor Dave is first a developer and second the mayor of Silt. He’s in it for what’s in it for him. And what’s in it for him is to make Autumn Ridge happen – or die trying.
If you haven’t connected the dots yet let me connect them for you. For Mayor Dave those 850 gas wells over the next six years mean jobs and workers in Silt. To him that translates into Autumn Ridge will finally have a snowball’s chance in actual hell of breaking ground. Never mind that gas workers are transient renters and rarely buy homes, especially in this crappy economy. His plans are to build townhomes – transient housing. He’ll just lease them all and make more money over the long term. It’s a win-win for Mayor Dave and Antero, too.
Gale Carmoney had been Antero’s previous contact person. He was terminated as Community Development Director in April 2010. Sometime after that Mayor Dave must have contacted Antero and made himself the contact person. There was obviously a huge staff upheaval at that time and none of the new staff was made aware of the change. In other words, Mayor Dave didn’t tell anyone on staff that he was the new Antero contact person. Because they would not have allowed it. I repeat: In Silt, the mayor is just a figurehead. He has no power (HRC Section 2-4). Antero knows that.
A year ago Mayor Dave read a letter in support of Antero at a special meeting of the BOCC in Rifle. He claimed the letter was approved by the SiltBOTs. It was not. He took a lot of heat from citizens at the meeting and afterward. A reliable source told me that after the whole kerfuffle, Mayor Dave sent out an email to trustees and staff and decreed there would be no more discussion about gas drilling at the board level or public meetings. Antero must have been thrilled to have Silt’s mayor in their pocket with such minimal effort.
In light of all that, now Mayor Dave wants you to believe he doesn’t remember nuttin bout no letters, or nuttin no-how. It would be funny if it wasn’t so unethical.
Mayor Dave doesn’t want any public discussion about gas well drilling in Silt. Neither does Antero. That’s why Antero and Mayor Dave tried to circumvent proper procedure with the application. Luckily they got caught — this time. Let’s make sure they don’t get their way next time.