Judy, Judy, Judy

February 15, 2012

Garfield County, gas well drilling

Rumor has it folks are encouraging Judy Jordan to run for county commissioner. In a letter to the editor in today’s PI, Jordan confirmed that rumor, although she doesn’t say whether or not she will run for county commissioner. Let me add my name to the list of people who want her to run. Her letter is posted here with her permission.

Where is the accountability at Garfield County?

In my Jan. 20 letter, I expressed concern over Garfield County’s spending $300,000 of taxpayer money on a study south of Silt that should have been completed last summer. On Feb. 9, I read that the BOCC has now approved another $90,000-odd on the study.

While I question the need to continue to sample groundwater when two rounds have already been collected (the data say what they say), I’m glad the BOCC is not burying this as some had feared.

But this raises questions: Why did it take someone like me to get the BOCC to take action? Why didn’t they ask, when the planning department head requested his budget, “What happened to the $300,000 we approved for the Phase III Study? We owe people an answer.”

Perhaps it is this failure of the BOCC and some staff to take seriously their accountability that has motivated a number of residents to ask me to run for commissioner.

Perhaps residents think that the county has run amok, with random, unexplained firings of the budget manager and the IT director, and junkets, which may suggest that some staff at higher levels are drunk on power.

The now-also-fired county manager told me in early 2011 that the outcome of the commissioners’ junket — I mean, “retreat” — in Gateway was that the county would be “open for business.” His goal (other than to bring an entourage to Florida to promote the county airport) was to do an oil and gas conference in the spring.

Shortly thereafter, another county called me asking what this conference was, why it conflicted with other events and why it was so “last minute.” I couldn’t explain, but said I’d pass his concerns up the line. Eventually a slick brochure was printed, but it was too late. The conference had to be canceled because only a handful of people had registered. More wasted time and money.

Maybe the citizens don’t feel that they’re being well served and that’s why even some Republicans want alternatives to sitting commissioners. Whoever does run should remember that the government is there to serve the citizens — something that leaders appear to have forgotten.

Judy Jordan

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