Balcomb’s golden acre conjured lots of pixie dust

November 4, 2012

Garfield County

Carl McWilliams responds to Scott Balcomb’s Letter to the Editor (11/2/12)

County was wise to purchase Worrell-Durrett properties

This guest post was written on the Sunday before Tuesday’s Garfield BOCC election, because the Post Independent will not publish letters to the editor until after the election and I wanted to publicly respond to Attorney Balcomb forthwith:

Clearly, I am the individual Attorney Balcomb refers to as demanding the resignations of Commissioners John Martin, Mike Samson and Tom Jankovsky, for recklessly spending precious Garfield County funds to purchase the Worrell & Durrett property for $2.5 million, (240% of appraised value), and overpay by $1.4 million.

In his letter Attorney Balcomb conjures-up a term “golden acre.”  I looked in my Black’s Law Dictionary for the definition of “golden acre” and within respectable legal circles, the term does not exist.  Perhaps Attorney Balcomb (in giving his quasi-legal opinion) should have written  “pixie dust” instead of “golden acre”, in his feckless attempt to justify Samson, Martin and Jankovsky violating their Colorado Constitutional oath under Ethics in Government and squandering away $2.5 million of Garfield County cash.

As a matter of fact; the county could have bought the rest of Pitkin between 8th and 9th, for much less. The traffic circulation using this option would be far better than the extreme congestion at 8th and Colorado . Furthermore the county could have also purchased the land where the softball field is on 8th from RE-1 for much less as well. Then at least a public school district with tighter finances would have received the benefit; instead of a blatant “sweetheart deal” for lawyers.

That said, there is another real estate transaction the citizens of Garfield County need to be aware of:  As I understand it, there is a deal already negotiated by Samson, Martin and Jankovsky where county owned land beneath a Valley View Hospital facility, which is valued at $4.5 million, is being swapped for the Petry Building in Glenwood Springs, which is valued at $1.8 million.  Obviously, a $2.7 difference — which is a lot of “pixie dust”.

After the BOCC election this Tuesday, and assuming Democrats Sonja Linman and Aleks Briedis take over control of the Garfield County BOCC; I herein suggest the new Garfield County Commissioners seek legal remedies for the return of the $2.5 million to the Garfield County treasury and the transfer of title to the Worrell & Durrett propertyback to the sellers.

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