Known Pam a long time. She is generally accurate.
Those who are upset by her reporting on county affairs are generally county staff or employees or county 'toadies' of which I am neither.
Two things of concern:
The number of firms who have moved jobs OUT of the area, and
The number of firms who will NOT move jobs to the region.
Both due to the perception of weak county policy and lack of leadership.
Being 25% off on cost estimates drives a lot of firms out of business. The below statement by Amy Lathen is a little frightening:
Most commissioners seem satisfied with how the Strategic Moves Initiative has been handled, often citing SMI as their signature achievement. For example, during Chair Amy Lathen's "state of the region" address during a luncheon last December, she boasted about the project — not once, but twice.
Good a reason to re-elect her as any, I guess. Unless you have value for a dollar whether it is yours or not.
Your continual gushing over – and little girl devotion to Sallie Clark from one with a short term perspective is quite understandable. She comes across strong. On the surface.
From one with far longer term perspective, I would submit that events of the past two years indicate not only would the long-term future of the public be best served by her not being returned to office - but other changes seem to be in need:
1. A citizen-sponsored initiative calling for a four year moratorium on elected county officials running for office upon completing service in a previous elected position, ie: Wayne Williams from Commissioner to Clerk and Recorder and/or Bob Balink moving from Clerk and Recorder to County Treasurer.
2. A citizen-sponsored initiative calling for a four year moratorium on city council
Members running for County Commissioner seats and/or County Commissioners running for city council.
The reasons for the two initiatives suggested above should be obvious in that the two major problems we face as a community have been exacerbated exponentially in just the past 8 years:
The region being broke!
Trust of the public being at an all time low!
And: Sallie Clark, along with Wayne Williams have been in office the entire period when county policies have done much to create the “brokenness” and are the primary reasons for “lack of trust”. You want a list why lack of trust is high? Pop me an email !
One can envision a state office coming open mid-term and Sallie Clark jumping ship (as she did on city council) to further her own political ambition to run for state office having groomed you to fall into her commissioner seat.
Today’s very edition of the Independent, featuring your endorsement of Sallie Clark, also has a feature story on the fact there is not real estimate of what the final cost will be for the acquisition and remodel expense will be for the Intel Building. We need 'Fiscal Realists' at the helm.
At a time when El Paso County has the highest level of ‘non-voter approved long term obligations’ of any county in the state but one.
Debt incurred in a manner to create the distrust voters have in county officials by the continued use of certificates of participation.
Lack of trust partially created by the fact that El Paso county, in spite of Sallie’s tenure as commissioner liaison for DHS still ranks high among the number of child abuse deaths in the state.
An article from ex-Gazette reporter Debbie Kelley refers to acrimony and lack of a civil working arrangement between the city and the county as being ’legendary’.
This, at a time when community needs call for the highest level of inter-agency cooperation. Listen to past recordings of county board meetings between 2009 and 2011. You will hear Sallie Clark as one of the leaders in cutting comments directed at her fellow associates at the city – and at the state level. Generally targeted at Democrats but always directed at those who have a view differing from hers. This does not build good will among those you must work with.
This is a time for civility and creative thinking in how to serve the public.
I cannot understand your support of Clark, when so many of her own party, with a 'long term view’ have chosen to place her in second spot during the caucus.
Nor can I support your transparent attempt to gain a seat as a commissioner until I have seen evidence you can be one who can create harmony and effectiveness in the working relationship between all regional entities.
You can do it. You have the brains and the tenacity. Sallie has run her course.
You may not have the chance to be a true leader supporting what to date has been a major part of the problem with the public having such low esteem for elected officials !
At present, faith in leadership and money are our greatest need. Will we give money to those we do not trust and will you grow to a point where we have faith in you?
Richard D. Wehner
The number of good, decent, honest people working at the highest level of ethics and integrity - - who have been forced out of county government is disturbing. More disturbing, is that our affairs are being handled by those who forced them out - - still in office.
I agree fully with Pam, but with a different analogy: He was a jewel in a pile of coal and to have him forced out for exercising his right to forthright honesty is a disgrace.
Without his work to keep commissioners informed when they are 'over the line' - the county remains the greatest threat to regional harmony and long-term planning. I am sure we will see more 'term-limit and Arrowswest' shady deals in the future that will continue to build a high level of distrust with the voting public.
Certainly he will do well in the private sector - and sleep better at night!
With an 'ultra-conservative' population, highly averse to taxes at all - the need for the city, county - and all taxing entities to come together for the common good and devise a means to meet the increased costs to maintain all critical needs as well as those non-essential items that boost the area's economy will be great. The three commissioners up for re-election have not played any role in developing a sense of regionalism. For that matter no entity in the region has. Charlotte and Oklahoma City voters are also 'conservative Republicans' yet their regions are prospering at a relatively higher level than the Pikes Peak Region. It is all about planning and cooperation.
Perhaps it is time to develop some enthusiasm for the community:
The ironic part of this denial to place this current measure before the voters:
A previous parks funding issue (discussed above - but not the same initiative) was pulled off the ballot in order to hopefully secure commissioner support for a 'later' measure in return for the assist that would be provided in keeping the term limit off the ballot- and in a manner that would allow Mrs. Clark and Mr. Hisey to run - regardless of the 2012 vote.
So much for trust. It is an election year.
(Fiscal Realist, and Liberal, I Guess)
Would we be better served if Mrs. Clark were not allowed to serve a third term? The division she has created - the lack of trust - and the additional cost to taxpayers by setting a precedent for three terms is quite high - and not in line with "stretching taxpayer dollars". Her third term will not happen by magic. It will take work. Join the growing numbers volunteering in what they, and I, feel will result in stronger local government:
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