Cuchara Santiation and Water Board meeting was eye-opening
Friday was my first experience at a CSWD board meeting. Not only was it an eye-opener into the qualifications (or lack thereof) of those who represent us, but a lesson in what public serice should not be. I grew up in an atmosphere where words were decent and appropriate, not condescending and hateful.
Only three board members were present (until they voted to fill the two positions vacated by those who resigned). This vote was scheduled at the end of the agenda, after all other business was to be conducted and input from community members recognized.
But at the whim of the chairperson, it was hastily redrawn the day before. Plus, it was evident to everyone in the toom that no one but the two new board members would even be considered for the positions.
As a retired educator and member of the water district, the behavior of Mr. Van Nort was appalling. To have him shout down comments from his constituents and attempt to impede free speech with what he deemed “blabbering” is unconscionable. At least he didn’t refer to any members of the audience as “Fascist liars” as one of the former board members did.
I guess when one does not have a grip on the facts, it is easy to descend into name-calling. At one point Mr. Van Nort even adjourned the meeting so as not to deal with dissent from those in attendance. His favorite phrase when challenged on proper protocol and procedure seemed to be, “we don’t have to.”
A gem in this otherwise act of vitriol is Jim Berg, the only member knowledgeable in all areas of the board’s business. He spoke succinctly, knew the facts, and shared them with the audience and other board members. Mr. Harnley, on the other hand, had nothing to say except to agree with Mr. VanNort on occasion.
It would be to the benefit of all water district members if Mr. Van Nort would immediately offer his resignation to the board rather than subject himself to an inevitable recall by the citizens of CSWD. Respectfully submitted, ~Margie Yurtinus Cuchara, CO
An important name left out of the Celtic festival thank yous
In the October 12th edition of the WJ Debbie Channel wrote a gracious and comprehensive “thank you” to all of the “…many wonderful people that made the Thirteenth Annual Celtic Festival a success.” There were indeed many people responsible, and this wonderful event would not happen without all of their many contributions.
However, she neglected to mention one very important person who not only served as the Festival board president, did numerous anticipated and surprise tasks, and worked the Festival office, but did all this while also serving as the Clinic Manager of the Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center.
Thank you Debbie Channel for all that you have given the Festival of both your time and energy. Sincerely, ~Jonathan James La Veta, CO
Great Places don’t just happen
What makes Great Places, and why do so many communities wish they had just one more chance? How can we harness an oil boom? Make a great downtown and know that growth will be a good thing? There is only one way!!
The Aspen’s, Austin’s, Boulder’s and Sedona’s don’t just happen. What makes great places is their vision! The Houston’s, Farmington’s and Gillette’s fell victim to the oft-quoted Ed McMann’s (ULI) saying “If your community doesn’t control development, then development controls your community”.
Great places have a great vision, and vision-keepers that persistently pursue their intentional future. Without that vision, persistent pursuit of community desires is undermined from the get/go. Zoning authority, police powers and funding streams enable critical pieces of this intentional future to be realized. Piece by piece these great places are proactively pursued. Without a vivid community plan none of this is possible. It is this expressed community desires that legitimizes all local public expenditures.
Even in those declining communities, doing nothing is a mistake. The most basic plans need to express local desires for education and safety, thus legitimizing local expenditures for schools, police and fire, water and sewer. Standing still, is in reality, losing ground.
These visions need to be vivid enough that each land use application can be held up and compared against that aspirational future plan to assure it is compliant or not. The mistakes we make we usually have to live with forever, and without a clear view of what we want, it is impossible to recognize those good or bad choices when they presents themselves.
There are no magic pots of money that will materialize critical pieces of the plan. So desires such as an enchanted main streets, convention centers, airports, waterslide pools and spectacular park systems require both persistence and time.
Those communities blessed with growth, progress is so much easier! Communities that have developed a vivid vision are now ‘shovel ready’. As growth occurs, the intentional future is actualized.
Regardless if your community is large or small, rich or poor, the only way to achieve community needs and desires is with an up to date, vivid comprehensive plan. That is how great places happen.
Huerfano County is projected to grow over 2,500 people in the next 13 years, now is the time to get plans updated in order to harness the benefits and minimize the negative consequences. ~Steve Mullen, Land Use Planner Walsenburg CO
La Veta Oktober fest Says thanks
It’s hard to believe that another year and another Oktoberfest has passed, but here with are again with nothing but gratitude for all of those that made or 31st Oktoberfest a huge success!
We were blessed with fantastic weather, many wonderful folks who came out to celebrate , vendors who traveled here from far and wide to sell their wares and our fine merchants who donated prizes and purchased our banners. We would like to thank the Signature and World Journal for covering the event and for the wonderful advertising and Annalee and Russell Hickey for donated their back page in the Signature.
As always, we need to thank San Isabel electric for providing the power and also for the very generous donation of $1000 to help us with our insurance expenses for the event! The Town Marshall and Deputy were on hand to make sure everything went smoothly and the Town of La Veta granted us the use of the old Marshall’s office as our headquarters. Lonnie and Phyllis Bolin provided us with the trailer for the band, the Huerfano County Fair Board allowed us to use their tables and chairs, and the members of The Old, Fat and Ugly Club donated their time to act as our bouncers. Our talented local belly dancers, Frieda and Ellen, delighted the crowd and Jane Altman put on a genuine German fashion show.
We must also thank our EMTs, John Mayfield and Mark Worgan, Sammie’s for providing our meeting space and for putting up with us all year long, and our great crew of volunteers (you know who you are) who worked in the raffle booth, beer garden and helped to set up and take down. We could not do it without you! We cannot forget our color guards who presented us with a moving opening ceremony and Emma Torres and the La Veta elementary choir for the lovely patriotic songs.
We were delighted to be able to crown our deserving King, Dave Hamilton, and Queen, Debbie Channel and we thank them for their community spirit. We also wish to acknowledge our special veterans, Colton Taylor and Ruben Ortiz and thank them for their service to our country.
It takes a village to make Oktoberfest happen and we are truly blessed to have such a fine “village”and caring people who allow us to continue this wonderful tradition! See you next year!! ~The Oktoberfest Committee, La Veta, CO