Baxstrom’s comments belie his true position

To say that Harry Baxstrom’s comments in his interview with The Durango Herald on Sept. 24 are disingenuous is an understatement. True to form, he is trying to position himself as a moderate saying he would like to see a “good workable comprehensive plan.”

This is ironic because the secretary of state’s website shows many of his contributors as the same vehement, vocal anti-planning, anti-land-use, anti government radicals who derailed the comprehensive plan last year.

He believes that “right now, through involvement of the community, we could come up with a comprehensive plan.” That’s what took place the last two years – more than 100 public meetings, none of which he attended, and thousands of hours of citizen input, none of which he participated in.

The outcome of this process was a good plan with input from all the community, not just dissidents who made sure it was thrown in the trash.

Go to and search his contributors. You will see the names of tea party patriot/9-12 leaders, authors of outlandish letters about U.N. Agenda 21 conspiracy theories, anti-government rants and people who have publicly stated there should be no government role in deciding where and how growth takes place.

Baxstrom is no moderate. He tipped his hand four years ago when he ran, and now he’s saying all the right phrases, but look a little deeper, and you will find a different story.

His opponent, Julie Westendorff, has spent hundreds of hours in the last 18 months listening to people all over the county from the Animas Valley to Arboles and the Dry Side to Vallecito. She has attended all the county and civic meetings Harry skipped, and has a workable, realistic approach to move us forward. Westendorff will consider the input of all county constituents and make sensible, balanced decisions.

That’s what leaders do.

Julianne Ward