Restore public trust with new county leaders

I trust that Kellie Hotter and Bobby Lieb have positive intentions for La Plata County because they both grew up here and are long-term residents. I don’t trust that they know how to lead effective public process that moves past partisan politics to address our collective future.

The collusion between Hotter, Lieb and tea party extremists to torpedo the comprehensive plan and the Climate and Energy Action Plan demonstrated that it is time for new leadership. Hotter had her chance to help orchestrate these efforts and failed. It is time to let her know that we demand better representation and leadership from our county commissioners.

Her recent ads state: “Kellie cares. Kellie listens.” This may be true if you belong to the tea party, but her actions earlier this year clearly illustrate her lack of interest in listening to concerned, involved residents outside her own party.

The failure of the two countywide initiatives under her watch involved many county residents, evolved over several years and cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. Hundreds of hours of collaborative effort were squandered by Hotter and Lieb, who catered to their uninvolved constituents – people who mattered more to them than the mainstream support that each initiative generated.

Hotter and Lieb’s decisions to vote “no” on these initiatives at the end of the efforts poses a threat to future public process participation for a couple of reasons:

Lesson 1: Why get involved? We risk tremendous citizen apathy because of a feeling that county commissioners will waste your time and genuine concern about your community by not sincerely guiding public processes in an authentic and productive way.

Lesson 2: Fringe groups such as the tea party have the ear of the Republican commissioners and therefore don’t need to participate in public process like everyone else. They can sabotage the process at the end.

Please vote Nov. 6 for a change in leadership. Cast your ballot for Gwen Lachelt instead of Hotter. And vote for Julie Holligan Westendorff. Restore credibility to public process in La Plata County.

David Marvin