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Commissioners’ actions regarding open space disappointing
Regarding the Clear Creek county commissioners’ meeting on Aug. 16:
I wish to comment on my disappointment over the outcome of the Clear Creek Board of County Commissioners meeting to consider the Clear Creek County Open Space Commission’s request to move forward in an effort to acquire the former Williams (now Snow Mountain) property just south of the Floyd Hill overpass.
I felt that Frank Young with the Open Space Commission and Jim White with SOLVE gave a highly professional presentation on the case for preservation. Their presentation was clear and well reasoned, and it addressed questions that the commissioners had raised during previous meetings.
Commissioner Tim Mauck’s positive stance reflected his consistent enthusiasm for the preservation of our lands and lifestyle.
Commissioner Phil Buckland’s negative stance, while not to my liking, was expected.
The negative stance of Commissioner Tom Hayden, who represents the Evergreen portion of Clear Creek County, was surprising to me because it was a complete reversal of his position during his campaign. Hayden said unequivocally on several public occasions that he would support the purchase of this property when elected. The strength of his statements won my vote.
Furthermore, Hayden pledged to focus commercial development in the county into areas where infrastructure already exists, indicating his understanding that development in other areas would lead to negative financial burdens for the county. His failure to support the Open Space Commission on this issue is simply a vote for commercial development of the Floyd Hill area, which would create a multitude of problems and ultimately cause all of our taxes to increase, not just the taxes for people on Floyd Hill, but every taxpayer in the county. This is not just a Floyd Hill issue.
Hayden is hardly a newcomer to the county. This is not a new issue, and he had ample opportunity to study the question during his campaign. Hayden’s rebuttal of the Open Space Commission that this property fails to meet the OSC guidelines for property acquisition was based on his opinion, which he has so recently come to, and not on fact.
For Hayden to claim that he has become better informed on the issue since taking office strikes me as being disingenuous.
Since Hayden’s campaign, the property is the same property. The ability of the OSC to make the purchase without compromising its ability to complete other planned acquisitions has not changed. What seems to have changed is Hayden’s commitment to act as a representative of the constituency that put him in office. Fool me once.
Steve Axtell
Beaver Brook Canyon