Though you did not say anything actually negative about me, you did a good job of putting me down and I believe this was done partly by either not getting your facts straight or ignoring facts. While you say that preventing federal encroachment on our rights is a popular stance, you then state “Federal encroachment, however, is not the greatest challenge facing the county.” If you, as many do, believe that this only applies to shutting down National Forest roads, then I can see why you might think this way. I beg to differ with you. County commissioners face many and varied challenges such as roads, welfare, budgets, land use planning, and many more. With these types of things, I do not have an agenda, but I believe my experience has prepared me to deal with these. But, what may be our biggest challenge, not just as commissioners, but each person in the county, is what is commonly called “Agenda 21”. This is the United Nations Agenda for the 21st century. This was proposed several years ago by the UN, and though it has been signed by our Secretary of State, it has not been ratified by the U.S. Senate. However, many politicians and bureaucrats in Washington and even in our state capitols, have set about to implement it anyway. This plan is very far reaching. The ultimate goal is to cause people to move to urban areas where they can be better controlled. Creating wilderness areas, travel management plans, putting people off the land to protect so called endangered species, appropriating water rights unlawfully, using the Common Core curriculum in our public schools, instituting the International Building Code, and many other tentacles of this plan are being used to lock up public land, dumb down our people, and discourage development. You may consider me unstable mentally, but if you look at a copy of Agenda 21 (they are extremely expensive for a reason) I believe you will see that I am not exaggerating. It is a step by step process, and many steps are being and have already been taken. This is just touching the surface of this problem. I realize that the county commission cannot stop this by themselves, but working together with school boards, cities, non-profit organizations and individuals, we can possibly slow it to a stop. It is worth a try, the alternative is far from desirable.
We are currently seeing many of these things happening in Montezuma County, often without our knowledge as to their purpose. So I do see federal encroachment as a very great challenge.
You say that “it’s hard to imagine what Montezuma County’s economy would look like now without federal participation.” I would first like to point out that if both the U.S. Constitution and the Colorado Constitution were adhered to as should have been done, those vast swaths of land left unclaimed in the settlement of the West, as you put it, would belong to the state rather than the federal government. I can imagine a better managed multiple use of the land for one thing instead of a lock out of much of our public land. I can imagine our state receiving the revenue derived from this better management of public land that is currently going to the U.S. Treasury. This would be no small amount that I believe would come nearer being returned to the county in various ways instead of the very minimal PILT funds, for example, that are then withdrawn. I would very much like to imagine what we might do in Montezuma County without the “federal participation.”
You apparently misread my answer to your questionnaire concerning development in the County. I did not use “talking points” as you infer that I did. As I recall my answer, I suggested that one idea (not the only idea) was to meet with the trucking interests in the county to see what they saw as a business or manufacturing business that could be accommodated by the resources in our area. I was not aware that you seemed to prefer “talking points.”
I have worked a good part of my life trying to improve relations with the county and Cortez. I believe this is very important regardless of which side one approaches it from. Both the city and the county need to realize this and at least try to work toward a common goal beneficial to both.
You indicate that I probably don’t understand how to develop a more solid economy with both public and private funds for the benefit the people of the county. I was on the board that founded and built Montezuma Water Co. I spent over 40 years helping to develop one of the best volunteer fire departments in the area. I am on a board that has provided both data and phone service to the majority of businesses on main street in Cortez. I believe I understand how this is done, it is not by throwing money at something, but rather careful planning and a lot of hard work.
I guess the question I have concerning your editorial is what your definition is of which way is “forward”. It appears to me that “forward” to most of the liberal media and liberal politicians is to increase government regulations, taxes, and interference in our private lives. If that is forward, then I admit that I am going backward where private enterprise, personal responsibility and self government seem to me to accomplish much more for the benefit of all the people, when exercised.
James R. Lambert
Pleasant View, Colo.