I would like to congratulate Dewayne Findley for his primary election win. The interaction between us was always above board, making for a very enjoyable race as a result. I would also like to thank all of you who supported me for county commissioner. I greatly and sincerely appreciate all of your efforts and support. I feel strongly that the message I tried to convey was right on track and I would not change that message one bit if I was doing it all over. We need to make it easier for our county residents to grow and prosper by recognizing and minimizing the regulatory obstacles that continually get in the way of our progress. Keep in mind these are our rules and are in place because we put them there. The BOCC is in place to administer those rules and if some are too intrusive, no longer make sense or are too ambiguous, we can change them.
Regarding public lands issues, all public land user groups would be well served if the Public Lands Office simply followed their own rules. The Travel Management Final Rule gives a district ranger the flexibility to leave things just as they are. Thats right, make no travel management changes at all. The unwritten directive is to make all decisions consistent between districts across the nation, but what is appropriate near metropolitan areas is a bad fit for small town rural America.
The Rule also states that the decisions should be made locally, coordinated with local public, tribal and government input. The decisions are required to be fair, balanced and multiple use without preference toward any particular user group. Anyone who claims the USFS is actually following those rules has no understanding of the Final Rule. Decisions are far from being fair, balanced and non-preferential.
Montezuma County is one-third public, one-third tribal and one-third private. It is critical that we maintain our access to public lands not only for the multitude of recreational purposes but for oil, gas and CO2 development, ranching, logging, mining, hunting and firewood gathering. Forty-nine percent of county revenue comes from oil, gas and CO2 development and the majority of that takes place on public lands. Forty-four percent of county revenue comes from property taxes. Of the revenue the county receives, 43 percent goes back out to the schools, 30 percent to the county and 26 percent to special districts. Its easy to see how we all benefit from oil, gas and CO2 production and just as easy to see how we could all be impacted without it, due to lost revenue to our schools, less money for roads and higher property taxes to make up the difference.
Our local economy doesnt revolve around tourism, recreation, ranching, mining, mountain biking or any other single business sector. We need them all and many, many more and should promote them all to ensure our economic health is strengthened and to provide a diversity of jobs in our community.
The BOCC is not simply just a part of local economic development; they are the master keyto it. Nothing of any significance happens without BOCC approval whether its a CO2 well, motorcycle rally, residential development, auto repair business, concrete batch plant, storage unit or any new business outside city and town limits. The same goes for town boards and city councils. Nothing happens without their approval, but they all work for us and are elected to represent us to protect our inalienable or God-given rights per the U.S. and Colorado constitutions.
The U.S. and Colorado constitutions were written to limit the powers of government and protect our rights such as the right to choose your own vocation, the right to enjoy the fruits of your own labor, the right to buy, protect, use as you choose and sell your private property, the right to free speech, the right to bear arms and the right to freedom, safety and happiness in other words, the right to live your life in the manner which makes you happy, ensured by the US and Colorado constitutions.
Casey McClellan was a Republican primary candidate for District 3 county commissioner.