Elbert County Under the Radar    "In times of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

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If someone is interfering, or attempting to interfere, with your right to vote, or with anyone else’s right to vote, this may be voter intimidation, and a violation of federal law. Please report any such activity to poll workers inside your polling station, and for additional information, call Election Protection, a nationwide network of voting rights lawyers, at 1-866-OUR-VOTE for English or 1-888-Ve-Y-VOTA for Spanish.

Photography: Lori P. Ferrari
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A near historic event happened on Saturday, October 22, 2016. All the candidates, both Republican and Democrat, (from all three districts) presented their case to be elected Commissioner to the public. Here’s the epic part, all the candidates were at the same location at the same time! For at least the last ten years Republicans either refused to meet or in several occasions agreed to similar “all candidate” events and then rudely would not show up at the agreed times and places. We are glad such spineless and childish behavior might have finally come to an end.

Representing Republicans were Chris Richardson, Danny Wilcox, and Grant Thayer. The Democratic candidates were Jill Duvall, Don Charobee, and Barb Miller. The event was presented by Elbert County Citizens (Marlene Groves), Prairie Times, & The Ranchland News.

Somewhere around 50 or so people attended despite the fact that the event location was just past the last dragon sighting in Elbert County, but just before the Kansas border. Apparently the Republican overlords would not agree to the event being somewhere closer to population centers... presumably afraid for voters to judge their candidates without a teleprompter. Fortunately the weather held and it was a lovely afternoon out in the boonies.

Despite the remoteness, the outside event under the pine trees was well and thoughtfully organized with plenty of seating and refreshments. Kudos to the organizers and volunteers who made this event happen. The candidates all generally represented themselves articulately while making their points (which often overlapped party to party). I noticed several times when the Republicans referred to and agreed with ideas presented by both Jill Duvall and Don Charobee and then went on the explain why. Which just goes to show that good ideas are not exclusive to any one party. The candidates and audience were all congenial and appreciative for the opportunity to share viewpoints. There were no raised voices, fist-fights, hangings or guns drawn…how boring, nothing to tweet at 3 o’clock in the morning.

So lest we forget, this is how Democracy is supposed to work, with an informed and involved population, voting for the best candidates for the jobs.

The WAC (Water Advisory Committee)

The WAC (Water Advisory Committee) provided one of their most useful and informative sessions to date on 10/5 at the Elizabeth Library. Hamacher Well Works from Simla, CO made a presentation addressing several areas of concern that apply to folks who rely on private or community owned wells:

- well permitting procedures
- new state regulations (effective 9/1/16) concerning water wells
- well drilling procedures
- specific questions regarding pumps, pressure tanks, drilling wells deeper, casings, various costs for drilling, maintenance issues, etc.
- Denver Basin Aquifer questions about most suitable aquifers for residential wells, permeability of layers between aquifers, water table levels, future water supplies in various areas of EC

A wealth of valuable information was presented. The public is invited to call Hamacher Well Works at 719-541-2460 for specific questions. They indicated a willingness to answer any questions folks might have about their specific wells.
Thanks to the WAC for their continuing efforts to keep the citizens updated on water issues in the county.

Jill Duvall

Some Problems with "Group Think"

Group Think is one facet of the leadership problem in Elbert County government. Add, "We don't speak ill publicly about our own kind", and you have the recipe for corruption, deterioration, and destruction.

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Donald Charobee Running for District 2

The Democrats have put forth a "scary-qualified"candidate to replace Kelly Dore as EC Commissioner for District 2. Donald Charobee worked 35 years as a Federal Law Enforcement Officer for US Department of Homeland Security Investigations and US Customs Service.

"Worked a wide variety of criminal investigations where I was responsible for the identification and arrest of East Bloc intelligence operatives: investigations involving product, safety military armament systems, child pornography, narcotics smuggling, trade fraud, white collar and financial crime, intellectual property rights and internal investigations."

He is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) and Member of the Executive Board of the Colorado Chapter ACAMS (Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists). Considering all of the financial shenanigans and influence irregularities that have gone on over the last ten years in the Elbert County's Government, Charobee could have a real positive effect over the same ol same ol Kurt Schlegel/water barons influences once again mindlessly put forth by the Republicans.

Click to Visit Charobee's Website

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BOCC Meeting Summary 10/12/16:

And now for a little musical campaign levity...
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Security at the Polls
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I want to take a moment and go on the public record:

I am working as a volunteer in Elbert County on the 2016 General Election. I have always believed that helping with elections is my civic duty. To me, there is nothing more important than to protect the integrity of our elections. Each election cycle I am honored to take the oath as an election official to do my job honestly and without bias.

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Zombie Apocalypse, Poll Watching and Voter Fraud
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Despite a recent televised report that dead people were voting in Colorado, our state is actually recognized as having one of the most secure voting systems in the United States. So how did this report of political activism within the community of the dearly departed occur?

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She Said, He Said ... and He Actually Said It
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Irresponsible, Unrealistic, Naive, Petulant, Childish, Vindictive, Prejudiced, Bigoted, Racist, Islamophobic, Anti-Semitic, Misogynistic, Fascistic, Authoritarian, Insensitive, Erratic, Disturbed, Irrational, Inhuman Individual

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Planning Commission Meeting- Oct 18, 2016

Staff report:
CDS director Kyle Fenner reported on business at most recent BOCC meeting.

Public comment:
Victoria Thalimer - Independence development - concern about number of road trips in and out.
(Dan Rosales, chair of the PC, then said that the PC won't listen to comments about Independence from public until the PC has received a formal application.)

Rick Brown - referenced Chris Richardson's meeting in Parker with developer Jim Marshall; also pointed out in the bylaws of the PC which include a section dealing with requirements for professional performance (part 2, section 7). Private meeting with a developer by anyone on the Planning Commission raises ethical concerns.
(Dan Rosales stated that there was nothing improper done at this meeting between Jim Marshall and Chris Richardson that occurred in Parker.) Editor's Note: The developer and commissioner candidate were probably just swapping chili recipes - right?

Bill Johnston - concerned about rural ambiance of our neighborhoods and wants that preserved. Before things get front-loaded on proposed developments, he wants the PC aware of the citizens' concerns.

Patty Sward - commented about USGS water study recently released, keeping in mind that we had a wet year last year, and we have had very little recent growth; we need to look at the big picture as far as all impacts.

Tim Goodwin - talked about lack of current information on county website and the need for citizens to be heard.
Jackie Tugwell - has been told that Independence is already done; the citizens have questions that need answered, and no one at the county will help out. Citizens want to be on equal footing with developer; they want a "fair shake" because they aren't convinced that all requirements were met for the rezone. Citizens want to be proactive but need cooperation from county.
(Dan Rosales responded: citizens have valid points. 1)We require a 300 year water supply for subdivisions. 2)new Master Plan will cover a huge list of subjects and meetings will allow for citizen input. 3)Website needs improved; Master Plan will have its own website. 4)Meeting on November 1 to discuss contractor selected for Master Plan.)

Public hearing:
Coyote Meadows Rezone - (Paula Wilderman disclosed that the attorney who wrote a letter about this rezone was an attorney she had previously done business with; board felt it was not necessary for her to recuse herself.) Baseline planner presented details of rezone.

1) Rezone 60.36 acres from ag (A) to ag residential (AR).
2) Minor residential development would create 6 (5 new) lots on this property with individual wells and septic.
3) Maintains rural character of county.
Applicant: do not have a road agreement completed (lot owners would share in cost of road maintenance because it's a private road - Ranch Road). If it was a county road, the developer would have to give up 1 lot due to necessity of 10-acre minimum size for AR zoning.

Citizens own the road so have not agreed to what developer wants. Safety concerns for kids on school busses expressed; errors in documents and discrepancies in numbers revealed; purchase of mineral rights agreement from Anadarko (coal).
Public comment: raised many issues - safety concerns at the intersection, road ownership, traffic, water, and potential to open up big residential area for development.
The PC decided to delay a decision on this rezone for further study; it will be continued until November 15, 2016.

Lion's Gate: tour proposed because there will be a special use review (SUR) coming before the PC eventually. Board would prefer to have application in hand before a tour.
-Jill Duvall

Next Elbert County Planning Commission Meeting is November 1st