Letter to the Editor: Opinions do not reflect those of town staff
Ryan Summerlin April 4, 2013
To the Editor:
I am writing in response to the March 29 letter from Chelsi Holt of Grand Lake. I would like to say that this letter in no way reflects the opinions or views of the town board, the town staff, or any town employees. These are strictly my opinions.
First I would like to address Chelsi’s view that the mayor and board are “neglecting” the town. As a citizen and business person, a thriving community is in my best interest. To take actions to the contrary would be masochistic. I am nearing the end of my fourth term (16 years ) as a board member. When I moved to this town it was very apparent that, in a small town, it is imperative that the citizens need to be involved in order to get things done. My wife and I immediately started helping with the elementary school, the rec district, the chamber events, and eventually running for the town board. It has been an honor to serve.
That being said, I have spent literally thousands of hours of unpaid time attending meetings, representing the town throughout the state with various organizations, lobbying on the town’s behalf, and helping our town activities come to fruition. During all those years, I would guesstimate that 90 percent of our board meetings go unattended. Even after the excitement of the heavily attended Town Assessment, our last meeting had two attendees. This can be looked at two ways: satisfaction with the town board or apathy. Apparently it is not the former so it must be apathy. We are six trustees and a mayor and, believe me, I don’t have all the answers but I do my best to arrive at well thought out answers to each problem and vote accordingly. I can explain each vote I have made.
If Chelsi thinks that the town should do more, then what? I could certainly use a little help in formulating solutions to the town’s problems that would satisfy our constituents. As far as I know, I have never met Chelsi or seen her at any town meetings or volunteer committees. By the way, I do have a job as well.
Next I would like address the assertion that “the majority of the people on our board dislike the idea of snowmobiles.” I have no idea where that came from. This last year, as a board, we contributed $15,000 form the general fund to the Trailblazes to maintain the trail system, we spent countless hours and thousands of dollars to repair and improve our trail connecting the town and the trail system, we are investigating funding sources to repair a bridge on our trail to make it wider and safer for snowmobiling, we purchased land and make annual payments to insure a way to connect town with the trail system, and we spend numerous hours and lots of board and staff time negotiating with the national park for the right to use their land for town access to the trail system. We have done similar things in past years. I believe that the vote for each of these projects was unanimous so I’m not sure – oh my gosh! How could I have been so blind! I am against snowmobiling and didn’t realize it till just this minute. Perhaps if Chelsi had attended the town meetings and shared with me her ideas, perhaps I could have avoided my snowmobilephobia.
I do my best to serve the town. It is very easy to complain and criticize while offering no solutions. To identify and solve the various problems in the town takes time, effort, and commitment. I would invite Chelsi to get involved and help me do a better job.