Chairman Suckla and Commissioner Ertel,
As residents and employees of Montezuma County, we would like to thank you for your eight years of service and dedication to the County.
Although at times we have disagreed, you have always done what you believed to be right for the people of Montezuma County. When you took over this County, it was not the County we see and work in today. At that time, commissioners were under investigation for allegedly trafficking stolen heavy equipment. Tens of thousands of dollars were being embezzled directly out of the County Administration office. Sheriff’s deputies were allegedly stealing firearms from the County and then reselling them. We had just lost a DA to an accident that occurred while riding a motorcycle intoxicated on a revoked license (due to DUI). I am thankful for the County in which we live and work today is no longer that.
Under your leadership, the landfill saved hundreds of thousands of dollars and successfully implemented a recycling model that was sustainable even through the shutdown of Three Dragons Mill in China.
Because of you, a perverse leader of the DSS was replaced and the problems highlighted in the Ombudsman report were corrected, almost entirely, before the report was even finished.
During your time, water rights have been taken seriously and you have appointed men who are not afraid to fight to represent the rights of Montezuma County and the Upper Basin. Although not always agreeing with everything, you supported our Noxious Weed Department in their endeavor to remove phreatophytes, saving over 27 million gallons of water.
When it came to issues of public land usage and private property rights, you made sure Montezuma County had a voice: a voice in Denver through your work with CCI and a voice in Washington D.C. through your work with both CCI and NACO. And, just last week, you took a stand to keep our historic roads on Forest Service and BLM land open with your resolution claiming our SR-2477 roads for we the people of Montezuma County.
Last year during the budgeting process, you made a decision to fund law enforcement, before there ever was a movement to defund the police.
When the State began constructing “Red Flag” laws, you were resolved to make Montezuma County a sanctuary for the 2nd Amendment.
And, this year, you helped to ensure the safety of our community by ensuring all remaining funds were made up to purchase the BD Max Analyzer before we even knew there would be a CARES Act. You allowed MOCO to loan a bus to SWMH for the transporting of COVID-19 patients to keep ambulances in service for other needs. You hired an emergency manager, who had kept PPE flowing into the County and being distributed to the hospital, law enforcement, EMS, and nursing homes. At the same time, you recognized individual liberty. You supported businesses being open, and quickly adjusted the County budget to make funds available for business relief, again, before there even was a CARES Act. Furthermore, the majority of CARES Act money that passed through the County went to our businesses. You allowed the most successful fair in the State to go on, promoted races, and sponsored a Freedom Concert on the 4th of July after all fireworks were canceled. All of this boosted the morale of citizens when they needed it most.
Eight years ago, like most areas, the municipal roads were in better shape than the County Roads. We now have the extension of County Road J.7th Street completed, moving bus traffic off of Main Street and we have scores and scores of miles of improved County Roads.
Today, Montezuma County is not the same as it was eight years ago. Thank you for your service and your dedication.