Readers weigh in on "Giving Thanks" and "The Secret Garden"
"Giving Thanks," Josiah Hesse, November 28
What a beautifully written and sensitive article by Josiah Hesse. Alas, the striptease joints may be paying for it, but you are definitely a publication to be acknowledged. Congrats!
"The Secret Garden," Alan Prendergast, November 21
First off, I'd like to thank Alan Prendergast for his great reporting. I am saddened by the pervasive misperception of gardening as some sort of hippie-dippy BS. I am all too familiar with locals who, having no other credentials to speak of, tout generations of nativity — as if the longer an error is carried around, the more likely it will become true. It's a sorry fact that the image of the future is a threat for those trapped in the past.
Indubitably, the school board violated the sunshine law. CRS 24-6-401 stipulates that executive session can be called only to discuss land acquisition in a competitive bid process, and then "only if premature disclosure of information would give an unfair competitive or bargaining advantage to a person whose personal, private interest is adverse to the general public interest."
In this case, it appears the opposite occurred. The board erred on two counts: one, by calling an executive session when it was unreasonable to do so, and two, by placing a public project at a disadvantage during a competitive process while giving advantage to a private enterprise — the exact opposite reason for an allowable use of any executive session!
Failure to properly announce the sessions and publicly place an informative agenda at a specified location renders all discussions secretive and illegal. I would encourage legal action against the school board for negligence.
Further, I'm not sure how a transaction broker, working for a private enterprise, with a real and apparent conflict of interest — and even offering counsel at said meetings — could, in good faith, be legally allowed to attend any such executive sessions. This is clearly a violation of paragraph (I) of the sunshine act.
That a real-estate agent, working as a transaction broker, who received commission from the sale of public land to Mr. Russell, was allowed into closed chambers for the discussion of the motion — whether or not the motion was voted on in public — is an unequivocal abuse of the law.
The economic benefits of a fully functioning community garden, with proper land stewardship and community participation, far outweigh any perceived gains from an RV park that will benefit a single individual. Gas-guzzling trucks are obsolescent; relocalized communities are the future.
Godspeed to the good people of Alamosa. I hope Westword will continue to report on this issue, and I encourage competent legal counsel to review this case and prosecute for criminal negligence and insider profiteering.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.
- Big Pot Grow in Routt National Forest an Environmental Hazard, Feds Say
Fri., Sep. 4, 7:00pm
Sat., Sep. 5, 12:00am
Sat., Sep. 5, 12:30pm
Sat., Sep. 5, 7:30pm
- Reader: Denver Is Safe Because Cops Will Crack Your F*cking Skull
- Saying Goodbye to 8 Denver-Area Restaurants, Hello to 21 New Ones