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A vote based on respect

Don Rogers

Compared to Commissioner Michael Gallagher’s health, the Bair Ranch project is one political decision from which Eagle County will recover either way.

Whether Gallagher can make it to the commissioners’ chambers to vote on the county contributing $2 million to the $5.1 million purchase of the Bairs’ development rights is secondary to getting the medical attention he needs.

The Vietnam veteran suffers from Agent Orange among his maladies. Specialists at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., are seeing what they can do to help him. County business pales in comparison to this.

Besides, there are other means of following this commissioner’s wishes with Bair Ranch. Gallagher’s vote could count without forcing him to make the trip to the chambers June 1.

One possible remedy is employing a contrivance invented before the beginning of the century previous to this one. Yep, the phone. Whether that’s legal is a question for lawyers, though Commissioner Arn Menconi favors its use and Commissioner Tom Stone does not.

Stone envisions a lawsuit following a decision on Bair by phone, as well as a slippery slope toward votes cast over the phone out of convenience rather than necessity.

There’s another way. Stone could ask the commissioner for whom he has tremendous respect as he explained last week, and learn how Gallagher would vote on the easement plan. Then Stone could simply cast his vote accordingly. “Yes,” however reluctantly, if that is Gallagher’s choice. Or “no,” if they are aligned.

This way Gallagher could be enabled to serve his community as he sees best. And then he could concentrate on what matters most: his health.


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