Letters: Arn Menconi’s leadership
Vail CO, Colorado
Ignoring the threat
I am writing to express my dismay over President Bush’s reaction to the recent threat assessment from U.S. counterterrorism analysts. The assessment found that al-Qaida has regained strength in a safe haven along the Afghan-Pakistani border. Despite this evaluation, the White House issued a statement claiming that we are making security progress in the war on terror.
This administration is in denial, and its failure to acknowledge the facts is putting the United States in danger. The report found that al-Qaida has regrouped to an extent not seen since 2001, the year our nation was rocked by a devastating attack. The thought of another attack of that magnitude on U.S. soil is very upsetting to me, and I am seriously concerned that our president continues to disregard this information.
Withdrawal won’t work
Mr. McCalden would have us believe that if we pull out of Iraq, we will be safer and the rest of the world will like us again. This “can’t we all just get along” attitude will not prevent the terrorists from attacking us. Get a clue, Mr. McCalden, they hate us and will stop at nothing to destroy us regardless of our war policies.
And, since you believe that Iraq was a “sovereign, peaceful nation” under Saddam Hussein, I wonder how peaceful you would have felt writing a letter to the editor against the Hussein administration in Iraq.
Spraypark is coming
If you’ve never seen a spraypark, they’re quite a sight. I used to live in Arizona, and sprayparks were one of the most popular amenities for kids and families. The Board of County Commissioners agreed, and has approved a plan for a top-notch spray park at Freedom Park in Edwards.
Unfortunately, some “cold water” and confusion has been thrown on the process. It’s important to know that the spraypark project is, and has always been, on time and is expected to be on budget. The board first approved a county contribution of $60,000 in February 2006 with the stipulation that matching funds be found. Later that year, the Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District agreed to contribute $20,000 to the project, and the Edwards Metropolitan District added another $20,000. The commissioners then asked county staff to apply for a Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) grant. Thanks to staff’s hard work, the county was awarded a $100,000 grant last December. The extra money you’ve been hearing about doesn’t mean the project is over budget in any way. In fact, the grant money allowed us to enhance the spray park project without additional county funds. The completion date for the project from the beginning was October 2007. To make sure the county is spending tax dollars wisely; the commissioners passed a resolution last year directing staff to solicit bids for any project over $10,000. Staff has followed all these procedures, including the necessary land-use reviews, and bids to build the spraypark were received last week. Now a contractor can be selected, and construction can begin. These are the same procedures that are followed for any county construction project.
The bottom line is this will be a first-class amenity that all county residents can enjoy. It’s being built the right way, and it’s going to be a lot of fun.
Last week my son Robert and I were fortunate enough to attend a program sponsored by The Vail Leadership Institute which featured David Gergen and his son Christopher. The subject was “Leadership across Generations.”
It was an excellent program and for me there were many stimulating aspects and I’d like to share just a few.
First of all, everyone in attendance was most interested in the leadership that would provide us with a more “rewarding” society here in “the valley.” There were some 30 people in attendance and each of those 30 people were committed to helping with our environment, improving the education of our students, and solving health and housing problems.
Without doubt, that level of dedication is most admirable.
Second, there was a realization that our political process doesn’t stress “leadership” as we nominate and elect candidates. Unfortunately, we tend to vote for those who share our own beliefs; we do that whether or not they have the leadership skills to form a consensus and make something actually happen.
I believe this is a subject worthy of considerable thought by all of us.
And finally, I learned more about Arn Menconi who was also one of the attendees. I must tell you that he was an active, intelligent participant who made good sense and repeatedly demonstrated his dedication to the welfare of this valley. Although his opinions and his actions may or may not be consistent with your own beliefs, I would suggest that you don’t ever ascribe anything but the very best of intentions to his work!
Anyway, it is evident to me ” and I hope to you ” that the various nonprofits such as The Leadership Institute and The Vail Symposium bring a different and valuable dimension to our valley. They deserve our strong support.
David Le Vine