Oh, brother | VailDaily.com

Oh, brother

Q: Bair Ranch saved from what?A: Tom StoneI am disgusted by Commissioner Stone’s actions and comments regarding the Bair Ranch project. After reading his op-ed piece this past weekend, it is clearer than ever that this guy has lost touch with reality. First, he steps up as the LONE politician on the Western Slope to favor selling us down the river, so to speak, with Referendum A. Now this.Mr. Stone, as a real estate broker, surely you know that any piece of land that is developable is threatened by development! Does the lack of a development application to the county render the land safe from ever being developed? Are we to assume that the county has received applications for the development of the “threatened” parcels you mentioned (the B&B gravel pit in Edwards, the lovely pastures in Wolcott, the beautiful fields between Diamond S and Eagle, the pastoral setting at the historic ranch just west of Lake Wilmore, and the State Land Board parcels in Edwards)? Or is this a litmus test that applies ONLY to Bair Ranch?I was absolutely appalled at your reference to Referendum 1H “barely” passing by 51 votes. Perhaps the election is too far in the past for you to remember that YOU did not even get a majority, much less win by 51 votes!Further, your comment that you are in support of preservation and conservation of land is a joke. Perhaps you should explain to the people of Eagle County why you refuse to put a PERMANENT conservation easement on the nearly 50 acres of open space at Berry Creek that you are so proud of and showcase as proof that you are conservation-minded.As you well know, the deed restriction that you chose for this parcel is not permanent and development could begin at any time!Mr. Stone, the ballot language clearly states that open-space funds be used for, among other things, “protecting working farms and ranches.” Don’t discredit the intelligence of the thousands who voted for it by saying we had “no idea that we would be spending public money on something that had no obvious public good.”To think for a minute that protecting a working farm or ranch would also provide public access is ridiculous, and frankly, I am offended that you think I was not intelligent enough to understand the ballot language.I’m sure as a real estate broker you see open space only for its potential to put money in your pocket, but the majority of us see open space for its scenic values and the habitat it provides for wildlife.Finally, I opt for the proponents appealing to my emotions over your half truths and scare tactics any day. Are you REALLY so out of touch that you think we would believe Commissioners Gallagher and Menconi did this deal in private? Were you not at any of the public hearings? Do you not read the Vail Daily or Denver Post? How do you explain the greatest turnout in history for a public hearing? Was the agenda not posted as required by law?And speaking of half truths, isn’t it true that the resolution approved by Commissioners Gallagher and Menconi requires that the $2 million be spent solely for the Eagle County portion of this deal? Again, were you absent from the public hearings on this topic?Or did you choose to ignore this fact when writing your commentary and purposely try to lead us to believe that Eagle County funds were being used in Garfield County?Wake up, Mr. Stone! While it is obvious you have aspirations for a greater call than Eagle County, Colorado, you are still a representative of the people of Eagle County.Hopefully, the voters will remember your arrogance and ignorance regarding Referendum A and the Golden Bair Ranch. If they don’t and you end up in Denver, you should be very happy there. There is little to no open space remaining!Jennifer ScrogginsEagle

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