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Vail Daily letter: Don’t like Hidden Gems agenda

John Hembel
Vail, CO, Colorado

In response to Dave Reed’s May 24 letter: Dave, I don’t have a problem with Jared Polis spending public funds as long as it is to gather public input,” not to further your (Hidden Gems) agenda. The very expensive brochure I received was quite biased towards wilderness, not an unbiased presentation of the facts.

If many of my Eagle County neighbors had received this same brochure, I may have believed Mr. Polis really wanted the opinion of his constituents in the affected area, not just the opinion of people already on his mailing list. And why did I receive it anyway? I received the same basic information and survey via e-mail. Doesn’t someone cross reference these lists? This is a lot of taxpayer expense for nothing.

As for the views of my “motorized compatriots,” (by the way, I hike, climb, bike, ski, and yes, enjoy a few motorized activities), yes, we have been asking for public forums, but the request was to Wilderness Workshop, and prior to the formal presentation of this proposal to Rep. Polis.



The funds to gather public input should not rest on the shoulders of the taxpayers. Yes, I know you’ve hired a firm to conduct biased polls. We need real local input, and Wilderness Workshop flat out refused to hold any more open forum meetings after they encountered significant resistance during the first couple.

As for Wilderness Workshop’s Hidden Gems budget, perhaps you would be so kind as to send me a copy (or release it to the public) of the Hidden Gems multi-page booklet designed by I-3 Graphic Design. Please don’t forget to include the insert with your budget through 2011. Even if this is no more than a “proposed,” budget (it didn’t say so), to somehow entice donors to send more money, the total is still $2.4 million. And Dave, many of the Gems opponents I encounter on a daily basis compliment me on my letters, so I may not speak for all of them, but I’m pretty sure I’m writing what’s on the minds of many.



John Hembel

Basalt


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