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Vail Daily letter: Furthering Gems with my tax dollars?

Vail Daily
Vail, CO Colorado

I have to wonder if Pete McBride and friends are as concerned with Jared Polis’ spending of public funds to further the Hidden Gems agenda as they are with the potential spending allocated by the Basalt Fire District to fight the wilderness designation proposed by Wilderness Workshop and already presented to Polis?

Shortly after reading Scott Condon’s article in Friday’s Aspen Times, as well as Pete McBride and friends’ letter, I picked up my daily mail, which included a heavy-stock, double-sided, full-color, 8.5- by-22-inch, trifolded brochure from Polis with a brief (slightly biased) description of the Hidden Gems Wilderness Proposal.

It included a small map, website info and a brief, three-question, perforated, tear-off survey. On the back, it listed the three upcoming public forums and encouraged people to attend or send in the survey – don’t forget the 44-cent stamp!



Obviously, significant time and money went into producing and sending this brochure, and since I have personally seen Wilderness Workshop’s two-year budget, I wasn’t surprised that some of their $2.4 million could have gone to produce this beautiful mailer.

Then, in small print on the back of the brochure, I read, “This mailing was prepared, published and mailed at taxpayer expense”!



Isn’t the Hidden Gems proposal privately funded? Why am I now paying to further their cause?

It’s obvious after having spoken with Polis, receiving his e-mails and seeing this particular brochure that he wants this proposal pushed through to Congress, and I’m afraid that a majority in opposition will not make a difference.

I was told that Polis contributed $50,000 in personal funds to an environmental group directly linked to Wilderness Workshop’s funding. If that’s true, can he really be unbiased?



Will he listen if we say “no”?

I encourage all involved to attend one or all three of the public forums: June 1 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Boulder Public Library; June 3 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Battle Mountain High School in Edwards; and June 4 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the CMC Breckenridge campus.

Please unite to give a resounding “no” to this proposal and to say, “Stop spending our money”!

This is our last chance. Do not miss it!

John Hembel, Basalt


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