Saturday I went to the town hall meeting in Paonia. Hopefully this report will be of interest to a few readers. What interested me was the following:
People were met at the door by three sheriff's officers. They were polite as were the crowd of people trying to find a seat. The Paradise Theatre was packed.
The meeting started a few minutes late and the big surprise was that our U.S. representative, Scott Tipton, was there and to no surprise Cory Gardner was not. Elaine Brett was the moderator and she quickly organized all participants who had come prepared with questions. Kerry Donovan was there as well.
Way too many people wanted to speak for the time allowed so topics were grouped by subject to avoid repeated answers. The majority of questions were stated by those who got turns to speak by passionate pleas for things like not just ending Affordable Care, pleas for not abandoning public lands to states for corporate use, asking for protection for public education rather than private vouchers, requests for open disclosure of presidential tax information, and related concerns for presidential involvement with Russia.
As all of these questions were asked they received cheers and applause from the audience. Mr. Tipton's responses were calm and polite. He stayed well past the time planned for the meeting. However, each answer became similar with phrases which are now familiar, like states can take over programs for public lands, school vouchers are still public, and health care presently has too many negatives and should be repealed. There was no response to the two health care professionals who cited reason for concern over the impending loss of hospitals and well child care in our area. Finally, Mr. Tipton, in his own quiet way showed some fatigue when he answered the question about the president's tax returns by saying more laws would be needed to require that.
I may have missed some details of the meeting since it lasted for two hours. It seemed as though most people's questions had been given time even though the answers sounded familiar and sedate with no response to the questions about global warming, our national debt or the expanding military budget.
As I left the theatre, I noticed our police friends were gone and kind of wished they had stayed as I felt I could use help carrying my heavy heart through the door.
At their March 5 meeting Commissioners Doug Atchley, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes made two appointments to the county planning commission. Steve Shea was reappointed for a three-year term.