Dear Editor:

In last week’s paper, you urged our local government to be more open and honest about their activities. That same day, I received a campaign flier from five members of the town council lobbying for votes on the upcoming Reservoir Hill election.

In the flier, the council members claimed 86 percent of survey respondents approved the idea of an amusement park on the Hill. They also declared that 49 percent of downtown business owners also supported the plan. Intrigued by the numbers, I asked town hall for a copy of the survey.

What the council members conveniently failed to mention is that while 86 percent of respondents approved the concept of amusement rides, only 4 percent actually lived inside the town boundaries of Pagosa Springs. The rest were from places as far away as California, Oklahoma and Florida, where the noise of alpine roller-coasters will only be a distant vacation memory, rather than the daily fact of life it would be here. And as for business owners, the council members’ numbers were flat-out wrong. Forty-nine business owners did not sign the survey I reviewed. The real number was 13, a far cry from, “the majority of downtown business owners” stated in the flier.

How can council members put forth such misrepresentations and then wonder why residents of this town don’t trust them with the future of Reservoir Hill? If the council members fudged these numbers, what other numbers have they fudged? I hope our local government takes your message to heart and begins providing the sort of leadership you requested, and that every citizen deserves. In the meantime, though, I hope Pagosa residents demand a vote on the Reservoir Hill proposal. With something as important as the fate of our beautiful park on the line, at least town residents can trust themselves to do the right thing.

Matt Roane

This story was posted on April 11, 2013.