Dear Editor:

I keep hearing that Archuleta County is broke, revenues are down, and services have to be cut. Why, then, are BoCC members such as Steve Wadley wasting their time and the county’s money holding staged political events with Washington politicians like Scott Tipton to talk about things like federal gun legislation that have absolutely nothing to do with Archuleta County business? And why are they providing a stage for conspiracy theorists to talk about things like, “the possibility of a war against the U.S. people” — presumably waged by the public officials that we the U.S. people elected? Commissioner Wadley and these conspiracy theorists also seem to see something sinister in the fact that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is buying ammunition. The DHS was created at the urging of President Bush to protect Americans from Al Qaeda and domestic terrorists. Do the people who are complaining about DHS ammunition purchases expect the DHS to fight the terrorists with unloaded guns?

Instead of providing a forum for the promotion of ridiculous conspiracy theories and wasting time and money debating federal legislation that has nothing to do with Archuleta County business, perhaps Mr. Wadley could talk to the Washington politicians about something that does actually affect the county’s bottom line. Right now, federal cost-sharing with local governments is being threatened by the federal budget sequester and due to draconian budget cuts being demanded by politicians like Scott Tipton. This loss of federal assistance adds to the budget woes of state, county and local governments, and could threaten projects such as the Piedra Road improvements. In addition, hours and services could be limited at National Park Service and Forest Service facilities due to the sequester and the budget cuts. If this happens, tourism to our area could be impacted, which would have a real impact on local businesses and on the county’s tax revenues. We would be much better served if Commissioner Wadley and his colleagues would put their energy into protecting our county’s federal assistance and working to ensure adequate support for Chimney Rock National Monument, the San Juan National Forest and other attractions that bring tourism and money to Archuleta County. That would be a much better use of their energy than trying to interject themselves into federal issues that have nothing to do with county governance and providing a forum for the promotion of conspiracy theories.

John Farley

This story was posted on April 11, 2013.