Dave Kisker, Johnstown
Is ethical behavior really that difficult? Let’s look at what we’ve learned in the last few days.
Mike Finn, District 2 Commissioner (Opponent—Scott James)
Mike Finn is among the worst abusers of the public trust. His only claim to being qualified is his time in the military. But his repeated disregard for the principles of ethics begs the question of how he can possibly represent the people of District 2 objectively. Consider that he:
- Stated that he’s running because 1) he hates Sean Conway; 2) he thinks that Julie Cozad is a great Commissioner, despite her non-frivolous ethics violations.
- Disparaged the Greeley Planning Commission so extremely that a member of the Planning Commission resigned.
- Told Council member Galindo that she “doesn’t belong here”, apparently because of her Hispanic heritage
- Is not truly a District 2 resident. Jokes about it, as if it doesn’t matter
- Bought his way onto the ballot instead of participating in the County Assembly. Used illegal Florida residents for petition gatherers.
- Accepted $15K in illegal loans for his campaigns. Jokes about it, as if the rules don’t matter.
- Refuses to debate his opponent, Scott James. Perhaps he’s worried that he’d lose his temper when confronted with the reality that he would be a terrible commissioner.
- Accuses Scott James of using his radio show to promote his candidacy, a charge that is completely without merit and without any evidence. By doing so, he deprives James of two weeks of salary.
Steve Moreno, Incumbent, At-large Commissioner(Opponent: Sandi Elder)
Mr. Moreno has sat on the BOCC for over 3 years. During this time, we have witnessed appalling behavior on the part of the Board. Though it’s been largely generated by Kirkmeyer, Moreno has never challenged her demands. Among other items, Mr. Moreno
- Twice approved the placement of asphalt operations adjacent to residences
- Resisted the shutdown Heartland Biogas; over 600 odor complaints
- Went along with budget-busting training session at Breckenridge using land use applicant funds laundered through United Way
- Attended a 1-day conference in Jackson, WY, taking his wife along. Weld County paid about $10K for the 4 Commissioners who were on the trip.
- Supported ex-parte communications with Xcel Energy
- Approved more difficult rules for solar farms in Weld County
- Twice withheld a coordinator position from Commissioner Conway
- Approved a gun-banning condition at a match racing facility, to be enforced by the County.
- Denied implementation of neighborhood-compatible noise limits on the DCP Mewborne facility
- Supported the conversion of WCR29 (dirt road to Nunn) to an arterial, potentially 4 lanes.
- Campaign finance report seems to be missing expenses for the high paid advisor, JD Key, and the Martin Marietta PR consultant, Sean Walsh who tended Moreno’s booth at the Assembly.
- Approved removal of Conway, our most experienced transportation Commissioner, from various transportation-related boards.
Julie Cozad, District 2 Incumbent (Dropped out of the race against Scott James)
- Agreed with Moreno and Kirkmeyer in nearly all cases, including misrepresenting and accusing Conway of various misdeeds, although he was exonerated in Court.
- Barred citizens from attending public meetings.
- Accepted illegal gift from Noble Energy, in violation of Colorado Article 29. The appearance of impropriety.
- Voted to reimburse her own attorney’s fees that were accumulated in her defense of the Article 29 violation.
- Both cases are before the State Independent Ethics Commission
Barbara Kirkmeyer, District 3 Incumbent (Recall effort announced)
Because of space limitations, we will point out that many of the issues with the current BOCC have been due to the explicit actions by Kirkmeyer. For more information, please see the article elsewhere in this issue. However, the very fact that District 3 citizens are sufficiently concerned to initiate a recall process says it all.
In sum, voters must ask themselves whether the likes of Finn, Moreno, Cozad, and Kirkmeyer are really as good as we can do. I think not. I’ll be voting for Scott James and Sandi Elder. How about you?