Public funds for a private agenda
Ryan Summerlin December 21, 2009
I recently read in the Dec. 17 issue of the Sopris Sun that the town of Carbondale has given $2,000 to the Wilderness Workshop, which is backing the Hidden Gems Wilderness project.
The article said that the town of Basalt and Pitkin County have also provided funds to the Wilderness Workshop. This project, and opposition to it, has received growing coverage in the local news media. However, it’s my opinion that public discussion and debate have not risen to a level that merits local government endorsement of Hidden Gems, let alone giving money to one side or the other. The resolution of this issue will affect the ability of me, my family and friends to recreate on public lands.
I submit to you that providing public money (my tax money) to advocate a private group’s position on the Hidden Gems issue is not what these people were elected to do. How can any of them now claim to have an open mind on this issue as it continues to unfold? They have acted thoughtlessly and unethically, and many of us will not forget.