Mayors explore valley, discuss regional issues |

Mayors explore valley, discuss regional issues

Heidi RiceRifle correspondent
Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

SILT – Mayors from Aspen to Grand Junction joined together Thursday morning to take a flyby airplane ride of the Roaring Fork Valley and discuss regional issues.Representatives from Pitkin, Garfield and Mesa counties met at the Garfield County Airport in the morning to get an aerial view of the valley’s oil and gas wells, oil shale projects, gravel pits along the Colorado River and the Interstate 70 corridor.

Afterward, the group met at Silt Town Hall for an informal discussion about various issues. Glenwood Springs Mayor Bruce Christensen, who had a prior obligation, was absent.”I was so honored to have all these distinguished men and woman there,” said Silt Mayor Dave Moore, who arranged the meeting. “The spirit was so conciliatory.”A number of issues were discussed at the informal meeting, including oil and gas matters, gravel pit reclamation and the development of roadless areas.

“It was very beneficial,” said Rifle Mayor Keith Lambert. “We found a lot of commonality in the issues that are before us. I’m very proud to be working with this group of people. There’s a strong possibility of productive outcomes to be had from this group.”Moore came away from the meeting with the same feeling.”These were a coalition of mayors trying to figure out how to deal with the roadless issues, how to hold the oil and gas companies accountable and the reclamation of the gravel pits,” Moore said. “I was so impressed with the upper valley mayors – they were all sympathetic and supportive of us.”

But the main outcome was one of a unified front of representatives from the municipalities joining together.”It’s how we as a body of mayors can be part of decision-making with the county and the state,” Moore said. “We’re all part of the Roaring Fork Valley and Colorado. As one of the mayors said, we represent a lot of people.”The mayors and other officials will be meeting again to continue discussing issues facing the region. Moore said the plan is to hold another meeting in Aspen sometime next month.