Rick’s an OK guy
November 6, 2006
Dear Editor:I have known Rick Magnuson for over 25 years. I have watched to sheriff’s campaign for the last several months and see that the people of Pitkin County have not been given an accurate picture of Rick.Let me tell you what I know of Rick. He comes from a family that has strong roots in service to the community. His mother and two sisters are school teachers, his father a retired manager of a large farm, and his brother is a partner in a environmental consulting company. In his teens, Rick worked over 100 hours per week on the farm. This is the foundation of his work ethic.Recently, he has been criticized for his art. Rick’s piece on the letters after 9/11 were, too many, in bad taste. Beyond the knee-jerk reaction, please note he put his return address on the envelopes, fully expecting controversy – to make people stop and think.His intention was to illustrate the potential over reaction to an attack of the magnitude of 9/11. The nationalistic and xenophobic pulse after a terrorist attack was the desired result. The loss of personal liberties that are inherent in the Constitution, and specifically the Bill of Rights, apply to all of us in this melting pot. As Thomas Jefferson said, “Our peculiar security is in the possession of a written constitution.” Rick’s intent was to have us all take a deep breath, and stop and think – not to react, but to respond. The last several years have held evidence of the wisdom for the need to carefully weigh responses.Rick has strong feelings for service to the community. He has laid out a platform for responsible changes in the sheriff’s department: first, for a change in the fleet of trucks to decrease environmental impact; second, to initiate communication between the students and teachers of Pitkin County schools and the sheriff’s department; and third, innovative plans to decrease the DUI rate. These are all well-thought-out and, from the statistics, would serve all the citizens of the county. To those who have lost a child or spouse, to a drunken driver or to drugs, would these changes sit well with you in your heart? Rick’s stand on the enforcement of Colorado’s drug laws is directly related to suffering the pain of addiction in his extended family. Rick has not changed his platform. He has stuck to his principles and the moral compass of his heart. Plainly, Rick has shown the character of the best of men. This is the Rick Magnuson I know.Jason HenryBerkeley, Calif.Editor’s note: This letter was written and submitted before the Nov. 7 election, but missed the Times’ deadline for election letters. The author asked that we run it after the election.