In response to a letter written by Wayne Frandsen (Sun Advocate. Letters to the Editor, Jan. 1, 2013), it sounds like you may be related to one or even two of our Carbon County Commissioners.
I am writing to explain some of the anger many residents are feeling towards losing the recreation programs, since you really do not seem to understand. It has been a great source of tourism to our County. The trips to Range Creek alone were sold out every year for every trip. I know people from Idaho that have tried for a couple years to get into one of the trips, but the trips fill up fast, proving how popular they were. When the programs are gone and the equipment sold off at pennies on the dollar we will never be able to get them back, even after the Commissioners are gone and replaced (Range Creek being one of them).
The damage these so called "public servants" are causing to the tourism of our county will take many years to recover from, and the hit that our economy will take is what has me and many others angry. Anything that brings tourism is being attacked. The gun range, which was a world class range, has now been cut back to one employee, and the hours have been cut. Now, for the first time in five years, the range has had to close in the winter because there is no longer snow removal. Family reunions, business parties, and even weddings have been held there with the most amazing accommodations and a friendly staff (which are now gone), and many of those attending were from out of town. I must also say, the locals love that place. The competitions and dances will be missed, they will not be able to accommodate them as well as they had in the past..
The rodeo grounds have been affected by cutbacks along with the motocross track. All of these venues have brought money into our county. Many rodeo attendees from the past have voiced sadness to the direction things are going. I have lived here for many years, and I have watched Carbon County go from a drive-by on the way to Moab to a place that people actually stopped and stayed and played... and spent money. Granted many still just drive through on their way to Moab, but they were starting to take notice of what we had to offer and coming back.
To quote Mr. Frandsen, "I feel that we are fortunate to have a Board of Commissioners who feels a duty and responsibility to watch after the tax monies they administer". Somehow, I do not believe that. If, in fact, this was just a matter of saving the county money, then why do they want to spend millions of tax dollars on a new county building that the people do not want and that is way too extravagant for our small community? Does that sound like they care about our tax monies?
Not to me, and not to many others. It looks like politicians just furthering their personal agendas without regard to the public interest.
Every one of the decisions they have made should have been brought before the public so that the people have a voice in the matter. But no. Instead, they chose to make these decisions in private meetings and when the voting public asks questions, we are ignored completely. No representation whatsoever. And by the way when you say "we," whom exactly do you mean? You do not live here and you do not vote here, so, therefore, the tax dollars these men are responsible for are not yours.
You are correct that not all decisions will be popular with everyone, but the Commissioners work for us, the voters, and the decisions should be made as if they were our decisions, not the other way around. I think they lost sight of that after they took office. I can say they never run for office and win again. It is just unfortunate for the citizens that we have two more years to have to be subjected to the bad management of our county.
So, Mr. Frandsen, there is more to the debate than your relatives or your friends are telling you about. I know you have not read a big debate in the paper, because I read the paper myself, and I really wish it was a bigger debate in the press than it has been. It is not just because we say "without the program we will have nothing to do." We will still have our family outings and such, as you described, but our local businesses will take a hit, along with our economy; and that affects us all.
The legacy these gentlemen are leaving behind is not a legacy they should be proud of.