There wasn’t anything firm or concrete in the contract. The contract was wide open to multiple interpretations. It was like walking in a thick fog and being told to look at the beautiful sunset.
One thing that it did illuminate was how desperate council members Lynn Jackson and Gene Ciarus are to push the Seven County Coalition through the lame-duck session before November.
Perhaps if Lynn Jackson had not run unopposed he would treat the people of Grand County with more respect. He was not willing to allow seven people who’d filled out cards to speak because he said it would take too much time. He’d already heard what we were going to say and so it would be nothing new. It made me marvel at how lucky we are to have a chairman of the county council who is omniscient.
Among the most interesting parts of the whole discussion were the salient questions and comments of our Grand County Attorney. After having read the contract, Andrew Fitzgerald raised the question as to whether we would be more in control of Grand County if we did not join the coalition. We would not lose anything by not joining, but we would retain Grand County’s power to decide for itself.
In essence, they need us more than we need them. The other six counties want what we already have — revenue without the mess left by extraction industries. We already make more on tourism than we will ever make on oil, gas and other extraction industries.
This seems like a backdoor way, for Lynn Jackson to push through the Book Cliffs transportation corridor. The Book Cliffs corridor has been brought up and defeated for 80 some years. An article from January 1935 on the Historic Front Page printed in the August 7, 2014, issue of The Times-Independent shows the efforts for the Book Cliffs Road goes back at least that long. If it was a good idea it would’ve happened by now.
Once we join the Seven County Coalition and our county council member, or another member of the coalition proposes building a road through the Book Cliffs we will have no means to oppose it. Once the Seven County Coalition has four votes to approve a project, we the people of Grand County can’t say no.