Letters to the editor
Concerns about the Health Services District
I am writing with concern about the EMS Health Services District (HSD) mill levy. I have been an EMT for over 20 years. I started work as an EMT for the hospital when it was on Russell Street. Now I volunteer on the Moffat County Reserve ambulance. I feel that an ambulance is an essential service and that it should be available to Moffat County residents. But I am opposed to this Health Services District proposal.
I will vote no on November 2, 2021. This is why.
The task force that created this proposal was made up of nine people. Five of them are Memorial Regional Health (MRH) employees, plus one MRH board member. The guidelines for a Health District must be associated with a medical institution — in this case, MRH. Sam Radke, MRH Chief Financial Officer, has stated that as soon as the mill levy passes the HSD must go under the MRH Human Resource Department because the Board would have to sign payroll checks.
My second concern has to do with the “Board.” The public has not been given the opportunity to submit names for board candidates. There were no postings in the newspaper, on the radio or Community Chat or posters on storefronts asking for interested candidates.
My other concern is that there are no qualifications or responsibilities listed for the board members. There is no oversight. The board can spend our tax dollars however they wish. The Colorado Revised Statutes states there will be five board members. There will be five candidates on the ballot that the Moffat County residents were not given the chance to recommend. Out of the five names on the ballot, two are employed by MRH and one is a close relative of a MRH board member. As previously stated, the task force was weighted in favor of the hospital as are the candidates for the board. We have been informed that Memorial Regional Health is not involved with the Health Services District. I choose to disagree.
My initial concern was the weighted task force and the board candidates that were handpicked. There are many more examples of how the hospital will be able to take our tax money. I challenge you to ask questions, talk to other EMTs that are not related to the hospital or the task force. Don’t let the fear factor of not having an ambulance decide your vote. There are other ambulances in Moffat County that are not a part of the Health Services District.
A candidate declares himself
My fellow Coloradans,
My name is Cole Buerger and I am running to represent all of the hardworking constituents of Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District.
Let me start off by telling you why I decided to launch my campaign: to fight for the place I love most.
For decades, communities and families across rural Colorado have been abandoned and ignored by our representatives. Our voices have been drowned out as the needs of big cities, big lobbies, and big egos have been put ahead of our small towns. For so many years, families across this district – families like mine – have seen their ranches and farms foreclosed upon, their ditches and wells dry up, their businesses and places of work shuttered, and their jobs disappear. Instead of effective responses and actions, we frequently witness elected officials, in Denver and Washington alike, investing time and effort pursuing rigid ideological agendas that only serve to divide our communities and get more clicks on their social media accounts. We see them prioritize political careers and special interests over problem solving.
Day after day, as I read the papers and watch TV, the headlines shake me to my core: “First water shortage in recorded history declared for Colorado River system”; “Colorado’s youth suicide crisis is worsening”; “Colorado mudslides on I-70 wreak havoc on major transportation route”; “Mobs storm Capitol.” All the while, many of our representatives have become more interested in television appearances than protecting our planet, growing our economy, strengthening our communities, and safeguarding our Constitution.
It doesn’t have to be this way. We can choose a different path.
I am a fifth generation Coloradan and a son of the 3rd Congressional District. Like many of us, I grew up in an agricultural family raising cattle. Public service also runs in my family: my dad helped organize the National Western Stock Show’s livestock exhibits, and my mom was a 4-H leader and a mentor to so many young people. My grandmother served as the mayor of Kremmling for many years, dedicating her life to serving her community. She was as authentic as it gets, and she remains my hero to this day.
I hope to follow in these footsteps to make sure Colorado’s people, our lands, and our heritage have a bright future. I strongly believe our district deserves a representative that listens; someone who is honest about who they are and what they believe. We deserve a representative who invests time and effort in bridging the divides between people, and someone who can lead through dialogue and teamwork. In short, we deserve a member of Congress who represents ALL of us.
Starting on Friday, August 27th and over the next few months, I will visit every corner of the 3rd Congressional District to meet you, hear your stories, and learn what is most important to you. I hope that, in the process, you will join my campaign. Together, we can ensure all of our voices are heard in Washington. Together, we can elevate Colorado.
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