Soap Box

Hanlon is most viable contender

To the editor,

For the past three elections, Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District has been a graveyard for the Democratic Party: 2012, Scott Tipton 53 percent, Sal Pace 41 percent; 2014, Scott Tipton 58 percent, Abel Tapia 36 percent; 2016, Scott Tipton 55 percent, Gail Schwartz 40 percent. Three-term Congressman John Salazar was the most recent viable Democratic candidate for the 3rd Congressional District. Defeated by Tipton in 2010, Salazar paid the price for his courageous support of national health-care reform. It is obvious that the only possible chance the Democratic Party has to reclaim the 3rd Congressional District is to elect a candidate in the mold of John Salazar. That candidate is Karl Hanlon.

– John Norton, Durango

Walsworth checks all the boxes

To the editor,

Tim Walsworth has been a business leader in the Durango community for over 15 years and will continue applying his leadership skills as a public servant for La Plata County. I have worked with Tim in his role as the executive director of the Business Improvement District, and his work ethic, follow through, and commitment to our community are unparalleled. These are the qualities that will play a key role in the management of the county Treasurer’s Office. In addition to these skills, his management style, sense of humor and willingness to collaborate and build partnerships are an extra plus for the county. The county treasurer will need to work well with the Assessor’s Office, Clerk and Recorder, Finance Director and county commissioners. And Tim’s ability to collaborate and build partnerships will serve him well in this regard. Tim will manage and retain staff in a positive, constructive work environment. In short, Tim has the right experience, personality and management style for the job of county treasurer.

– Monique DiGiorgio, Durango

Aichele turned office around

To the editor,

I just retired from the Treasurer’s Office after 21 years of service. During the last 3.5 years, I have worked for Allison Aichele, La Plata County Treasurer. She has been the best manager I have ever worked for. She came in to the Treasurer’s Office, when we opened the mail by hand, and used typewriters and lots of paper.

Under her leadership, I learned something new every day. She brought in training for us on how to use accounting and banking technologies in order to make the office more effective and efficient. We implemented many electronic ways for our customers to pay taxes – which changed everything.

The Treasurer’s Office has become a professional accounting office, and Allison has worked hard to get everything running smoothly. You can be sure taxpayer money is collected accurately, protected according to law, and disbursed on time to the many taxing districts we work with. The school districts get more than half the money that flows through the office. They are happy with our work.

The Treasurer’s Office is a nonpolitical office. No political decisions are made in this office. It doesn’t report to the county commissioners. It must follow the laws of the State of Colorado. There are so many that govern this office, I never learned them all!

I want you to vote to keep Allison Aichele in office – not for me – but to continue to do the work she has started, which is for you, for your benefit.

– Marcia Larson, Durango

Unravelling the American fabric

To the editor,

It is difficult to be a news junky these days. I watched and listened to political commentators recently as they reported on Donald Trump’s announced clemency pardon for a man of minor celebrity who pleaded guilty in 2014 to an illegal campaign donation crime. They also reported that Trump may lay his hands on a couple of other celebrity felons. This is just the latest sickening anti-democratic, reckless and self-serving action by our president that is subverting and undermining our Constitution and the rule of law, on which our republic is based. As some suggest, is this his strategy to assure those in the hot seat in today’s high profile collusion and obstruction of justice investigations that they shouldn’t worry if convicted? After all, he has their backs and the presidential power of pardon.

I am deeply upset, not just as a partisan, but as an American citizen who sees the president’s deeds severely polarizing our citizens, confusing our allies, praising our enemies and demeaning anyone whom he perceives is not in his camp, not to mention his attacks on our traditional democratic institutions.

Where are our representatives, especially in the Republican Party? Don’t any of them have the spine and conscience to stand up to this huffing and puffing man? Or, is retaining political power the only and ultimate goal? Many are men and women of faith who believe in the Golden Rule. They have families they care about. But so many of them are helping DJT destroy or ignore the issues of profound importance and impact that affect them and their constituents: health care, national security and domestic safety, the environment, education, justice, tolerance. How do they explain this man to their children? Can they honestly present him as a model to emulate? We all want the best for our children and grand-children, regardless of political affiliation, but that involves teaching them that integrity, honesty and decency are essential traits that help us enjoy a fulfilled and satisfying life as good citizens.

Truth to power. Stand up and be counted. This is our country, our values. We all may not have the time to be political junkies like me, but we all love our children and want them to have good, healthy and productive lives. DJT and his team are working hard against that goal on a daily basis. We don’t need to make America great again; we want America’s greatness to endure. Vote this November.

– Salye Stein, Durango

Walsworth has financial expertise

To the editor,

I first met Tim Walsworth in January 2003. In the after-math of the devastating 2002 Missionary Ridge Fire, an ad hoc committee composed of nearly all caring organizations in the Durango area convened to receive and allocate donated funds, thereby addressing many pressing needs in the community over the next year. Tim, new to town and also new to United Way, immediately became acquainted with many new colleagues. A baptism by fire, so to speak.

After heading United Way for 10 years, Tim has for five years served as executive director of Durango’s Business Improvement District (BID), including writing a weekly column for the Herald. He has put together a truly outstanding record of dedication to public service.

Tim is an excellent collaborator and a boss much appreciated by his loyal, hard-working employees. He has valid concerns for the integrity of the office of County Treasurer and his solid financial expertise is backed up by 15 years of audits with never a major finding.

Colorado’s primary election is June 26; ballots go out June 4. Tim is an excellent and well-qualified candidate we can trust. Please cast your primary ballot for Tim Walsworth for La Plata County Treasurer.

– Marilyn McCord, Vallecito