San Miguel Greens Hold Local Meets
by Art Goodtimes
Feb 18, 2012 | 1418 views | 1 1 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
COUNTY ASSEMBLIES … The two major parties have for years had a very effective and democratic system for involving local party members in their pre-primary nominating deliberations – caucuses and assemblies … Minor parties in Colorado haven’t used those techniques to gather input from rank and file members registered with them. But this year the San Miguel Greens want to change that … We’re planning to hold two assemblies in San Miguel County in order to give registered Greens a time to gather and endorse candidates; select delegates to the state Green Party Convention in Carbondale, March 31, as well as the year-round State On-line Council; elect facilitators; and discuss the future of the Green Party in local, state and national politics … In Norwood, the first Green Assembly in the county will be held tonight, Thursday, Feb. 16, at 6 p.m. in the Two Candles Restaurant & Lounge … In Telluride, the second Green Assembly will be held next week, Thursday, Feb. 23, at 6 p.m. at the County Meeting Room in the Miramonte Building … All registered Greens from San Miguel, Dolores, Ouray and West Montrose counties are invited to attend (or those interested in registering Green).

COUNTY COMMISSIONER … I suppose after four terms and 16 years as a local elected official, some would say that it’s time for me to step down. But I must confess – I like working for the people … For two years, back in the mid-Eighties, I was the lone citizen representative on the Idarado Negotiating Committee that Gov. Roy Romer set up to head off a truck removal solution to the tailings pile eco-disaster east of Telluride that would have destroyed our resort economy. I remember how everyone else around that table of 20 or so of us was drawing a salary – from state and federal staffers to corporate lawyers to locally elected officials. It was hard having a “second job” that didn’t pay me or my family anything, but I felt then that it was also critically important for some local enviro to be on board to ensure that the zinc standard didn’t get weakened and that there was a local oversight committee at the start of the cleanup’s implementation … Now I sit around similar tables – locally, regionally and on the state and national levels. Again I get to represent the human and more-than-human world in political deliberations. Only these days I’m getting paid by you to do it. I get to bring 30 years experience, living locally – not as a trust-funder, but as a back-to-the-lander who grows 50+ varieties of heirloom potatoes on my little acre spud patch in Norwood – to whatever issue is at hand. In spite of my personal biases, my task is to treat everyone fairly – balancing the needs and majority opinions of the liberal, exurban East End of San Miguel County with the needs and minority opinions of the conservative, frontier West End … There are some bennies besides a paycheck – I get to work with a great staff throughout the organization and two of the best colleagues a county commissioner could wish for, Elaine Fischer and Joan May … In these hard times, the county is having to make difficult decisions about the size and scope of future services as we watch our county’s balanced budget continues to shrink. Luckily, we’ve prepared well for a rainy day (bless you, Gordon Glockson). We have a sizeable reserve we’re drawing down to ease our local economy’s transition from the bull market boom of the Reagan-Clinton-Bush years to the reality of the current bear market bust … Really, I’m proud to work for local government. On the local level I think government works. It’s government that you can talk to in the market or at the post office. A government that will return your phone calls … One of those who ran against me last time around suggested that county commissioner was meant to be a job, not a career. I respect that opinion. But I also feel that working for the people is more than just a job. It’s a way to give back to the community, to safeguard a shared vision of what society could be in this very special region, and to provide for our children’s future … So, I’m going to campaign again in San Miguel County’s District 3. But it’s report card time in the ballot box. Whether I’m fit to serve again is up to you.

PAT SWONGER … Can’t keep a good man down. It’s great to see that Pat didn’t let those behind-the-scenes Dem kingpins cut him out of the election process this year on a technicality. He’s bounced back with a plan to forego the party assembly process and petition directly onto the Dem primary ballot for a shot at the 59th State House seat currently held by J. Paul Brown, a La Plata County Republican … Definitely a man of the people, I’ve worked with Pat on several key issues and have seen him do a fine job in Silverton on the town board there. He’s the kind of savvy rural politico we need in Denver – representing all the citizens on the Western Slope, not just the ranchers and big money interests (like Brown does) … Right now he needs volunteers – particularly in Ridgway and Ouray – to help him gather the 1000 petitions he needs to get on the Dem ballot. And consider sending a donation to Patrick Swonger for House District 59, POB 241, Silverton, CO 81433 THE TALKING GOURD



Maverick Draw’s cumuli

lock horns over Lone Cone

The sky releases

little shouts of snow

Inside, first time ever

Cloud Acre's amaryllis


two red strumpets

sassy as their golden tongues

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March 04, 2012
glad to see the Talking Gourd poem's last line made it on-line. somehow it got lost in the print version...