As a longtime citizen of Ouray, I question if the Ouray Police Department issues are just the tip of the iceberg in our lovely city government. It is my understanding that [Monday night] at the city council meeting, the council more or less dodged questions and the City Administrator just refused to answer questions. We as citizens want to know why? Why did we have five officers at this time last year and now one? What really happened to all of the long time great employees that the city has lost the last several of years? Why is everyone involved, dodging questions?
Councilman Ferguson keeps repeating that the City Council is not responsible for personnel issues. Does the city charter not say that indeed the council is ultimately responsible for personnel? Does the City Council not appoint the City Administrator who is directly responsible for personnel? Do we not elect our councilmen and councilwomen to make sure the city runs efficiently and effectively? Should not the council be concerned when now health and human safety are at risks in the City of Ouray?
If our councilmen answer no to any of the above questions, it is the feeling of this voting citizen that we go shopping for council that cares about the safety and welfare of the public and has a backbone to stand up to the issues this council does not want to touch.
I for one believe that Tony Schmidt and Chad Rillings have done amazing things for the City of Ouray and put in many years of loyal service. I also believe that Dan Fossey, Peggy Foster, and others have been a Godsend to the City of Ouray. If there was not a problem within the city these people would not have gone out the way they have. I really encourage the citizens and City Council to take a strong look and what has happened under this current City Administrator’s reign. It is not only our right, it is our responsibility to ask what and why to what has really happened to the large turnover in city workers. How many police chiefs has this administration gone through? If I am counting right it is four or five. I know you cannot answer direct questions about the reasons given for an employee’s departure. However, you can admit there is a problem, figure out what the problem is, report to the citizens who pay your salaries and elect you the problem, and fix the problem.
I can’t express how much gratitude the city should give to officer Crandle for sticking around in an obvious hostile work environment to help the city and to of course support his family. Also much gratitude should go to one elected official who has my vote next election, Sheriff Junior Mattivi. Thank you Sheriff for what you are doing to bail the City out of the mess it has got itself in.
– Betty Livingston, Ouray