The Greeley Tribune Editorial Board, Author at Colorado Politics

August 30, 20171min330

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper this past week unveiled much-anticipated recommendations on oil and gas policy changes after an explosion caused by an abandoned flowline in Firestone killed two people and injured another this past April.

Though only time can ultimately tell how the governor fared with his seven recommendations, we like what we see so far. They are in line with our state’s longstanding tradition of stringent regulation of oil and gas while addressing the issues at the heart of April’s explosion.

Strengthening the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s flowline regulations, prohibiting future domestic gas taps, creating a nonprofit orphan well fund to plug and abandon orphan wells and providing refunds for in-home methane monitors are just some of Hickenlooper’s proposals aimed at making the people of Colorado safer while also allowing for the energy development many local economies in the state depend on, including ours.

We especially like refunds for in-home methane monitors.

Read more at The Greeley Tribune

August 20, 20171min840

We don’t know what Sean Conway, Mike Grillos and Jordan Jemiola talked about during the nearly 300 phone calls between them in the past year on Conway’s taxpayer-funded cellphone.

But we do know this: There are an awful lot of dots that can be connected to conclude Conway sought undue influence through the two members of the Weld County Council before and during the council’s so-called audit of Weld commissioners and the audit of Conway’s niece by marriage, Clerk and Recorder Carly Koppes.

Grillos is a member of the Weld County Council, a board that is supposed to have oversight and be a watchdog of the county.

Conway is on the Board of Weld County Commissioners, supposedly being audited by a third-party auditor hired by the council.

Grillos was appointed as the council’s point person in January to oversee the audit.

Read more at The Greeley Tribune.

August 12, 20172min550

Every fire, of course, is a tragedy for somebody. Sometimes lots of somebodies.

The fire at the Windsor Mill on Sunday was a gut punch for an entire community. And we can’t imagine how devastated the developer, Blue Ocean Inc., must feel.

Curt and Nancy Richardson, the name behind OtterBox in Fort Collins, are the owners of Blue Ocean, and we’re encouraged by what they said earlier this week.

“We will work closely with our design team and local officials to better understand the options and timeline for bringing this project online again,” the Richardsons said in the release.

The entire project was earlier valued at $9.2 million. The town of Windsor had committed $3.7 million worth of incentives. We know the project was approaching the finish line, and tenants such as a restaurant and a brew pub were being courted.

Read more at the Greeley Tribune

July 29, 20172min620

Just give us the darn audit, would ya?

The “us” in this case is taxpayers. The “audit” is the one commissioned by the Weld County Council to explore wait times and office morale at the Weld Clerk and Recorder’s Office, as well as to explore accusations of unnecessary spending and treatment of employees by Weld County commissioners.

All this last-minute wrangling over potential closed meetings to discuss the results of the audit before it is released to the public, and how and when the audit will be released, just makes us more weary and more skeptical of the entire process.

It is going on 15 months ago The Tribune first reported on the complaints leveled against the Clerk and Recorder’s Office. The complaints against commissioners are also old news and have received extensive coverage on these pages.

Read more at the Greeley Tribune

July 22, 20171min350

Gosh darnit, folks, is it really that hard to buckle up when you get in your vehicle?

The Colorado Department of Transportation announced earlier this week another one of its “Click It or Ticket” campaigns, which means local law enforcement agencies are encouraged to increase their presence on the roads to better enforce Colorado’s seat belt law.

CDOT announced this summer’s campaign in Greeley for a reason: In 2016, 57 people died on Weld County’s roads and highways. And 23 of those victims were not wearing seat belts.

That strikes us as an incredibly high number. And incredibly tragic.

Read more at the Greeley Tribune

July 16, 20171min500

Most 911 calls are designed for emergencies, but many times, the callers don’t have one.

They are not, in other words, calls where someone’s life is in danger. They are not about a fire that threatens to destroy their home. They are not even calls about a cat being stuck in a tree. Many, in fact, are not what you’d call an emergency at all.

That’s why we applaud the Greeley action lab.

The action lab is a goofy name for a serious experiment: Rather than respond to all 911 calls with a huge fire truck, the city tries to send a smaller SUV full of qualified people to advise potential patients and guide them to services better suited to their needs.

Read the full story at the Greeley Tribune.

July 15, 20171min630

With news Greeley’s new downtown hotel, the DoubleTree Hilton, is already booked full for its first month, city officials see a potential need for additional meeting space.

“Meeting space is even more important because of the downtown hotel,” Greeley Parks and Recreation Director Andy McRoberts recently told The Tribune.

That’s why those officials decided to spend $1 million on upgrades to the Greeley Recreation Center, upgrades that will include rehabbing meeting rooms and bolstering pedestrian crossings to ease access between the hotel and recreation center.

Normally we’re uncomfortable with using public money in conjunction with private enterprise, but we love this move.

Read the full story at the Greeley Tribune.