Performance evaluations for Janet Rowland’s first terms as Commissioner, by citizens

Performance evaluations by citizens of former Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland’s first two terms in office were disappointing.

A search of Daily Sentinel archives for information on Republican Janet Rowland’s first two terms as Mesa County Commissioner (2004-2012) turns up substantial criticism of her by Mesa County residents. These critiques amount to performance evaluations of her by the local electorate during her previous terms in the office.

For those who are unaware, Rowland is currently running for a third term as county commissioner. State law prohibits anyone from serving more than two consecutive terms as County Commissioner. She can run again if at a minimum of four years has elapsed since she previously held the position. That is the case with Rowland and the reason she is able to run again.

But just because the law allows someone to run for extra terms as county commissioner, is it a good idea?

Not in this case.

What did we discover about Rowland during her first terms in office?

In an August 8, 2008 letter to the editor, Republican Joseph Breman says he supported Rowland for county commissioner when she first ran, but came to believe based on her performance in office that his vote for her was wrong. Bremen questioned Rowland’s lack of vision and ethical behavior — or lack thereof — which we highlighted in a previous post in this blog. In his letter, Breman points to Rowland’s plagiarism, her “ugly, unkind and nationally publicized comments about the gay community” made during her gubernatorial race with Bob Beauprez, her taking of undeserved credit for Mesa County’s accomplishments, her “childish name-calling of critics,” opposition to open space, and other problems:

 

Gary Bosch of Grand Junction wrote the Sentinel in January of 2007 with criticism of Rowland for fostering a “culture of corruption and violation of ethics.”  Rowland had asked Jean Reynolds of KKCO TV 11 News to hire her (Rowland) as a legislative analyst for the TV station, even though at the time she (Rowland) was heading up Republican Josh Penry’s campaign for governor. This was a stark political bias and conflict of interest that clearly violated the Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics:

 

Another local professional, licensed clinical social worker Maynard Hesselbarth, expressed his opinion about Rowland in the October 14, 2008 issue of the Daily Sentinel. Beyond his career as a social worker, Hesselbarth was honored by the Colorado state legislature in 2000 for his dedication to advancing adult literacy. Hesselbarth, who was familiar with the operation of the county’s Department of Human Services, wrote that despite Rowland’s supposed work to save children from abuse, she “consistently failed to protect the rights of parents who have been falsely accused of abuse and neglect.” Hesselbarth wrote, “A vote for Janet Rowland is a step backward in our county government operations.”

 

Yet another citizen took issue with Rowland’s purported failure to show up for work. (Note that now the salary for county commissioner has increased to over $90,000/year):

“You Said It” item from August 20, 2006, a commentary on former County Commissioner Janet Rowland’s first term in office.

 

These are just a few of the complaints found in the Daily Sentinel against Rowland by local citizens. They are essentially performance reviews. Voters might want to consider Janet Rowland’s past performance before installing her again as a county commissioner. Existing voters may not want to make the same mistake twice. Those who are new to Mesa County and unfamiliar with Janet Rowland’s track record may want to avoid making the mistake at all.

Swastika scrawled on Riverfront Trail in Grand Junction

Swastika graffiti painted on the Riverfront Trail in Grand Junction.

Graffiti of a swastika was found yesterday, October 10, on the section of the Riverfront Trail just west of High Country Court in Grand Junction. The symbol is an emblem of far-right nationalist movements and is used by Nazis and neo-Nazis. It is widely considered a symbol of hate. The image was about 2 ft. by 2 ft. in yellow spray paint and was found on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, the day of atonement that follows shortly after the Jewish new year of Rosh Hashana. The graffiti was reported to the City, who passed information about it to the Parks Department, which is in charge of maintaining the Riverfront Trail.

For more documentation of the hate culturein Grand Junction, search on the term “hate” in the search box located to the upper right side of this post.

Reproductive Rights Road Show to be in Grand Junction 10/4 at CMU

The Colorado Reproductive Health Rights and Justice Coalition will be putting on a Reproductive Rights Roadshow at Colorado Mesa University on Friday, October 4 from 12 noon – 1:30 p.m. in Room 221 of the University Center building, on the 2nd floor attached to the parking garage. Appetizers will be served!

The Roadshow is traveling around the state to inform Colorado citizens about what is happening in the legislature and what’s being done in our community to preserve and strengthen reproductive rights and access to abortion care. The Coalition also wants to listen to you and find out what issues are of greatest concern to people here in our community.

The Coalition is an umbrella group comprised of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, the Colorado Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado, the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado (ACLU-CO), New Era Colorado, ProgressNow Colorado and Soul2Soul Sisters.

Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers’ 2019 Student Essay Contest is ON, and the prizes are terrific.

Kids: want to make some easy money?

Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers (WCAF), is announcing its 2019 Student Essay Contest. The winning high school student gets $500 and the winning middle school student gets $250, and all this just for writing a short but insightful essay.

This year WCAF invites students from Delta County middle and high schools to participate, as well as all middle and high school students from Mesa County. Students in DeBeque, Plateau Valley and Gateway are all eligible to enter, as long as they are in middle or high school range.

Proposition CC on the state-wide ballot aims to end the failed TABOR experiment

Gold colored counties are all the counties in Colorado that have de-Bruced.

Proposition CC on the November 5 ballot, if enacted, will let state and local governments keep all the revenue they generate through taxes and invest it to improve communities. It would effectively “de-Bruce” the whole state and end what amounts to a failed conservative social experiment.

What is “de-Brucing?”

De-Brucing means ending the effects of the TABOR Amendment, a 1992 amendment to the state constitution that effectively created a permanent revenue shortage for the state. TABOR was essentially an experiment in tax limitation that took taxing power away from the legislature and put it exclusively in the hands of voters. Over the decades, it has damaged the state in many ways.

State Senator Ray Scott cites full-on wacko nutbag source in tweet on climate change

Ray Scott’s September 17, 2019 tweet citing NaturalNews.com, a conspiracy-theorist website that rivals InfoWars

One of the most dangerous things about Colorado State Senator Ray Scott is that he can’t tell the difference between credible sources, authoritative sources of information and paid promotional research or websites known for trading in wacky conspiracy-theories.

Case in point: On September 17, 2019 Senator Scott posted a tweet saying “NASA admits that climate change occurs because of changes in Earth’s solar orbit, and NOT because of SUVs and fossil fuels.” To support this claim, Scott cites an article published by a website called “NaturalNews.com.”

So… what’s the problem?

NaturalNews.com is not anywhere close to being legitimate scientific website. In fact, it’s the polar opposite. It is described as “a conspiracy theory and fake news website” that hawks dietary supplements, promotes alternative medicine,” makes “tendentious nutrition and health claims,” promotes “fake news, and espouses various conspiracy theories.” NaturalNews.com is as far from an authoritative, legitimate science-based website as you can get.

Grand Junction mosque’s new sign vandalized

Two Rivers Mosque’s new sign after vandalism

On August 31, the Islamic Center of Grand Junction unveiled a colorful new sign installed in front of its new Two Rivers Mosque at 8th and Gunnison Ave. and held a community barbecue to celebrate. About 50 people attended the barbecue, and it was an afternoon of peace, friendship and great food.

Not three weeks later, the sign was vandalized beyond all recognition.

Sen. Ray Scott’s tweet opposes progress and planning for future

Ray Scott’s tweet lamenting planning for the future, and indicating he can’t wait for such folly to end

Is Republican State Senator Ray Scott concerned about Colorado’s economy and workforce?

It sure doesn’t look like it, judging from his twitter feed.

On September 4, Scott posted a tweet that said “2022 an’t come fast enough.” It was his response to an announcement that Governor Polis had just created a new government office to deal with pressing new problems facing Colorado’s workforce. Scott’s tweet referred to the year when Governor Polis’s first term in office will be over.

Sen. Scott tweeted his disdain Governor Polis’ newly-created “Office for the Future of Work,” announced September 4.

Sen. Scott either 1) failed to investigate the need for this office, or he 2) doesn’t care what’s going to happen to Colorado workers in the near future if we fail to plan for coming trends.

One more thing about commissioner candidate Janet Rowland…

Former County Commissioner Janet Rowland (January 2005 – January 2013) advocated a program that paid women with drug addictions $300 to get sterilized

Former Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland, who has already had two terms in the recent past and is now running for a third term, has given Mesa County voters plenty of reasons not to elect her again, but here’s another one, and get ready. This one is kind of creepy.

In 2008, Rowland promoted a program that paid drug-addicted women $300 to get sterilized so they couldn’t reproduce. The program, called Project Prevention, targeted its advertising mainly at women, and 37% of the women who had been sterilized under the program were African-American. In 2009, African-Americans made up just 12.4% of the U.S. population.

Recall effort against Governor Polis fails miserably

Rep. Jared Polis is safe in office after recall effort fails to gather anywhere near enough signatures.

It was another victory for progressives in Colorado today as upset Republicans who were trying desperately to recall Governor Jared Polis ended up gathering fewer than half the signatures they needed to put the recall measure on the ballot. The recall faction failed so miserably in fact that they didn’t even bother to turn in the signatures they did get.

Local Republican proponents of the effort were spotted using illegal techniques to gather signatures, like setting up tables in public parks without obtaining the required permits and taping signs advertising their petition effort on government buildings.

In the end, the “Dismiss Polis” people gathered only 300,000 of the 630,000 signatures they needed to qualify for the ballot.

Governor Polis responded to the news by saying “After all that fuss, I was pleasantly surprised that they didn’t turn in a single signature on the recall. I hope the remaining misguided efforts against others see the same results … Recalls should not be used for partisan gamesmanship.”