Mesa County’s Riverfront Project is a 25+ year project to clean up the Colorado riverfront and create scenic bike and foot trails along the river from Palisade to Fruita. Many volunteers, donors, grants and partnerships have made remarkable progress on the project, and the trails have become a shining star attraction of our area. Views from the existing trails are stunning. New businesses are starting to spring up along the existing trails and further enhance them, like the Botanical Gardens and the new Edgewater Brewery and Pub near the Watson Island section. Tourists and residents alike prize the wildlife, scenic beauty and the huge contribution the trail system makes to this area’s quality of life. But the Mesa County Commissioners, and in particular, Commissioners Rose Pugliese and John Justman, are trying to end to the Riverfront Project by gutting all county funding for it.
Below is the text of an email that Commissioner Pugliese sent out on November 16th to area conservatives urging them to support to her and Commissioner Justman’s efforts to gut the Riverfront Project. (The email was supplied by an anonymous contact in the local teabag party. I am publishing it so everyone can see the kind of damage our public officials are trying to do to our area.) The next opportunity to weigh in on this matter is Wednesday (tomorrow) Nov. 20 at 3:00 p.m. in the County Commissioners’ hearing room, or you can respond to Rose at her email address immediately below):
We need your help!
As you may be aware, [County Commissioner] John Justman and I elected to pull
funding for the Riverfront Commission. It is approximately
$17,000. The City also gives $17,000. These funds are used
to staff a PART-TIME position for the Riverfront Commission.
I am sure many of our constituents would love to make $34,000
When I asked what this person’s job is, no one really seemed
to know. Then, I was told that this position was used to
coordinate volunteers and plan the riverfront concert series.
The County is currently leasing space to the Riverfront
Commission in the Old Courthouse for $100/year.
Note that the County (currently but not for long) negotiates
and pays for easements along the Riverfront Trail, pays for
improvements along the Riverfront Trail, does the construction
work and applies for grants.
Also note that grants do not pay for the maintenance of the
Riverfront Trail, nor do they pay for the continued law
enforcement and animal services needs along the Riverfront.
YOU pay for that.
Neither John nor I can justify wasting your taxpayer money for
this purpose when we have to make serious cuts within the
County, including to our elected officials, like the Sheriff
So, we are asking for your help. The Riverfront Commission is
out in full force to get us to give them the money they are
“entitled” to be paid.
They have an appeal on Wednesday, the 20th from 3-3:30 pm in
our Commissioner Conference Room at 544 Rood Ave., 3rd Floor.
Please attend if you can to tell us whether or not this is how
you want us to spend your hard-earned taxpayer money.
We are also asking that you come to Public Hearing on Monday,
the 18th at 9 am, 544 Rood Ave. and put your thoughts on the
If you cannot attend either (or both!) meetings, please send
us emails. We need a record of what our constituents really
If there was ever a time to stand up, it is now. Please send
this information to your groups.
As always, thank you for your continued support. I know John
and I greatly appreciate it.