Category: City of Grand Junction

City Councilor says he sees cronyism creeping into G.J. City Council

Scott Beilfuss

At the regular May 1 meeting of Grand Junction City Council, Councilman Abe Herman was voted in as the new mayor of Grand Junction and Randall Reitz as Mayor Pro Tem for the next year by all attending city council members present except one, and that hold out was perhaps the more important story that Grand Junction citizens should know about.

The vote was 5-1, with current Mayor Anna Stout absent from the meeting.

The lone hold out vote was Councilman Scott Beilfuss.

Curious about the vote, I contacted Beilfuss to ask why he didn’t vote for Herman and Reitz along with the rest of Council.

Turn out to help save the much-loved Orchard Mesa Pool at two important meetings this month

Citizens attend a meeting on 3/13 to discuss how to save the much loved and needed Orchard Mesa Pool.

The Save the Orchard Mesa Pool Committee asks everyone who wants to save the OM pool from destruction to mark their calendars and attend the next city council meetings about the pool, and wear blue to help show solidarity for saving the pool:

The next meeting is March Monday, 18th at 5:30 p.m. at the downtown fire station at 625 Ute Ave., right by the Grand Junction Police station. This is a listen-only meeting, but the Orchard Mesa community needs to show a big presence. All you need to do is show up and wear blue!

Then after that, on Wednesday, March 20 at Grand Junction City Hall, 250 N. 5th Street, at 5:30 p.m. The Committee needs a HUGE CROWD to attend this meeting because City Council may be voting on the fate of the pool at this meeting. The public can weigh in at this meeting.

The Orchard Mesa Community Center Pool is barely afloat

Orchard Mesa Pool

Guest blog post by Mariann Taigman, co-founder of the Save the Pool Committee, and Nick Allan of Orchard Mesa United

Three different agencies—the school district, the city, and the county—are involved in managing the Orchard Mesa Community Center Pool (OMCCP).

Prior to 2020, a Pool Board was created that was comprised of one official from each of these entities to discuss the pool at joint meetings. In 2020, the pool board convened to discuss the pool’s future, including the possibility of demolition, marking the last “official” meeting of the Pool Board before it dissolved. In response, the Save The Pool Committee emerged as a grassroots effort, championed by concerned community

Kids and adults enjoying the OM Pool

members passionate about keeping the OMCCP operational.  During that final Pool Board meeting, the Save The Pool Committee presented proof to the three entities that the community wanted the pool to remain open.  Our efforts included: obtaining 7,000 online petition signatures and 1,000 paper signatures; collecting over 70 letters from school children; encouraged community engagement by distributing flyers as to the fate of the OMCCP, and having groups of community members speak at city council meetings.

Redlands residents oppose City building new sewer lift station and piping on unstable land

In this memorable example of a very bad local development decision in the 1990s, the Mesa County Commissioners approved construction of this home on a geologically unstable cliff above the Colorado River just west of the Redlands Parkway. The decision led to the home eventually sliding down the bluff towards the river. Redlands residents now believe the City is making a similar mistake by planning to build a new sewer line and lift station on  similarly unstable land in the Redlands.

Redlands area residents are concerned that the City of Grand Junction and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) have give preliminary approval to build a huge sewage lift station on private land in a geographically unstable area, and they are warning of its potential for failure and environmental catastrophe.

The proposed lift station will replace a 6-foot diameter lift station said to be “reaching the end of its useful life” at the Ridges Subdivision, and consolidate a 4-foot diameter lift station that “is in adequate condition” on Power Road. The proposed budget for this new lift station is currently $7.1 million.

But homeowners in the area contend the new lift station and sewer lines will be built on unstable land, will destroy huge swaths of riparian habitat above Connected Lakes State Park and, in the event of a failure, could lead to huge amounts of raw sewage being dumped into the river.

Grand Junction City Council candidate rundown 2023

For this article, I drew from publicly available sources, including the candidates’ own websites and social media accounts, newspaper articles, the candidates’ financial disclosure statements filed with the City of Grand Junction, background-checks done on TruthFinder.com, and public records requests to the Grand Junction Police Department (GJPD) for records of any contact the candidates had with local law enforcement agencies. I felt the law enforcement piece was necessary after seeing Mesa County voters elect people to public office who were later involved in theft, falsifying time cards, embezzlement, assault, plagiarism, DUI, double-dipping, election tampering and other offenses.

These City Council candidates are asking voters to hire them for a job. City taxpayers pay their salaries. The candidates should be background-checked.

Grand Junction Scarlet Post Office sorting facility reportedly in disarray

USPS carrier facility at 734 Scarlet: turmoil inside

It may look peaceful on the outside, but a longtime U.S. Postal Service employee at the Grand Junction Carrier Annex at 734 Scarlet Drive reports that inside the building the Postal Service is “going crazy lately.”

The employee reports, “We are delaying mail and it is running horribly.”

What’s going on and why is this happening?

“It started when they decided to lay off our newest hires,” the employee said:

“They claimed ‘lack of work’ as the reason, but since then, we’ve been 5 or 6 people short of a normal crew to process the mail. I worked over 80 hours last week and we can’t catch up. In addition to that, we process mail for DHL, UPS and FedEx as part of an agreement with them. They dropped half of a semi [truck full] of bags of mail at our office at Scarlet Drive on Wednesday, and all of that mail is still sitting there.”

Former G.J. Chamber of Commerce CEO Diane Schwenke to run for G.J. City Council

Longtime Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce President Diane Schwenke

The former longtime CEO of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, Diane Schwenke, has announced she will be running for the at-large seat on Grand Junction City Council in 2023.

Yes, THAT Diane Schwenke.

The one who endorsed convicted felony embezzler Steve King for state Senate in 2012.

The one who endorsed Ray Scott as a replacement for convicted felon Steve King. In 2018, Scott double-billed both his legislative and campaign expense accounts for over $1,000 in Uber rides, effectively doubling his personal reimbursements. He was also sued by the ACLU for blocking constituents from his official social media accounts, costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars.

The same Diane Schwenke who endorsed Laura Bradford for Colorado House of Representatives in 2012. Bradford was pulled over by Denver police for driving under the influence of alcohol during her first and only term in the House. She quit after that term.

The same Diane Schwenke who endorsed Rose Pugliese for County Commissioner. Pugliese worked to kill the Riverfront Trail System by gutting all funding for it, circulated a petition to force D-51 teachers to stop teaching kids about climate change, and also stumped for the disastrous Tina Peters to be elected County Clerk.

Group urgently seeks help to keep Orchard Mesa Pool open

Orchard Mesa Pool

Mesa County residents have formed a group to try to keep Orchard Mesa Community Center Pool open, and they are asking the rest of the community for help.

In mid-November, 2022, the City of Grand Junction announced the possible closure of the Orchard Mesa Pool in early 2023.

The group, Save the Pool, is encouraging people with families to come to the December 21st Grand Junction City Council meeting this Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall Auditorium, 250 N. 5th Street, Grand Junction to stand in solidarity to keep the pool open.

The Grand Junction Area Chamber’s long track record of harmful candidate endorsements

Longtime Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce President Diane Schwenke

Note: In light of Chamber President Diane Schwenke’s recent announcement that she is finally retiring after 25 years at the Chamber, I am re-posting articles about her disastrous tenure at Chamber in hopes that the Chamber Board will see what a boondoggle she’s been and finally take an entirely new direction when they hire a new president after she leaves. This article was originally posted on 9/28/21.

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Local candidates usually tout their endorsements by the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, but the Chamber’s long track record of endorsing deeply flawed candidates shows that candidates should run from a Chamber endorsement as fast as they can, or at least politely decline it.

Observation of the Chamber’s endorsements going back a decade reveals that the Chamber does not evaluate candidates based on criteria like experience, background, education, knowledge or qualifications to hold office. Rather, the Chamber only considers a candidate’s political and religious ideology before endorsing them, and nothing more.

This extraordinarily narrow criteria has resulted in a flawed process that has proven detrimental to our community many, many times over.

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters is on a mission from God, says “It just didn’t make sense” that the people who won the last G.J. City Council election actually won

In a new video posted on the website of the “Truth and Liberty Coalition,” Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters alleges that the people who won seats on the Grand Junction City Council in the last election were “falsely elected” and that “people have been put into elected positions that really did not win the election.”

It is unclear exactly when the video was recorded, but estimates are it was within the last three days.

Peters was interviewed by televangelist Andrew Wommack, and appears with Sheronna Bishop, former campaign manager for U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert. Several times in the video Peters indicates that God is on her side and is and directing her efforts to prove Mesa County elections are corrupt. She also says that she was “shocked” that certain people won the last Grand Junction City Council election because “It just didn’t make sense … that these people won.” She added that she was also motivated by an unnamed number of citizens who came to her saying “this is impossible” that the candidates who won in the City Council election had actually won.

G.J. citizens get anonymous racist hate mail in response to yard signs promoting social justice, inclusiveness

An example of the yard signs Grand Junction, CO, that are prompting far right wingers to target homeowners with anonymous, racist hate mail

Grand Junction’s undercurrent of hatred showed itself again this week after several City residents reported they’ve gotten anonymous racist hate mail that they think was prompted, at least in part, by signs in their front yards indicating support of social equity, inclusion and justice.

A bi-racial downtown resident reports having gotten a total of nine racist hate letters so far, saying they have been coming steadily, approximately monthly, for about a year now, starting in 2020.

A Redlands Village resident got the following racist poem in the mail, authored by a “A. Wyatt Mann,” a pen name used by an American filmmaker named Nick Bougas, who produced racist, homophobic and anti-semitic material under the pseudonym. She also got a “Fuck Biden and fuck you if you voted for him” note, also posted below:

Crowd protests Boebert and Jordan’s appearance in G.J.

Some of the crowd that turned out to protest Boebert and Jordan

A crowd of about 50 protesters came out to heckle Mesa County’s wealthiest Republicans as they arrived at the Grand Junction Convention Center to attend a Mesa County Republican Party fundraiser on Saturday, July 24 featuring House Representatives Lauren Boebert and Jim Jordan.

Boebert was recently shunned by a GOP women’s fundraising group, the Value In Electing Women (VIEW) PAC, which called her “a shameless self-promoter” and a “carnival barker.” The group accused Boebert of treating Congress like a joke and a reality show. Boebert’s votes have shocked much of the nation. She voted against giving medals to the U.S. Capitol Police who defended Congress from the 1/6 attack. She voted against a bill to help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, and was one of only two legislators to vote against a national bone marrow registry to help cancer patients  She also voted against protecting seniors and indigenous communities from scams in a 413-8 vote.

G.J., Mesa County prominently featured in LA Times article about communities where vaccine holdouts are fueling spread of the pandemic

L.A. Times article in which Grand Junction and Mesa County are mentioned several times as places in which rampant vaccine denial and the complete ending of public health protocols too soon are packing hospitals and perpetuating the pandemic for the rest of the country

The Saturday, July 17, 2021 Los Angeles Times features a prominent story about “obstinate” communities in which large numbers of people who are refusing to get  Covid-19 vaccines are now spreading a more virulent strain of Coronavirus and stalling the nation’s recovery from the pandemic.

Mesa County and Grand Junction are mentioned several times in the article as among the places where large numbers of stubbornly unvaccinated people are posing a danger to the rest of the country.

City Council candidate Jody Green appears to be barely literate

Jody Green

Jody Green is running for the Grand Junction City Council District E seat in the April 6, 2021 municipal election. His campaign website says he is construction worker and that he helped build the Oxbow subdivision, the Postal Annex on Patterson, Ratekin Tower Apartments, Lakeside Apartments and other buildings in Grand Junction. Green writes on social media that he “Works at School of Hard Knocks, University of Life,” but provides no other information about his educational background.

In a February 4, 2021 article in the Daily Sentinel, Green told the paper that he is running for City Council because God asked him to.

AnneLandmanBlog Voter Guide for the City of Grand Junction’s Municipal Election of Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Are you wondering how to vote in the Grand Junction Regular Municipal Election on Tuesday, April 6, 2021? Are you sweating over where you’ll find the time to research the eight City Council candidates and the ballot measures?

Relax.

We’ve done the work for you.

AnneLandmanBlog has done substantial research into all of the candidates for City Council, and read the ballot measures. To see what we found out, scroll down anneLandmanBlog’s front page and have a look at the recent blogs about the election prior to this one.

Based on what we found, here are our recommended votes: