Category: Janet Rowland

Mesa County Public Library to offer class on how to tell good sources from bad on the internet

The Mesa County Central Library will hold a very important 90 minute class Monday, June 24 from 3:00-4:30 p.m. on how to evaluate online sources for credibility and authoritativeness to help boost internet users’ ability to tell fact from fiction.

This class is sorely needed in Mesa County, especially by Republican local elected officials who have demonstrated a lack in the ability to tell  credible sources of information from websites that peddle lies and false information to readers.

In 2020, Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland displayed a chilling inability to tell fact from fiction after she publicly promoted the Infowars conspiracy theory that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control was intentionally inflating the number of Covid deaths. Rowland wrote on her her social media that hospitals were being pressured to inflate the numbers of Covid deaths because it meant they would get more funding. The truth is that hospitals make money by treating people, not by listing specific causes of deaths on death certificates. At the time, Rowland’s false theory was being promoted by Laura Ingraham of Fox News — one of Rowland’s most frequently-cited news sources. Fox News has a reputation for knowingly

Stephen D. Daniels, Janet Rowland-appointed Chair of the Mesa County Board of Public Health, is a prodigious spreader of disinformation on social media, including about vaccines and gender issues, without citing credible sources. (Photo: Mesa County)

telling lies to the public.

Rowland’s new Director of the Mesa County Board of Public Health, Stephen D. Daniels, is also prodigious spreader of lies and disinformation on his social media. His posts target a wide range of subjects including the U.S. Department of Justice, gender issues, religion and the efficacy and safety of vaccines, including ideas spread by anti-vaxx presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who claimed that Covid-19 was “ethnically targeted” to attack caucasians and Black people, and to spare Jews.

Janet Rowland, whose college degree is a bachelor in Bible studies, is running for a 4th term as County Commissioner, after lying to the public on her social media about Covid topics and never apologizing to the public for spreading disinformation. (Photo: Janet Rowland campaign website)

In 2019, while still a State Senator, Ray Scott cited a full-on wacko nutbag information source in a tweet about climate change in which he wrote “NASA admits that climate change occurs because of changes in Earth’s solar orbit, and NOT because of SUVs and fossil fuels.” To support his claim, Scott cited an article published on a website called “NaturalNews.com.”  NaturalNews.com had been discredited as an off-the-wall, full-on wacko conspiracy website and was rated #1 on the list of the Top Ten Worst Anti-Science Websites. Scott also said that studies about climate change made no sense and that we “have better things to do” than to address the crisis.

Let’s hope some of these Republican elected officials attend this talk.

Former State Senator Ray Scott cited a full-on wacko website as a source of information on climate change in 2019. The site was rated #1 on a list of the top ten worst anti-science websites.

Meet ‘n’ Greet event this week for JJ Fletcher, the Republican running against Janet Rowland for County Commissioner in the 6/25 primary election

UPDATE, 5/8/24 @ 10:30 a.m. – JJ Fletcher has cancelled this event. 

Claudette Konola will host a Meet ‘n’ Greet this week on Wednesday, May 8 at 7:00 p.m. for JJ Fletcher, the candidate running against Janet Rowland for County Commissioner in the June 25, 2024 primary election.

The event will be at Claudette’s home, so she requests people use the blue “message” button on her Facebook page to RSVP and get the location.

Janet Rowland says she’ll “fight for the truth” while having a history of being untruthful herself in the local media

Janet Rowland’s March 28 Instagram post touting her devotion to “the truth.”

County Commissioner Janet Rowland (R), in a campaign plug she posted March 28 on her VoteJanetRowland Instagram page, says she “will always fight for the truth, even when the media presents the facts in a way that distorts the truth.”

But even as Janet denigrates the local media as untruthful, we must remember an episode in 2007 when Janet deceived the public herself by using local media.

Making it worse is the fact that even after it was exposed, she’s never taken responsibility for it, or apologized for it.

Shortly after losing statewide election for lieutenant governor as Bob Beauprez’s running mate in 2006, while she was previously Mesa County Commissioner, Janet was a columnist for the Grand Junction Free Press, at the time a competing newspaper to the Daily Sentinel. She wrote several columns for the Free Press under her own name until one day a sharp reader spotted the fact that Janet had been lifting the text of her columns word for word from government pamphlets, and brought this to the attention of the Free Press’s editor.

In seismic shift for the local GOP, Tim Foster endorses Janet Rowland’s opponent, J.J. Fletcher, for county commissioner

Endorsement posted on the “JJ Fletcher for Mesa County Commissioner” campaign website

In what amounts to a subtle but seismic shift in local politics, former Colorado Mesa University (CMU) President Tim Foster publicly endorsed Janet Rowland’s opponent, J.J. Fletcher, for Mesa County commissioner, formally ending his years-long support for Rowland.

Mesa County Commissioners ignoring safety concerns & quietly working to tweak land use code to advantage large scale solar development, citizens say

Commercial solar development on east Orchard Mesa (Photo: High Noon Solar)

On January 9, Mesa County Commissioners Janet Rowland, Cody Davis and Bobbie Daniel voted to put a moratorium on large-scale solar development in the County supposedly to take time to address the community’s growing concerns over these developments. Citizens are worried that the current county Land Development Code (LDC) contains no provisions protecting agricultural and irrigated land, wildlife, water sheds and view sheds from these developments, as well as no requirements for fire protection, buffers, setbacks or plans to decommission these installations that will assure solar plants that get destroyed by inclement weather or live out their expected life spans are cleaned up in a way that minimizes  environmental harm and expense to local taxpayers.

Board of Public Health & county commissioners violated state public health law with their new intergovernmental agreement

Stephen D. Daniels, new Chair of the Mesa County Board of Public Health,  violated Colorado Title 25 by giving control over the health department’s budget to the elected county commissioners. No provision in the state public health law permits that.

When the Mesa County Commissioners had the Board of Health (BOH) sign their new Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA), the commissioners, County Attorney Todd Starr and all 7 members of the new BOH all either knowingly or unknowingly violated Colorado Revised Statute Title 25, Article 1, Part 5(k).

KREX TV explores how the County seized control over all of Mesa County Public Health Department’s contracts when it only contributes 4.2% of the agency’s budget

KREX reporter Michael Loggerwell’s story about Mesa County’s new Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the Health Department- Part 1

KREX-TV News recently did a two-part series about the Mesa County Commissioners’ new, post-Jeff Kuhr Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) that more tightly regulates the County’s relationship with the Public Health Department (MCPHD), and how it differs from the old 2012 agreement in important ways that could negatively affect public health and safety in the county.

Why are the Mesa County Commissioners sending taxpayer money out of town?

The Commissioners used a roofing company in Keenesburg, Colorado to replace the roof on the Old County Courthouse on Rood Ave., instead of a company located in Mesa County

The Mesa County Commissioners recently had the roof replaced on the Old Courthouse at 544 Rood Ave.

They gave the job to Better Line Roofing, LLC in Keenesburg, Colorado, 279 miles from here, instead of a local roofing company.

Transparency out the window in selecting new Director for the Mesa County Public Health Department

For Mesa County residents trying to find out how the search is going for a new County Public Health Department (MCPHD) director, the County is acting like it’s really none of your business, unless you belong to their secret circle of private citizens and friends to whom they are giving private access and input into the decision.

Janet Rowland, Chair of the Board of County Commissioners, told people when she was running for office that transparency in government is “absolutely critical,” but the search for a new MCPHD director has been anything but transparent.

County Commissioners set to exert control over what Public Health Board members can discuss at their own meetings

Welcome to the new Mesa County Board of Public Health (Photo: AP/Matt York)

At the meeting of the new Mesa County Board of Public Health (BOH) scheduled for tomorrow, Monday, September 11, 2023, the County Commissioners hope to impose a new Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) (pdf, page 10) on the Board of Health that will tie the BOH tightly to most County policies and procedures eliminate the BOH’s ability to control their own meeting agendas, and allow the Commissioners block discussion of any subject the commissioners don’t like.

Why we need to worry about County Commissioner Janet Rowland’s takeover of Mesa County Public Health Dept.

A Facebook post by Janet Rowland during her 2020 campaign. The Washington Times is owned by the Unification Church and is noted for spreading misinformation about Coronavirus, climate change, the harmful effects of secondhand smoke and other issues. As of May, 2023, there have been 1.13 million deaths from Covid in the U.S., a number far from “ridiculously low”

In the wake of Commissioner Janet Rowland’s recent coup over the Mesa County Public Health Department, if the the past is a predictor of future behavior, under Rowland the Health Department is likely in for a significant reduction in its ability to respond to public health threats, and area residents will likely face more danger from emerging health threats.

Background check: County Attorney Todd Starr

7/5/23 Sentinel article about Mesa County Attorney Todd Starr

7/5/23 Sentinel article about Mesa County Attorney Todd Starr’s fraudulent action to deceive a court Trustee

People in highly-paid, taxpayer-funded jobs who also are in positions to influence Mesa County actions and policies should be background checked, especially when they start doing potentially illegal things like helping the Mesa County Commissioners dismantle of the Board of Public Health for no real reason, and in apparent violation of county policies and state law.

Mesa County Attorney Todd M. Starr certainly meets that criteria. He makes a salary of $190,800/year, not including perks and benefits, and appears to have facilitated illegal acts by the Mesa County Commissioners against the Board of Public Health.

So I decided to background check him.

Commissioner Janet Rowland takes credit for the contributions of fired Public Health Director Jeff Kuhr

A post on Janet Rowland’s “VoteJanetRowland” Facebook page promoting the child care center at the county’s new Clifton Campus community building. Jeff Kuhr was key to making the child care center in Clifton possible, but Rowland never mentioned his contributions. (Janet is the blonde in the hard had in the photos.)

Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland wasted no time in taking credit for the contributions towards improving childcare in Mesa County made by former Public Health Director Jeff Kuhr, whom Rowland recently pushed out through an expensive and vicious months-long campaign over a personnel disagreement.

On July 29, Rowland showed off the new Clifton Community Campus at 3270 D 1/2 Road to Governor Jared Polis, crowing that it was “designed to be a community hub featuring an early childhood education center…” without ever mentioning that Public Health Director Kuhr was the one who initiated the big push to expand child care in the county (pdf) and helped the County get funding to make the childcare center possible.

Violation of state law let Rowland seize control of Mesa County Public Health Department

Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland

Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland succeeded in imposing her political will on the Mesa County Public Health Department yesterday after appointing two final conservative members to the Mesa County Board of Public Health (BOH).

Health Department employees point out Rowland made all the new appointments to the Board of Health without consulting a single person at the Health Department.

“The fact that they keep appointing people to our Board that so clearly do not support the work that we do feels like a spit in the face every time,” one employee said.

Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland vs. former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters: Lots of similarities

When their behaviors as elected officials are compared, Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland and former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters have more in common than people may realize:

Chart of Janet vs. Tina

Newly-appointed Board of Public Health member is anti-vax, anti immigrant, anti-gay extremist

Stephen Daniels, an extremist and anti-vaxxer the Commissioners just appointed to be Chair of the Mesa County Board of Public Health (Photo: Facebook)

A person the Mesa County Commissioners appointed to the Board of Health yesterday, Stephen D. Daniels, is a strong supporter of anti-vax conspiracy theorist and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (RFK), according to his social media accounts. Posts on the same sources also reveal Daniels is anti-immigrant, anti-gay, anti-Disney, and a climate change denier who opposes Colorado’s new family and medical leave law, which gives workers paid time off to care for a new baby or a loved one who has a serious health condition.

Presidential candidate RFK, whom Daniels supports, opposes vaccines that prevent dire illnesses in children and adults, like polio, measles and smallpox. In 2017, Scientific American wrote that “For more than a decade, Kennedy has promoted anti-vaccine propaganda completely unconnected to reality,” and if his anti-vax advocacy “leads to even a small decline in vaccine rates across the country, it will result in the waste of untold amounts of money and in all likelihood, the preventable deaths of infants too young to be vaccinated.”

Daily Sentinel: Commissioner Rowland and County Attorney Todd Starr violated County policy for County credit card use, receipts

Lobby of the $225-$250/night Antlers Hotel in Colorado Springs, where County Attorney Todd Starr used his county credit card to pay for a room, in violation of County policy which requires County employees to get a per diem instead for travel.

An Open Records Act request by Daily Sentinel reporter Charles Ashby examining expenditures by Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland and County Attorney Todd Starr over the last year found both made questionable purchases that arguably violated County policy.

Rowland and Starr charged Public Health Department Jeff Kuhr with doing the same thing, but in his case they called it a fireable offense.

County employees are not allowed to use a County credit card for out-of-town trips. Instead, they are supposed to get a per-diem (a fixed daily allowance) for their expenses.

Mesa County Commissioners avoid getting bids for $49k forensic Health Dept. audit & Dufford, Waldek law firm contract

Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland failed to get 3 bids for multi-thousand dollar contracts

Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland has cited the awarding of contracts without first getting competitive bids as reason enough to fire Mesa County Public Health Department (MCPHD) Director Jeff Kuhr:
According to an article in the 6/14/23 issue of the Daily Sentinel, titled “More turmoil on the Public Health Board,”
“At the June 5 public health meeting, [Mesa County Attorney Todd] Starr presented a largely one-sided view of a partial audit done earlier this year on the department, some of which said Kuhr hired contractors without going through a competitive bid process…” [Italicized emphasis added.] Rowland complained that awarding sole source contracts without first getting bids or going through review by County finance departments “puts the County at high risk because [the contracts don’t] go through a legal, risk or finance review.”
But she and the other Commissioners award high-dollar contracts without first getting competitive bids where such bids and oversight are merited, according to County policy.