BOCC Refuses to Accept
The Consensus of the People
Board of County
-August 10, 2017
by Jackie Bubis, Reporter
The meeting started at 7 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll call. The room was packed to overflowing so, in lieu of taking time for introductions of the public, a sign-up sheet was passed around.
This meeting was called solely for more input again from the public on the issue of building codes. There was a similar meeting in June before the Planning Commission. In early July, the Planning Commission voted 5-2 to recommend that the BOCC NOT proceed with a building code. The commissioners stated that they were not content with that decision and put this meeting on the books.
First to speak was Cindy Howard, head of the Custer County Office of Emergency Management. She confirmed that the previous statements (on numerous occasions) from Commissioner Jay Printz – that a building code was necessary in order to get flood insurance – were false.
After that, there was a succession of over twenty speakers – all opposed to a building code for the county. There were a few speakers that stated neither support nor opposition – some wanted the BOCC to make the decision themselves – some wanted it to go to a vote of the residents of unincorporated Custer County.
While all the comments were civil and seemingly well thought out, some were noteworthy.
Jordan Hedburg, from the Wet Mountain Tribune – with his reporter hat on – urged that real data be gathered instead of a lot of antidotes (sic). “Let’s get the numbers on the table.”
Dennis Crow countered Hedberg by pointing out that the vast destruction in both the Black Forest and Waldo Canyon fires was not stopped or even slowed by the building codes present in those areas. Crow said he’d lived here most of his life. At which point, Commissioner Bob Kattnig rudely took issue with that statement – while assuring the crowd that Crow was his “kin”. Crow – who apparently was away from the county a few times in his childhood and then when he served in the U.S. NAVY – stated he had voted here his entire life. (Note: the same cannot be said of Mr. Kattnig. Hear audio at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdr7j1zRd08&t=3s)
Elizabeth Harman, with the 2006 International Building Code in hand, stated, “This is not a couple of new rules.” She went on to say her husband, who is building their home, would never risk their lives by building an unsafe structure. She finished with the statement that there is no proof that this code improves safety.
There were many people who expressed their desire to live free of growing government regulation and are willing to take responsibility for their own lives.
Elizabeth Harman again stepped up to ask the commissioners why they feel that this building code will improve safety. When Mr. Printz said that this meeting was to hear what the public had to say, Ms. Harman countered. “Are you not public, sir?” He then said “No I’m not. I’m a commissioner.” Though it seems unlikely that he meant it that way, the crowd immediately reacted. She stated that she suspected that the Board would just make the decision themselves FOR the public. (Hear audio clip at Youtube for audio clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsqKxrYOi8E )
Tanner Camper wondered why we were even talking about this. The commissioners ran as Republicans and were elected by conservatives. “This is not a conservative idea. Let’s focus on conservative ideas. And leave these for when we decide to elect democrats.” This comment brought applause from most of the audience. Mr. Kattnig stated “I don’t want to bust your bubble Tanner, but I need to respond real quickly.” He went on to say that the commissioners serve all the people in the county. Camper objected, noting that the Planning Commission came back with a 5-2 vote. “You put that committee in and you’ve heard from all of us and the Republicans.” As many in the crowd did, he urged the commissioners to just say no. (Hear audio clip at Youtube for audio clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83j8XH233oc)
Tim Stodola was the last to speak saying, “I appreciate the discussion. You have the right to make the decision.” He also stated that he was a conservative.
The sign-up sheet that the attendees were requested to sign had an area where you could indicate whether you wanted building codes or not. Several citizens who signed the sign-up sheet late, noted that out of the 88 signatures, only ten indicated that they were for building codes. (Editor/GG: Folks, if this doesn’t illustrate how out of touch and arrogant these three Commissioners are, I don’t know what. They lied to get elected, they lied repeatedly over the Robin Young Affair, they lied about building codes needed for federal flood insurance, and they lied about dark skies not having criminal penalties. We could go on. It was a mistake electing these people who do NOT represent the views of the vast majority of the citizens of this freedom loving county. The time is NOW to solve that problem.)
It is unclear if there will be more public meetings, more discussions on the agenda or if the BOCC will simply pass the building code despite the overwhelming opposition.