Hi John --Ms. Coons made an effort to answer my concerns by lining up behind the efforts already being taken by local public safety agencies to work together and communicate. I agree with some of her assertions, but some of my concerns remained unaddressed. These efforts do occur, and they do result in some extraordinary joint operations in highly adverse conditions. I hope to be able to sit down with her sometime soon.
I would be happy to sit down with you and discuss your concerns and issues. Without going into great detail in this message, I would say that most of the things that you mention in your points below are actually taking place, albeit maybe not in a manner that makes these collaborations obvious to the general public. For example, the public safety functions throughout Mesa County (police, fire, and all-hazards emergency management) are approached very collaboratively by all of the emergency services agencies within Mesa County. There are a number of formal contractual and informal agreements among all of the agencies within the county. There have, in fact, been a number of major emergencies over the past few years where the collaborative operations of these agencies were clearly evident. Having served for the past 6 years on the Mesa County Board of Health, for the past 4 years on City Council, and serving as the City Council representative on the Meth Task Force, the Offenders Management Task Force and the Pandemic Flu Preparedness Task Force, I have been able to witness the inside operations of the emergency agencies within our county, and the relationships among them. I might also add that the Police Chief has established a Citizen's Advisory Board, and Grand Junction police, fire, and utilities personnel (among others) participate very actively on the County's Emergency Management committees, which are convened by the County Emergency Manager, and include participation from key personnel from the other incorporated municipalities within the County.
One other thing that came out of Ms. Coons' reply was that she copied it to City Manager Laurie Kadrich. Ms. Kadrich then copied that email to the other candidates, asking that she be given the first opportunity to speak with myself and others about the concerns I have brought forward.
I meet with her later this week.
Congratulations are in order to Bonnie Beckstein, Teresa Coons, Tom Kenyon, and Bill Pitts on their election to Council. It stands to be an interesting year ahead, right off the bat. I'm looking forward to see how the Comprehensive Plan, along with the obvious needs of Public Safety, will be addressed by this Council in ways that are in the best interest of the City that put them in office. 25 years from now is important, but pales in comparison to the needs of the community over the term of these new Council members.
Tomorrow is another day of work, as well as a day of reflection, remembrance, and continuing to look forward to a future both uncertain and full of possibilities perhaps not even thought of yet.