Summit Daily letters: Love your neighbor, despite the toxic politcal rhetoric |

Summit Daily letters: Love your neighbor, despite the toxic politcal rhetoric

Love your neighbor

On Friday night, Oct 28, we were roused by a commotion in our otherwise quiet Frisco neighborhood with several police cruisers arriving with their lights flashing. Someone had thrown a rock through our neighbor’s living room window. It turns out this was not a pre-Halloween prank. The police took this very seriously and located the rock and found markings on it which are linked to an extremist hate group or groups. The only difference between our neighbor’s house and most of the rest around here is that they had some signs in their yards supporting one of the candidates for President. So I guess this act was spawned — from the ugliness coming from both sides, in my opinion — out of this awful, rancorous, please-hurry-up-and-get-it-over-with election, but the state of this election can never be an excuse or a pretext for this unacceptable behavior. I am not so naïve as to think there are not people around who think doing something like this will somehow advance some agenda. But I, and 99.9 percent of us who live here, totally and completely stand to condemn this behavior. I would ask whoever did this and anyone who might agree with this behavior, what did you think this would accomplish? Would you advocate this as “role model” behavior for your kids, spouse, siblings and friends? Would you proudly tell your parents that you did this? I can’t believe the answer would be yes to any of these questions. And what would you have thought if a child (or an adult) had been struck by the rock and flying glass and maybe injured for a lifetime or worse? Don’t you know there are always unintended consequences from horrible actions like this? Somehow we have lost the notion that we can agree to disagree, we can discuss things and go deeper into them than what we hear in a 10-word sound bite that we now are enduring day after day on TV, and maybe even be persuaded, once in a while, that there is merit to a view that is opposed to our own! We can and should think for ourselves and not follow the easier and lazy path of just automatically swallowing hook, line and sinker, someone’s often politically motivated comments, coming from both sides in this election contest, which only agitate us to do senseless things. Bullying, violent, mean, hurtful and criminal acts like what happened to my neighbors will never be acceptable, nor accomplish anything productive — ever. We can and must respect the other side, those with whom we disagree, those that are different from us, in appearance, perspective and political affiliation. And that goes for both sides in this election. That is what America is about.

I have a Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Silver Star in my basement, earned by my recently deceased dad, from fighting with the 10th Mtn. Division in Italy in WWII — so we would not have to live in a world run by the Nazi narrative. I know he would be so angry over this, as well as disappointed. He would tell me this hateful, bullying act is an insult to him and to those of his friends who were killed fighting against the very thing that this act against my neighbors represents. Finally, whether we are atheists, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jews or any other creed, we can all agree that Jesus gave us, hands down, the best advice for how we need to treat our neighbors: In response to a question put to him by a lawyer, in what is known as the Parable of the Good Samaritan, he answered that you need to love your neighbor as yourself. (Luke 10:25-37).

Steve Peters


Elect Derek Woodman as sheriff

Quoting John F. Kennedy, “For no government is better than the men who compose it, and I want the best, we need the best and we deserve the best.” It is truly sad nowadays elections are not about issues, but attacks on the character of the opponent — elect me because my opponent is worse.

Negative and attack campaigns have not trickled, but gushed, down from national to state and now local elections. We need, want and deserve better.

The office of sheriff should require two things: character and experience. Woodman clearly has both, and he is the best candidate. Woodman has plenty of character — honesty, integrity and commitment to law enforcement. Woodman has the experience having been with the sheriff’s office since the 1980s, serving under several different sheriffs: Delbert Ewoldt, Joe Morales and John Minor. All saw the quality of the individual and the strength of character in Woodman and continually promoted him into positions of more knowledge and expertise. He performed exceptionally in each new position.

Now it’s time for the electorate to promote him again, electing him Sheriff of Summit County. We the citizens need the best, want the best and deserve the best. Derek Woodman is the best.

Bill and Bonney Moody


Former deputy supports Woodman

I worked for the Summit County Sheriff’s Office for 10 years. I had the opportunity to work with both candidates — as a subordinate to both and a peer of Jaime FitzSimons at different points in my career. These experiences allow me to endorse Derek Woodman for sheriff without reservation or hesitation. Woodman’s ethics, professionalism and experience are superior to FitzSimon’s in every way.

I was initially dismayed at the choice of the county commissioners to appoint FitzSimons as interim sheriff. That dismay quickly changed to disgust when FitzSimons fired Woodman.

Woodman was a credit to the sheriff’s office, and has a positive impact on the safety and well-being of Summit County citizens. I will not say the same of FitzSimons, and I encourage all citizens to do some simple Google searching of his history in law enforcement — a career that had him leaving LA under unsavory circumstances.

I am not a Republican. In fact, as a law enforcement officer, I worked hard to execute the law without any political leaning. It is my perspective that the safety and protection of Summit County should not be determined by politics. Integrity, morals and ethics in law enforcement today are essential.

I retain a strong emotional tie to the sheriff’s office, and remain connected to the county through the many family members I have living there. It is important to me that during this election, all citizens set party lines aside while choosing their sheriff — choosing the man who puts the safety and service ahead of personal gain. That man is Derek Woodman.

Tayler Clancy

Former Summit County deputy

Elect Woodman

I’m writing this letter in support for Derek Woodman for Sheriff for Summit County. I have known Woodman for the past 35 years he has served in the sheriff’s office under four sheriffs. Throughout these years, he has served in many capacities and supervised, over the years, in every position in the department. Over these years, he has instituted many new programs in the county sheriff’s department, including the school resource officer, the DUI enforcement (LEAF), Drug Task Force and the Special Operations Division. In 2014, Woodman graduated from FBI National Academy (Executive Leadership). Above all Woodman has proven to be an effective leader in the law enforcement community and is held in high regard by the various law personnel in Summit County. In my experience in knowing Woodman and viewing him as a police representative he has acted in the most professional capacity as a member of the sheriff’s department. I urge the voters to cast their ballot for the most qualified person in the county for sheriff.

Mike Smith


Republican pulls for FitzSimons in sheriff’s race

I confess! I’m one of many Republicans who are fully supporting Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons. You’ve got to ask yourself why that is?

Truth is I rarely write letters of a political nature, but I feel so strongly about Sheriff FitzSimons. There are reasons why our county commissioners were unanimous in appointing FitzSimons over others. And their record shows it has nothing to do with party affiliation.

Sheriff FitzSimons is uniquely qualified with more than 26 years of law enforcement experience actually serving the community, and not merely sitting behind a desk. Just as important is that he’s approachable, a pleasure to work with and a passionate contributor to our community for the past 12 years.

On a personal level, I’ve been so impressed to see FitzSimons show up in support of organizations where I volunteer, such as the Community Care Clinic, the Animal Shelter, Suicide Prevention and mental health groups. I’m a long-time local resident, business owner, father and also a graduate of our Sheriff’s Citizens Academy. So I know, it’s imperative that we have a sheriff with such integrity, leadership and people skills.

Please join me in voting for Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons.

Bill Way


Support for Emily Tracy in state senate race

Emily Tracy will be a fantastic state senator! I’m Del Bush, a Republican, also known as “Mr. Emily Tracy.” My wife, Emily Tracy, is the Democratic candidate running for Colorado’s State Senate District 8, a district including not only Summit County (where we live) but also six other beautiful counties of northwest Colorado. I urge everyone to support Emily Tracy not just because she’s my wife, but also because, frankly, she’s the best “man” for the job. Besides being kind and thoughtful, Tracy is bright, sharp, educated (MPA), informed, competent and as honest as the day is long. Believe me, she cannot, will not, does not have it in her to tell a lie, and she’s got a lifetime of learning, decisions and experience that add up to wisdom.

Emily Tracy has exemplary elective experience, having served two terms on the city council of Canon City, winning re-election by a landslide despite being a Democrat in a quite conservative city. While on the city council, she served on the Fremont County economic development committee that won the supermax prison for the county, which today contributes significantly to the economy of the whole area. She also served on the original Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) committee (a Governor Romer appointee) which recommended use of lottery dollars to fund GOCO. Today, Senate District 8 benefits from numerous GOCO projects. She’s also an alumnus of the Bighorn Center for Public Policy.

Obviously, Emily Tracy is a public policy geek who is a workhorse and loves trying to resolve problems in our state and its towns, counties, special districts, etc. When elected, she will answer and return calls, reply to emails and letters, and will eagerly ask what problems need to be addressed along with ideas on how to solve them. She will visit the counties and towns in Senate District 8, eagerly seeking out what people in the district want/need her to do as their senator.

Finally, she’s trained and experienced in mediation and facilitation, so Emily Tracy is exceptionally well-prepared to take on the Republican/Democrat partisan divide in Denver and work across the aisles to find solutions — as indeed she does every day at home with me! Emily Tracy will humbly work for everyone in Senate District 8 regardless of party affiliation.

So vote for Emily Tracy not only because she’s my wife, but because you want to benefit from her good judgment, as I do every day here at home. Emily Tracy is the right choice for Senate District 8!

Del Bush


Support 3A and 3B for strong schools

This is the last year our family will have a child enrolled in Summit Schools, but that doesn’t mean I’m about to stop supporting our school district. I have always been a strong supporter of our schools and will continue to do so for years to come.

Education is the foundation and backbone for our community. I believe it’s a pathway to a brighter future for our students, as well as our community.

Summit School District is “Accredited with Distinction”, the highest rating in the state, and ranks in the top 10 percent of all 179 school districts in Colorado for our students’ outstanding academic performance.

But our schools continue to need help. According to, Colorado’s funding for schools is ranked 42nd in the country for spending per student — we’re ranked below Mississippi and Alabama for school funding per student.

Funding has been cut and property values declined during the recession. Summit School District worked hard to protect our kids and classrooms during the recession. But several deferred maintenance projects are now reaching a critical point.

Together, 3A and 3B will cost roughly $1.36 per $100,000 assessed property value per month — which translates to $81.60 for a $500,000 house for one year — less than two lattes a month.

Please consider supporting both 3A and 3A. Let’s keep our schools strong.

Karen Mason


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