To the residents of Spanish Valley, please understand that if you believe the promises made by San Juan County, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn, New York to sell you. Several individuals have written letters to newspapers about Love’s Truck Stop and the promise to include a dark sky ordinance.
On the truck stop, you must know that SITLA is required to make money off their land to support our under-taxed and underperforming schools. Case in point: SITLA owned land on Comb Ridge near Bluff. Several hearings concerning the sale of this land took place, and against the wishes of the residents the acreage was sold to Lyman Farms. Again, SITLA said we are to make money for the schools, even though this was within the Bears Ears National Monument boundary.
As far as a dark skies ordinance, it is important to state that I have approached the previous San Juan County Commission at least twice trying to get support for a dark sky ordinance for the county. It should be noted that the first International Dark Sky Park was/is Natural Bridges National Monument. In both my appearances before our elected representatives, mocking responses was being polite. On one instance a county commissioner indicated that if such an ordinance were voted on would he have to turn his headlights off when driving at night. Members of the audience said if I wanted dark skies I should move to Canada.
The residents of Bluff, tired of the commissioners ignoring our concerns, voted to incorporate as a town with just under 150 voters taking part in the election. We took back our ability to manage our space. If Bluff can accomplish this task, it might be an avenue the residents of Spanish Valley should consider.
The year 2014 indicated the population of San Juan County was just under 15,000 people. I have seen some estimates that in 20 years the county will allow Spanish Valley to increase to that population. Understand that San Juan County sees this growth in the valley as Scrooge McDuck; money in increased taxes (Love’s Truck Stop). It’s an increase in property taxes without increased representation.
Spanish Valley has two choices: (1) Secede from San Juan County and become part of Grand County. (2) Incorporate as Spanish Valley City. (3) Continue allowing San Juan County to determine your future without input from residents. When was the last time your commissioner listened to you in an open forum?