Letter: Virtue signaling | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: Virtue signaling

I find the recent public stance taken by our Routt County commissioners reprehensible. I read Sheriff Garrett Wiggins’ post, and I found nothing racist about it. In fact, I found it to be spot-on about the violent rioters who have demeaned the memory of George Floyd and destroyed the meaning of the peaceful protests. 

If you don’t oppose the violence and riots, then I feel that you support it. Are our commissioners saying they support the riots, property destruction and violence against people or are they making a hollow “virtue signal” to “prove” that they are more virtuous than people who oppose riots?

Commissioner Doug Monger, I gained some respect for you in 2010 when you had the honesty to admit that the Routt County Regional Building Advisory Committee made a mistake when the committee, over the objections of the building official, canceled over 600 building permits contrary to the adopted building code. 

I recently gained a little more respect for you when you had the courage to change your political affiliation to independent, citing the actions of the 2018-19 Democrat-controlled legislature. I’m sorry, but your recent virtue signaling destroyed the respect I once had for you. Commissioners Beth Melton and Timothy Corrigan have shown me no reason to respect them or their judgment.

Now that our glorious leftist state legislature and governor, in a fit of virtue signaling, have made Colorado the first state to eliminate qualified immunity of peace officers, thus opening up officers to repeated civil suits, I think the time has come to remove qualified immunity from politicians, including county commissioners.   

Politicians have the potential to do infinitely more damage to people and society. Let’s also extend qualified immunity to appointed boards and department heads, since we all know of instances (see above) in which they have made improper, arbitrary and/or damaging decisions. 

I seriously doubt this will happen since the politicians don’t make laws holding themselves accountable or up to the standards they impose on their “subjects.” If politicians, appointed boards and appointed officials were held liable for their mistakes, errors in judgment or destruction of public trust, Colorado would be a better governed place. 

Sadly, few politicians seem to live up to the image they project during elections and, unfortunately, we have virtually no say in representation in appointed boards or city, county or state department appointees who hold so much power over us. 

David Coulter

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