Craig Meis and the Ticket Fix

(Previous version mistakenly excluded content on the angle of the latest Sentinel article, which regards the email exchange between the Mesa County Sheriff and Commissioner Meis.  The Sentinel article includes a link to those emails.   – promoted by ClubTwitty)

“it’s not often I receive a request to have a ticket fixed and yours is the first from a county commissioner.”  

Chafeee County Sheriff  Peter Palmer in email to Mesa County Commissioner Craig Meis

The story in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel yesterday did not shine a positive light on Mesa County Commissioner Craig Meis–which, of course, is no surprise.

Hilkey warned Meis on ticket fix

The GJ Sentinel story is behind a paywall, but reporter Paul Schockley does a good job of laying out the story on Meis’ latest attempt to weasel out of accountability, and the email exchange between Meis and Sheriff Palmer’s counterpart in Mesa County, Stan Hilkey who called ‘fixing’ a ticket an “ethical noose.”  

Undoubtedly some knee-jerk partisans will soon call ‘Foul!’ and accuse the paper of a ‘liberal’ bias. Of course, its the Grand Junction Sentinel we are talking about, so that charge probably only gets one so far with the reasonable crowd. And Meis’ time in office has been marked by controversy and petty offenses–that is petty, since nothing has yet burned to the ground.

In the Chaffee County incident, Meis was busted violating a fire ban as massive wildfires raged across the state, including in Mesa County near DeBeque.  Craig wanted to grill, and who knew there was a deputy around?

And this is no first for Craig Meis, who quickly earned a reputation for his imperial air and general attitude that he could do as he wished once elected boss. His antics and embarrassments continue to this day.    

Not long before his disregard for public safety and public and private property (not to mention wildlife, watersheds,  and air quality) Meis–whose ‘paying’ gig is in the oil and gas industry–was in attendance at the illegal meeting in Vernal, Utah, with elected officials and oil shale lobbyists (no media or public allowed) that led to a ‘dig it all up’ oil shale resolution earlier this year.  

Uintah County (Utah) has since been forced to rescind that resolution after an uproar in the Beehive State.  Both the Ogden Standard-Examiner and the Salt Lake Tribune published scathing editorials blasting the State of Utah and Uintah County.  

In Colorado, the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent also came on record critical of this secret, illegal meeting–as all three Garfield County commissioners attended, thus breaking Colorado law as well.  But so far the Sentinel, Denver Post and other editorial boards in the state have been strangely silent on this breech of Sunshine and Open Meeting laws.  

However, in its reporting covering the ongoing soap opera and regular appearance of malfeasance that is Mesa County Commissioner Craig Meis, the Sentinel overall has done an admirable job, as it notes itself:

Meis criticized what he characterized as a lack of discretion by a Colorado State Parks officer, who cited the commissioner in June 2010 for allowing Meis’ underage son to operate a personal watercraft at Highline Lake State Park. Meis repeatedly raised his position with the parks officer and said he knew District Attorney Pete Hautzinger “very well.”

The Daily Sentinel also reported on separate incidents in 2007 and 2008 when the commissioner yet again raised his elected position, or proximity to powerful officials, when contacted by Grand Junction police officers.

It has been often said that people get the government they deserve, but its a little hard to imagine what they could have done to get Craig Meis.

And kudos to the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel for covering this–and other–stories about the oddities and odiousness of politics in a town run by a Politburo of Party elites (and nipped at the heels on the right by various factions of Teapartiers and self-described patriots).  

But elected accountability comes from the people, who need to demand it and who should refuse to accept such violation of ethical and open government.  In Mesa, in Garfield, in whichever county or government they occur.  

As long as the faithful accept whatever the Party decides, and the ‘opposition’ withers–purposefully–on the vine, the people get what they get, deserved or not.  Because a Rose by any other name smells just the same–and it is not always sweet.  



11 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    If the voters blindly accept who the party gives them, then this is the logical result. Because yahoos like this will be drawn to the opportunity.  

  2. Konola says:

    thank you for writing this piece. It is a good summary of the bad decisions made by Meis. Unfortunately he gets his two other commissioners to go along with his self-serving public policies. The only reason I can think of for the Sentinel not bashing Meis for the March 27 meeting is that he went alone. Since there was no Mesa County quorum a the meeting, there was no Mesa County violation of Sunshine laws. In the case of Uintah County and Garfield County, there was a quorum of elected officials, making the meeting a clear violation of Sunshine laws.

  3. dmindgo says:

    that there are Repubs running in Colorado with no Dem opposition is inexcusable.  The county and state parties need to get it together and start getting qualified candidates.

    • BlueCat says:

      that sometimes you just can’t find someone willing to spend all that time and money losing. Qualified candidates who are so unselfish as to subject themselves, their families and their resources to a race not even Pollyanna thinks they can win don’t exactly grow on trees. Best way to make sure every Republican has an opponent is for people like you to stop bitching at “the party”, which really means your neighbors who volunteer to run things (including search committees) for no pay in their spare time, and volunteer to be that selfless candidate.

    • Konola says:

      … as an independent. No money is going to come from the state. No mention of your race is going to come from the state in E-mail blasts or on websites. I get pretty sick of the DEMS on the front range telling us what we should do in Mesa County. When you stop writing us off, we might pay attention.

      For the record, when I ran, Morgan Carroll came and walked neighborhoods with me. That was it. I have nothing but respect for Senator Carroll, but the rest of you whiners should put a sock in it.

  4. Gray in Mountains says:

    must one be engaged in to come into contact with the police so often?

  5. crewcut says:

    It is a shame that the MCRP continues to stand behind corrupt candidates and office holders. Even when they have been proven guilty the party and it’s astro turfers attack anyone who points out their flaws or threatens to remove them from office. After everything we have found out about Meis the R’s now throw a very questionable candidate out there for State House D54. Do they not have any people who are honest, with integrity, and principles that we would be comfortable and confident voting for?

  6. American Patriot says:

    for the GREAT diary.  Personally in reading all of this latest stuff, I feel like I’m in a time warp.  A couple of years ago GJResult.Tea Party publicly called for Meis’ resignation.  That brought on the Mesa County Republican Women and Western Slope Conservative Alliance Meis cheerleaders in a donnybrook that was billed as a press conference.  That ended in death threats against one of our Tea Party leaders.

    And you guys on the eastern slope think you play hardball politics?  Well, at last you’re being introduced to the war zone.  And the body count just keeps stacking up and no sane person would believe it could be stacked that high.

    Again, welcome to the happy valley.  

    • RedGreenRedGreen says:

      You know what they say about this kind of thing …

      “Academic politics is the most vicious and bitter form of politics, because the stakes are so low.”

      It’s known as Sayre’s Law, and it sounds like it’s in full enforcement out in your neck of the woods!

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