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Dear Editor,

When PT Wood ran for mayor against incumbent Salida Mayor Jim Livecchi he won in a landslide victory garnering 69 percent of the votes to 31 percent for LiVecchi. Beating an incumbent mayor like that says two things- the challenger must have been pretty good and the mayor must have been pretty bad. PT Wood did such an amazing job as Mayor his first term that he ran unopposed in his re-election. Chaffee County is lucky to have such an experienced and proven person running for County Commissioner.

On the bigger stages of State and National politics, I imagine many vote along party lines, but our local officials rarely face issues of conservative vs. liberal ideologies and I would suggest our decision be made along the lines of experience and competence and using those yardsticks there can be no doubt PT Wood is the best candidate for the job. The same applies to Lori Mitchell as the best-qualified candidate.

Regarding the 2A vote for the Salida Bottling Plant development- In the planning process there was a positive give-and-take between the developer and the city planning commission. The city was able to get the developer to increase the number of deed-restricted inclusionary housing units to four, in exchange for granting minor variances for building height and parking; a win-win situation for all and a great example of how the city and developers should work together for everyone’s advantage.

Simple math tells us that supply and demand dictate housing prices. Literally, every new home built helps lower the cost of housing and every home stopped from being built increases the cost of housing. This property will be developed- that is a fact. If 2A is not approved now the developer will simply have a new plan that has fewer total units and fewer deed-restricted inclusionary housing units.

Yes, the developer will make less money but no one in Salida gains anything. Fewer total homes and fewer lower-priced homes will be the result- driving housing prices up. And as more homes will still be needed they will then be built west of town adding to sprawl. We all lose. After the planning commission unanimously approved the project it should have then gone ahead just as 98 percent of developments do.

Instead disgraced former mayor Jim LiVecchi¬†stepped in to spread disinformation and try to stop this project. Mr. LiVecchi did this before on another development and the developer simply decided to go elsewhere resulting in fewer available homes, fewer long-term rental units, and higher prices for us all. At no time has Mr. LiVecchi or any others pushing against this project offered any constructive alternative. They are simply “anti”.

Voting no on 2A does not mean you are stopping development. It simply means you are casting a vote for higher housing prices and you are voting for sprawl and ranchettes filling the valley west of town. Vote for PT Wood, Lori Mitchell, and approve 2A.

Rob Dubin
Salida, CO